There are many types of village, and we have three of them in our cluster. The oldest, perhaps, a hill village with a wooden stockade, a saxon burgh protecting its cultivated fields (rops). When the stockade came down, it became a road, and houses were built on the outside facing inwards. Then there is the village clustered around a central point, a green, a spring, a pond, a manor house, a church; this too has its identity. Finally the street village, strung out along a road with no real focal point. All have advantages, all have their disadvantages, but what they were never built for was present day traffic.
Thirty years ago Mrs. Scroobie’s hens free ranged around the Forge and on both sides of the road, and the fastest vehicles were Joe Canning’s tractor and Bernard Lamb’s motor cycle and side-car.
For the past twenty years there has been a constant and growing demand that there be a speed limit through the Ferris, and their Clerk wrote annually to the County Council trying to get one. Three years ago, a new clause in the Road Traffic Act, raised hopes that perhaps we were eligible, but no, we were two lamp standards short and their cost was beyond the Council’s reach.
This year it was suggested that a petition be sent from the Parish to the County Council signed by as many as were agreeable, but it was shelved in preference of individual letters. It was pointed out then, as before, that a speed limit was useless unless enforceable, and that many of the speeders were villagers themselves – looks of horror and disbelief all round! but as one who lives in the only house in the village not protected from the road by a pavement, a wall, a bank or railings, the writer has a fair idea of who goes by and at what speed.
If you are going to write a letter in support, will you promise for a week previous to keep an eye on your speedometer as you go through the Ferris and Swalcliffe and Tadmarton, and then if there is no mote in the eye, write your letter, and if nothing comes of it continue to observe a 30 m.p.h. limit through the Ferris and Swalcliffe and Tadmarton.