Monday, 27 September 2010

Very proud to be from Thringstone

Back in the summer of 1973 I was brought from the maternity unit of Leicester Royal Infirmary and taken to what would become my home for the next 25 years of my life on Main Street in Thringstone.

In those 25 years there appeared to me to be very little change in the village.

I can vividly remember daily walks to and from Thringstone Primary School, my regular drink (when I was slightly older) on a Thursday night at the Queens Head after badminton at the Community Centre, and crossing the road on what seemed like a daily basis to Foxons shop for either a bar of chocolate or a comic (my weekly edition of 'Match' was my favourite).

So vivid are my memories of Foxons I am still slightly perturbed now when I go down Main Street and realise I can't buy a copy of the Dandy (I was never a Beano man) but I could have my roots done if I wanted.

When I left Thringstone to get married, I didn't exactly move far - only to Whitwick, in some ways I failed to notice that the village was changing.

First one pub closed, and then almost overnight all of them were gone. The newsagent shut. Even Thringstone Aquatics was gone.

The only constant seems to be Ruby's (where I still go for my fabulous fish and chips) but even Michael and Sonia have reduced trading hours. Long gone are the times when you could call in for a post-pub portion of chips and battered sausage. There is, after all, no point in staying open that late when there are no post-pub customers left to serve.

Yet, even from this position of many long-treasured family businesses closing over the past few years there has been a reawakening of community spirit in the village. Much of this has been down to the success of what was initially a small but now growing number of dedicated people who formed the 'Friends of Thringstone' group.

The stated aims of the Friend of Thringstone are to '...improve the environment of Thringstone and to preserve and promote its history for the benefit of residents and visitors'. And boy, they are doing a cracking job!

Take a walk around the village and you will see how much pride there is. Have a look at the flower beds and other planting schemes. Ponder on the historic blue plaques. Stroll down to Bob's Closs (it was always massively overgrown when I was a kid). Have a read of some of the excellent local history booklets that have been produced....and this is only the tip of the iceberg.

The thing that particularly strikes me when I am in Thringstone is the lack of litter. This is in no small part down to the regular litter picks that Friend of Thringstone organise and everyone who live or visits the village should be thankful for this.

If you want to know more about the Friends of Thringstone take a look at their comprehensive website at . You will see I am doing them a huge disservice when I mention only a few of the many things they have accomplished.

OK, the village still hasn't got a pub on The Green and some of the businesses have closed but due to the fantastic work of groups like Friends of Thringstone I am very proud to say that's where I'm from.

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