Monday, 27 February 2012

Village websites

Bradley village has a new website established by the Parish Council. It is at and quite apart from anything else, opens with a beautiful photo of St George’s. It has put up historic information based mainly on the material I put together for it and posted here a short while ago. It has also put up some news from the church for February for which I am grateful. It did put up information about activities at Bradley pitches on the edge of the village, but has now taken this down again, I guess because members of the Parish Council are very unhappy about the way this facility has been allowed to develop and be used and therefore don’t want to give it publicity. I’ve tried at various times to encourage those in the village who take different sides in this dispute to be generous in relating to those with whom they disagree so sharply, but I’m not sure such intervention has been welcome, and it is sad that this dispute has also led to different people leaving the Parish Council at different stages. Personally I shall also be sad if the new website doesn’t become home to open information about all activities in or on the edge of the village whether originating from church, Parish Council, pitches or anywhere else, but I will have to be sensitive with those who don’t agree with me about that.

There is another Parish Council at the other end of our ecclesiatical parish, and the Great Coates Village Council also has a well established website at (through which information about St Nicolas’ can be accessed by clicking on the electronic version of the village newsletter). Sadly, exactly the same pattern of internal disputes, and excatly the same pattern of some members leaving the Village Council, is going on here; the issue is whether or not the Council should take a substantial loan to build a new Village Hall. I haven’t been able to engage here because I’d look like an interested party since the proposal does spike the guns a bit of our ambition to develop St Nicolas’ to meet some of the relevant needs. The opening page of the website has a link to the results of a formal Parish Poll in which 40% of the registered voters turned out to vote 87 to 377 against the proposal; there is what could be misunderstood as a disingenuous reference to the turn out at the last parliamentary election (63%) rather than local authority election (33% in the relevant Ward).

I took the photo this morning in Great Coates churchyard. The crosses mark the graves of Canon Quirk (further away) and Canon Barber (nearer) who between them were Rectors of Great Coates between 1892 and 1954. Quirk’s immediate predecessors were non-resident, and Barber’s immediate successors were also incumbents of Aylesby, so their sixty-two years was a brief high point in the ideal of committed long-term residence in a single small community. They were both highly respected and probably much better than me at judging how to help villagers relate to each other well, although last week I did visit a parishioner who is more than a hundred years old who recalled Mrs Quirk’s negative reaction to being refused a little girl’s curtsey at some point in the 1920s.

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