Worksop -Now and Then

A nicely done video documentary look by Barrie Snith into how the town where Pauline and  lived (during our teenage yers) has developed over the years.

I was surprised as it always seemed nothing had changed for centuries. From the modernised 60’s to 2,000 there seems little positive happened to a settlement area that was first ‘modernised’ by the Romans after they invaded around 2,000 years ago, and settled into the landscape where that same landscape today offers back up tangible signs of that occupancy.

Layer upon layer of history has just laid itself down organically as daily life moved on overhead. underground. Mining up the earth’s bowels at an increasingly frantic rate covered the land, smothered the population and filthied the buildings, especially noticeable to us in the 1960’s.

Returning from Australia in 2008 to stay for a while, the first thing I noticed, after the tramatic closure of the coal mines was that our dirty grey brick 1950’s modern home was rain-washing back to its original grey-cream-brick, and that when I looked up at what was always grey sky is now clear and blue.

Old buildings are no longer melting away under acid rain. 

Wórksop as a town and the area has something special, and that is the people and their sense pf humour and sense of community.

Two Celtic tribes lived  next to each other in the fighting days of Bodacea/Boudacca versus the Romans centuries ago. Whole tribes of families still live in the close-knit villages. Terry Hudson turns out to be related to just about anyone he comes by in the area. What would a dna survey reveal? Maybe better not to know!

A few miles over towards Retford, Gainsborough, where the landed gentry and wealthy industrialists ensured their dirty coal stayed well under the surface and their opulent edifices, the gentle but staunch Quakers were a normal component of the population.

So much different history to be found in these rural villages.

When push came tp shove they shoved-off -literally, and founded America! Pennsylvania and all that – beautiful gentle place. Been there. Can still hear the clopping of a Shaker horse and carriage travelling gently down the darkened street.

How did my Quakers become Shakers? Someone please educate me. But that is God’s Own Country just there. You feel it.

Meanwhile back in Nottinghamshire there is Captain James Cook, finder/Founder of Australia, whose land I now call home. Our towns and villages barely go past 250 years. Nature quickly reclaims anything left unnatended. Our original Aboriginal inhabitants havent messed this place up in 60,000 yrars. We are only now beginning to learn how that works from them in order to survive.

Government notations currently refer tó them patronisingly as “Traditional land owners” despite the Elders’ main message that they look after, but never own, the land they elong to.

Meanwhile, 12,000 miles away in Worksop, the town, life continues to adapt. The ‘modern’ Vctorian hospital that Barrie spent so long trying to heal in is amazingly only bits of rubble under the supermarket, and my familiar defunct bus station has reinvented now as an interchange directly opposite what were the hospital gates and waiting passengers no longer risk pneumonia from the icy blasts that funnel down Newcastle Avenue and sink their cold fangs intothe nape of your neck and the back of your knees.

A stranger would have no indication of what has been and gone in one short space of history. The spot where a young and happy Princess Diana stood to be greeted by hundreds of fans is unreconisable under the wheels of some car parked on the supermarket tarmac.

Fortunately we have Barrie and his increasingly important photo collection to record the ongoing coming and going and becomong hitory of more layers of Worksop, England, to 2020 and beyond, where they can be viewed on Youtube.

What became the new bus interchange a few months later
This is what has become the new bus interchange. It was supposed to be preserved but..

Modern Worksop Old Buildings With New Lives

See Also Clumber Park Memories

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