Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Bibury Showpiece Village

Wednesday 29 May 1998. We awake in Cirencester to a cloudy but bright day with the sun threatening to come out.

We are heading up throughs the Cotswolds and my map told me that Bibury was a "Showpiece Village", so we made it our first stop of the morning.

It is indeed a lovely place and the sun ices the cake by making an appearance.

Bibury is a delightful village, with a trout farm and a row of cottages and some well kept gardens to enjoy.

If it wasn't for the yellow lines down the edge of the main street you could imagine yourself back in time here. The trout farm was either losing fish at a great rate or was a bit redundant, because the little stream that bubbled its way down the street, passing under several little bridges was teeming with them.

This is Arlington Row. A row of old cottages that makes as many appearances on postcards and chocolate boxes as the bridge at Castle Combe that we saw a few days ago.

In fact on that day (and visible to the left of the photo) a photo shoot was going on with a model walking a dog up and down the row whilst the small team of photographer, stylist and make-up artist made the most of the sunshine.

Here, away from those tell-tale yellow lines, it really is possible to imagine you are in a different century. In this photo only the road covering and the yellow H sign strikes a more modern note.

You see these small yellow markers all over the place in the UK and Ireland. They mark the position of the nearest fire hydrant which are all hidden in the ground rather than being street furniture. It does mean that cars don't run into them which TV and movies would have us believe happens all the time in America, sending great geysers of water shooting into the air. In the UK the water companies use leaks instead to waste water... My grandma had a car game where the first to see a yellow H had to shout "Fire Plug!". It keeps kids amused for ages and drives adults bananas!

Who wouldn't want to live in such an idyllic place? Yet town dwellers who move to the country can't seem to accept that it has its own way of working and existing and that sometimes it does smell when fields need fertilising, that there are slow tractors on the road, that going to the cinema involves a long drive, that animals make a noise when dawn breaks...

In the next entry we go in search of more hills of the dead and at one of them I have to enter by worming in on my belly. I hope you realise the lengths I go to for these articles!

Large versions of the photos: all the photographs from this holiday can be viewed as a set at Flicker

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