Just what is going on at the Pond? Bruce and Tom are now regularly practising the breast stroke – Guy has been seen backing out his land-rover in thigh high waders. Even more demands have appeared in a nearby cottage window pleading “Let our tadpoles breathe!”and in the midst of it all Eric stands, chin on shepherds crook, gazing into the gloom of the green waters. Come on Eric. Make up your mind. Surely you weren’t as dilatory in ‘naming the day’ when you were courting Mabel. Take the plunge! Tell us. Just when do you want our help to clean the pond??
Sibford Scene Archive
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.
To Ace Reporter Eric:
Come on, Eric, no one knows better than you that I do like to have a bit of fun and cause some havoc. You have been at the receiving end often enough to know that the business with the ducks and drakes was simply my way of telling you that I feel neglected. I reckon you owe it to all the other folk in Sibford to introduce me to them so that they too might look forward to a puzzling piece of mischief when they least expect it.
I am itching to have a go!
(The Editor is confused but publishing this in the hope that it is not an F.B.I. or M.I.5. means of communication to person or persons unknown).
It will take a while, but we’re gradually building up this archive of complete copies of all editions of the Sibford Scene since its inception in 1977.
Above, we’ve copied out one or two items that may be of historical interest. To see the whole edition, click on the front-page image to download it as a pdf.