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Past, Present & Future by Joan Lynton

Local History

Page updated - 22 August 2008




As a long-time resident of our village I was asked if I would write a few words about life as it was in Cornard before all the development. These few words are partly about that time, but not entirely, because reminiscences can sometimes be seen to be a bit too nostalgic and negative and if we are all going to survive on this planet of ours we have got to be positive.


So lets start with a few memories. What comes to mind immediately is when Cornard was far more green with many more fields, meadows etc. You oldies, do you remember The Target? It was so called because it was a practise shooting range for the Army but for us children it was a playground. As Girl Guides we made campfires and cooked revolting food, but how delicious it tasted especially in the open air. And then there was the time of the harvest. We left home early in the morning, armed with our food and drinks and spent virtually all day in the fields. Nobody worried about us being out all day. What bliss! The boys used to show off, running after the rabbits as they came out of the dwindling circle of corn, banging the poor animals on the head, therefore killing them. Those were hard times in the nineteen-thirties, and a rabbit or two made a good meal.


Now to present times. For my own good I have been advised to go for a daily walk, but where to walk? I prefer to have the grass under my feet, as I feel a little bit allergic to tarmac, so my ‘number one’ place is Cornard Country Park. It is truly lovely and congratulations to all the people involved in creating it and maintaining it. There are seats ‘a plenty’ for the weary to sit and contemplate and if you are feeling really energetic there is the walk uphill and down the grassy meadow through to the allotments. Also congratulations to the people responsible for making the little wood alongside Shawlands Avenue; another little gem.


We also have the river; how lucky we are to have this tranquil water on our doorstep. We can still walk across Shalford Meadow, have a pint at the Henny Swan, (not quite the same as it was in the old days, then it was a real pub, now it is a restaurant) but times change and I’m sure some people prefer it. I do hope our governments of the day do not get too obsessed with drinking laws. Remember what happened in America with prohibition.


Although the past has very pleasant memories for many of us, it is to the future we must look, and try very hard to make a world, in which, we will all feel very proud to belong.


Joan Lynton (Over 21) - 12 August 2008