This is a village lost in time, a ghost village that was taken over just before Christmas 1943 by the war office for use as firing ranges for training troops. 225 people were displaced, the popular belief is that the last person to leave, left this note on the church door.
Please treat the church and houses with care; we have given up our homes where many of us lived for generations to help win the war to keep men free. We shall return one day and thank you for treating the village kindly.
Since then the army has formally taken this village and surrounding area of land over as a firing range and training ground. They will never come back, many have tried to get the army and government to fill full their promise that they would be allowed back once the war was finished but to no avail.
Originally it was said they had 48 hours to leave the village but I found a letter from the War Office that is dated 17th November, explaining what is going to happen and giving then enough time to find alternative homes or getting assistance from the government to settle somewhere else. So they did have roughly a month, even that is quite a short time to be uprooted and have to start a new life somewhere away from all you know.
Arriving at the village we were meet by Dan and Alex, Dan wanted to take JB and Alex wanted what Susan always takes with, a picnic. Claudia commented that they had been around the village twice and were ready to go to a local pub, they were starving. We had a walk around the deserted school and houses before braving the single track lane out of the valley. Quite an extraordinary village that is truly lost in time. The school has examples of the children’s work on the desks and homework on the blackboard. The pen and ink on the desks did bring back memories of my days gone bye.
Talking of Gary, he played his first cricket match for Broadstone CC yesterday. Father and son played in the same team and Dan scored a good few runs while Gary was exceptionally economical with the bat. Gary did take a good catch and his fielding was above average, he is young, he is keen, let him play, he will mature.