Wye townsfolk will be aware of how wyeweb helps to record not only current affairs and opinions but also tries to archive of Wye images and documents that make up our heritage. Only a few days ago we learned that one of our elderly residents recalled knowing the coke-maker in the Wye Gasworks mentioned in Mr. Gallaway’s recollections of Wye at the end of the nineteenth century.
In 2012 we had the fortune to gain access to a privately owned painting from 1883 that will not only interest our readers but will probably stimulate discussion of the buildings and features of the town in Victorian times. In 2012 we used part of this picture as a WyeWeb banner image. Although we have had some misfortune with the old website we have been able to capture many of our pieces and images from 2007 to 2016 so we shall be able, gradually, to restore some of the more historic images and pieces! Meanwhile, have a look at the above image and see if you can identify buildings in the village from 1883!
The chalk quarry is clearly visible, as is the church and college buildings, what else can you identify?
Friday saw the first of three days celebrating English beer. Although Wye’s public houses have seen more than a few brilliant summers there is something refreshing in the idea of convivial drinking on The Green in midsummer. So it was that in addition to the beers there was also contemporary music. The quietude of Wye needs to be shaken up from time to time since the normal slow and steady pace of village life can help disassociate us from the wilder temprement of the world.
The Festival runs over Saturday – the main day – and Sunday, try to get along and enjoy yourselves.
The shocking discovery that some 600 tower blocks have the combustible cladding used in Grenfell Tower will dwell on the minds of our compatriots. Hopefully, in our small but beautiful neck of the wood, we shall not have this to worry about. But our thoughts are with the elderly and children who seem to have been disproportionately affected.
“Linescapes: Remapping and Reconnecting Britain’s Fragmented Wildlife by Hugh Warwick.
It is rare to find a landscape untouched by our lines – the hedges, walls, ditches and dykes built to enclose and separate; and the green lanes, roads, canals, railways and powerlines designed to connect. This vast network of lines has transformed our landscape.
Linescapes offers a fresh and bracing perspective on Britian’s countryside, one that proposes a challenge and gives ground for hope; for while nature does not tend to striaght lines and discrete borders, our lines can and do contain real potential for wildness and for wildlife.”
Our earlier lament about the butterflies that we have observed in and around Wye this year was not meant to imply that we had NO butterflies but simply that the conditions for their thriving are absent. Nevertheless these wondrous additions to our beautiful countryside have re-appeared. Some, we have failed to capture good images, such as the Common Blue, the Red Admiral and the Peacock.
A Memory of Wye Sixty or Seventy Years Ago – By one Who Lived There 
The first thought that crosses one’s mind “Has Wye and its present inhabitants altered much since those times”? If we look at Wye itself the old town remains much about the same except for the houses recently built on its outskirts. Taking a walk from Boughton Corner to the station you would have noticed a large hop-garden on the right hand side now converted into an orchard also a smaller hop-garden lower down on the opposite side of the road and Bramble(s) Farm was the only house there until you turned the corner towards the station where there used to be a village pound opposite the present house then inhabited by a Mrs. Pearce, a grey-hound trainer.
Shortly after we got WyeWeb up and running we asked Ann Sutherland if she would like to come on board of our venture. Anyone acquainted with Ann will know that she never turns down an offer when it comes to addressing the concerns of the community. So, since Ann is no longer directly associated with our website we thought that it only right and proper to express our gratitude with a slideshow of her contributions over the last decade.
Nobody this week can have not been moved by the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower inferno that has robbed innocent people of family and home. Nobody cannot believe that there are serious answers needed not only to questions of design and construction but of social neglect. However, will the balm of solace be found through mass demonstrations and political rallies?
No doubt that the Prime Minister’s failure to draw close to the residents is a cause for criticsm of either inept advice or poor personal judgement but so is politcal opportunism that suggests that a million demonstrators in the streets should bring down the government. It is all, sadly, reminiscent of the Arab Spring when, some well intentioned individuals sought to condemn police behaviour that resulted in a desperate self-immolation. Once the mob is used by malevolent agents to deflect agencies seeking to give comfort and to find solutions to the tragedy, then our civilisation is lost.
Maybe it was the heat of summer like that which created the outbursts of Toxteth, Tottenham and Wandsworth over racial injustice, but let us hope that this tragedy does not become an excuse for igniting the conflict of civilizations. We have a reputation in this country of slow but steady progress, many seem to have forgotten that. Social systems do not behave at all predictably when they are moved from incremental trajectories to regions of chaotic behaviour. People who identify thenmselves as citizens of the UK should pause in their headlong flight into social violence and consider what they are calling down on themselves as well as others.
Before the referendum vote in June 2016 our local MP, Damian Green, had a breakfast debate with Michael Howard. Mr Green supported The Remain Campaign and Tory grandee, Lord Howard supported Brexit. Now, post the general election, our local MP has not only been returned but has been elevated to First Secretary of State in a government intent on leaving the EU.
Tim Farron has resigned from the leadership of the Liberal Democrats because of the incompatablity he feels in leading his party when he holds strong personal religious beliefs. Of course, Theresa May is a more appropriate example of the same behaviour. In her case, she was not a very vocal supporter of Brexit, but, nevertheless, sceptics may be excused for being suspicious of her volte face.
Shouldn’t we expect our political representatives to consider the incompatabilities in their beliefs when they stand for election? Is our vote for or against them to be judged so lightly? Or are we right to be cynical about why they wish to represent us? Winston Churchill accepted a time in the political wilderness until his prescient view of German rearmament ensured a return on his terms.