Posts Tagged ‘Easterton Echoes’

Forty years ago

September 6, 2016

Easterton Echoes is a good source of reminders of what was happening in the last 40 years. These extracts come from the September 1976 issue – precisely 40 years ago.

Local news item on the retirement of Dr Ashford Brown

Local news item on the retirement of Dr Ashford Brown

Back in 1976 we were before the computer age. Desk top publishing was still in the future. Duplication was from stencils cut by typewriters and it all looks really quite amateurish these days. Mind, it is not helped by somebody forgetting to change the month and it being crossed out and then hand written.

But the news item refers to the retirement of Dr Ashford Brown who had been the local doctor since the early 1950s. He chose a bicycle as his retirement present from the good folks of Easterton.

A verse reminds us of one of the top stories, both locally and nationally, of 1976. This was the year of the drought. It was a year in which the government created a special minister to deal with the effects of a real water shortage.

A verse reflecting on a story of local and national importance

A verse reflecting on a story of local and national importance

Well done to M E Faulkner, and well done, too, to that Minister for Drought. Almost as soon as he was appointed the heavens opened and many of us went out to stand in the rain, laughing and smiling and chatting with one and all. The drought was over.

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From Easterton Echoes – July 1979

January 5, 2015

1979 is 35 years ago but to many older folk it will feel like yesterday. But much has happened in the field of communications in that time and this extract from Easterton Echoes – the fiftieth one released, makes that point. Back in 1979 the news sheet, delivered to all households in Easterton, was produced on a typewriter and they often had individual quirks – either of the machine or maybe the user. This one, very definitely, delivers a rather pale letter ‘g’. This extract was sent by a former Easterton resident living in the USA. Back in 1979, he’d have written it (maybe typed it) and sent it in a letter to the intended recipient. The letter almost certainly crossed the Atlantic in an aeroplane for by 1979 the days of the ocean liners had all but ended. Even so, it would have taken several days to get the letter to its destination. Nowadays, the sender of this letter will be able to see this post the moment it is published and, if he does see it and chooses to, he could send an instant response. So it is a very different world. And here is what was written back then.

Extract from Easterton Echoes number 50 - July 1979

Extract from Easterton Echoes number 50 – July 1979

‘Memories’
There was a time, not so long ago, when a young man walked daily over the hills above Easterton. Intimate to him were Chalky Track and Green Hill, Eastcott Hill and the dewponds. Every rain eroded valley, every clump of grass and bush was a familiar milestone to him. He would walk to Redhorn, to the Pumping Station, to nowhere in particular, happy in the gentle serenity of it all. He remembers now so very well the exhilaration and familiar loveliness of each rolling hill, fresh in his mist which shrouded everything until the red sun rose and melted it away to reveal the sleeping village below. He remembers the shivering coolness of a late summer evening when the lowing of a cow sounded so close yet was probably far away. Also in his memory are the nights of the harvest moon when he would sit on the dew laden grass revelling in the tranquillity of it all and watching the yellow lights in the village below blink out one by one – knowing well the people whom the lights represented.  He can see and feel these things in his dreams and in waking he feels lacking.
There are hills, valleys, tracks and gulleys around his new home so far away and over the past six years he has eagerly explored them all.  But those that he left, not so long ago, will always be – to him – second to none.
Nigel Kent, USA

We gather Nigel was about to make a brief return visit. He may be disappointed now, to find that most of Salisbury Plain has been closed to the public. The Pumping Station, for example, is now off limits within the military range. But much of Nigel’s world from forty years ago still remains.