In his poetry John Betjeman often spoke of vanished and vanishing times. Times less rushed. He had a keen eye and wide knowledge, not least of wild flowers. Hence he wrote feelingly of ‘Lady’s Finger, Smokewort, Lovers’ Loss . . . . sorrel and the gold-starred moss’. A conservationist, he deplored what he saw as ill-considered ugly developments, the destruction of natural beauty. He wished to preserve things of elegance and historic worth, and championed causes to that end.
Nostalgic? Maybe. Yet people like him are needed to open our eyes to the irreplaceable things we take for granted. Things whose loss would perhaps be devastating. Their values do not have pound signs attached, because they are beyond price; as is with so much of true benefit.
The aim of conservation is to protect such in the interests of all, not simply of those who are actively involved. It is far from being no more than an enjoyable hobby for the enthusiast. It matters.
The work party on 7th July was involved in the preparation for the ‘In Bloom’ judging later in the month, working mainly at the West Street garden and Old Mill Drive. We were glad to support the many others who give their time to keep our community attractive. We hope all such efforts will be recognised by the judges!
We have a break in August, and meet up again on 1st September at 10.00am at Fryern Dell, to continue our project of restoration of and care for the Victorian Garden. Perhaps in the spirit of John Betjeman? Those who share our concerns are invited join us if possible. Healthy exercise, cheerful company guaranteed. Tools provided, work clothes recommended. In the meantime, enjoy the holiday season.
For information about this and all our activities, or on becoming a member, please get in touch with Chairman Mick Denness on 01903 745971, or see our website www.storringtonconservation.org.uk.