The villagers of Kimpton
PUBLISHED: 16:53 15 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:29 20 February 2013
Kimpton, a village which has around 50 community groups for a population of fewer than 3,000, this winter will see a wealth of activities as villagers explain
Villagers can be forgiven for wanting to snuggle under their warm, fluffy duvets this month as the temperatures drop and the days shorten. But not all villagers will be looking to take the easy life this December. In Kimpton, a village which has around 50 community groups for a population of fewer than 3,000, this winter will see a wealth of activities as villagers explain
Although the outdoor bowling season finished in September, Kimpton Bowls Club continues to provide social, if not sporting, activities for its 50-or-so members.
Denise Strange, the club secretary this past 12 months, has lived in the village for 33 years and believes the number of community clubs and groups is integral to the strong community spirit in the village.
During the winter months we try to get people together for social events so everyone keeps in touch and were able to meet up and enjoy each others company.
There is such a strong community spirit here and its something I really enjoy. We moved over here in the 1970s from St Albans when there were quite a lot of local groups, and they just keep forming.
In addition to the WI (Womens Institute), the Guides and the Scouts, we have a tennis club, bowls, football and badminton. At one point I was the secretary for eight groups! They just go on and on, its fantastic.
The club formed in the late 1940s and bowlers play on the recreation ground behind Kimpton Rovers football ground.
I really enjoy getting out there in the fresh air and its actually quite energetic too, walking up and down the green 20-odd times each game. I love it and I really love Kimpton.
Although the Kimpton Environmentalists group does not have the longevity of some of the other organisations in the village, it has still been running for 21 years.
One member, Davina Malcolm, says, Kimpton is such a beautiful and special place and our aims are to make people aware and appreciate not just the local area which is of course important to the villages, but also the wider environment.
Some of the things we have done include maintaining the wetland areas to the east of the village at Kimpton Mill for the birds, litter clearances and tree planting.
We do work all year round and its important to keep working in December just as we do in the spring and summer and we do our best to maintain our local environment.
The group has had a core membership of about 15 or 20 people since its formation but is now looking at larger issues in terms of global warming and is increasing participation locally.
Its difficult getting people to change their ways, but people are and people are getting involved. The whole village is getting interested and it goes to show people locally do care and do want to make a difference.
The parish of Kimpton has a network of 59 footpaths and bridleways which run for around 30 miles in length and from where there are some wonderful views, but Councillor John Bishop, the North Hertfordshire District representative for Kimpton, has an alternative favourite view the parish church.
The best aspect of it is if you see it from a few steps back. If youre able to see it from afar the best view is from the top of the football pitch on the far side of the High Street as from there you are able to see the church in the context of the valley.
Cllr Bishop has been the elected member for the Kimpton ward, which includes Peters Green, for three years.
He lives just outside the village in Whitwell to the north, but believes there is something special about the place that comes from the community living there.
Theres a real buzz about the village. Its very active and its very social. Theres always something going on and theres an intricate community spirit there.
Andy Morton is the chairman of Kimpton May Festival, an annual fixture in the village since 1965.
Since the conclusion of the 2009 festival, the 45th consecutive event, Mr Morton and his 20-plus committee of organisers have been working on plans for next years event, work which will continue throughout the festive period.
Its important that the workload is shared around as there is so much to do, but yes we continue to work through December before it really starts to hot up during January when we make sure we get everything in place.
Its very beautiful locally throughout Christmas, very tranquil, but weve always got the festival in the back of our minds to make sure we put on the best possible show come the spring.
Weve told everyone that the theme for next year is Once Upon a Time and this allows them to get to work on their procession floats, the stalls and other activities which we can work into the theme, but we pretty much work on it for most of the year.
Mr Morton has been the chairman for five years and the profits from the festival are split between Kimpton Parish Church and local good causes.