Tuesday, 5 October 2010

A Moment in an English Village

Tonight I passed through a rural village on my travels. It was pleasing to see some of the locals enjoying an autumn evening, however the very structure and vernacular of the village raised a few thoughts in my mind.

The traditional buildings are utterly charming, bonded brickwork, pan tiles and traditional sash windows. In this part of the world they would probably have been built in the 1800's as cottages for farm workers. I can imagine the windows flickering with the light of a fire and candles as people took their rest after working the land, from the chimney woodsmoke would have risen as the houses source of heat.

Now the windows flicker with the light of the widescreen television and in the background the stark white light of the designer kitchen. Outside is the executive 4x4 or company car. A hole in the wall steams with the flue of a gas fired central heating system. By the eaves glows the street light, providing background light regardless if it is needed it or not. The farmland between and behind the buildings is now crammed with standard estate type houses, complying to the letter of the current planning regulations. All this seems to have become accepted and unquestioned.

As oil becomes expensive and steadily runs dry, I wonder how these humble little buildings will evolve in the future.

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