Letter: The grim reality of yesterday's villages

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The Independent Online
Sir: Nicholas Roe ('A nasty cottage industry', 3 May) has got his thinking in a twist. He may not like the 'commuter' village life as it is today any more than, say, losing the fields that once were central London, but that is what country villages are like, created by the many, varied circumstances of modern life.

But not even the odd farmworker still left would choose to return to the days of not many years past, of no BMWs meaning no roads and living virtually your whole life solely within walking distance. And also no electricity, water or drains; just hard work, long hours, untreated illness and injury leading to an early death.

If it is this life, so aptly portrayed by the Cobtree Museum at present, that will be expanded into a full replica village to show how difficult village life really was, the project deserves much encouragement, not his snide remarks which imply that anything popular has to be 'tacky' with 'phoney craft fairs' etc and, horror of horrors, it may actually bring in sufficient income to pay the cost of creating such a fascinating exhibition.

A good museum brings to life our history that has now passed by, and a visit to Cobtree now will show how well it can be done.

Yours faithfully,

ARTHUR GRIMSHAW

Cudham, Kent

3 May

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