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Date: 01/09/20

Here Is The Mews

A long-distant follow-up to this, but it seemed to me that the necessity of walking down to the village chemist's to put a repeat prescription in (and a huge 'Hi!' and thank you to Sebastian and his team at the Well Pharmacy for all that they're doing for us) provided a chance to take a few snaps to show you what has happened with the old St Mary's school site since the demolition.

In short, it's called 'St John's Mews'. The first part of the name I can understand, since St John's church once stood behind the site (although, as I've just said, the school was named for the parish church a hundred yards down the road from it); but why 'Mews'? Well, I suppose it's property-speculator and estate agent-speak for 'we can charge ten per cent more for the houses'. There have certainly never been stables or anything else equine at that location (unless you include the horseshit of religion which was forced upon us schoolkids five days a week).

(The translation into Cymraeg - which I had suspected they hadn't intended to do, but were quite possibly forced into - is 'Cwrt Sant Ioan' or 'St John's Court, although they've run the second part together as one word to produce the equivalent of 'Stjohn's Court'. This is the sort of second-best-ism that we're expected to not only put up with but to be grateful for).

I went down The Lane (if that isn't the official name for it, it's what we've always called it) to start photographing from the bottom like I did last time. Unfortunately, there was a carpet delivery van parked in an obstrusive manner at the entrance to the 'Mews', so I had to start a little bit further up than I had on the previous occasion. Here's the entrance to the estate:

Photo of the entrance to a small housing estate

Looking up High Street towards the site of St John's church (now a memorial garden):

Photo of a row of new houses along the side of a road

Looking back down from the entrance to the memorial garden (nice new gate and railings on that by the way, as you can see on the right of the picture):

Photo of a row of new houses along the side of a road

A glimpse into the inside of the estate itself, taken from within the garden, just above where the infants' school yard once stood (at least they've kept the old sandstone wall at this end):

Photo of some new houses taken over a stone wall

This one from a little bit further along, to where the infants' school lavvies once were (I wonder how many of the new residents realise that?):

Photo of some new houses taken over a stone wall

Another rather awkward peep along the wall towards where the infants' school yard once lay (I didn't go any further; people are understandably touchy when they think you're photographing their property):

Photo of some new houses taken over a stone wall

And, finally, a shot down High Street from just below the pharmacy:

Photo of some new houses behind a stand of trees

There you have it. Utterly featureless and characterless, of course; the spirit of Malvina Reynolds' most famous song lives on in what passes for the imaginations of builders and planners (although without the variety of colours she mentioned).

The really scary thing, though, is the thought that - in some fifty years or so - whoever is left in this village who has deep roots here might view their inevitable demolition (and, no doubt, their replacement with capsule pods made out of recycled cardboard boxes) with the same feelings of loss which I experienced at the razing of the old school.

Truly there is no progress, only change.