My grandmother often pointed out places that in her day were villages. It was great to read a book about these lost places that I had heard of.
Ron Brown has an obvious affection for his subject and conveys this throughout the book. He is at times wistful and at others pragmatic.
It seems odd to us in the 21st century that a village would be spurred by a tollgate. But Mr browns recounts time after time that a tollgate often sparked a village. The usual village being a hotel, public house, post office, store and perhaps a church.
We forget too that what is for us an hour's outing was a day of travel for our forebears so these villages had a purpose to provide shelter and meals for travellers.
Many villages died becasue a railway did not pass by or simply a larger municipality swallowed them up.
If the book has a failing it is I found the illustrations to small. But as a reader I was grateful for them.
It is a great book for anyone who has an interest in the community in which we live and work.
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