Sue Woodcock: Why a sense of community means everything to us

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LAST year, I was asked to help raise some funds for the provision of water and the installation of a toilet at Hubberholme Church.

There wasn’t much I could do but I did give a talk and help with some other events.

The church and the congregation are both lovely and welcoming and it is a building I am very fond of. I even wrote a poem for them.

We thought it would take up to four years to raise about £30,000 to cover it but with the help of some grants and a lot of hard work we are close to the target.

I was delighted to receive an invitation to the thanksgiving service and the opening of the completed toilet on a warm evening when the whole world seemed to be rejoicing with us.

Even though this is a small community it just goes to show the goodness and community spirit that can be found in this part of the world.

The next morning the rain arrived. It was much cooler and the water butts around my house soon refilled.

At times it has been quite cold and totally miserable. Then the sun comes out and it is hot and sticky, although it is the middle of August it can hardly be described as summer.

A friend has had a summerhouse built in her garden which she thoroughly enjoys but her neighbour did ask if it was warm enough. They decided that it would be pleasant for about six weeks as that is the maximum summer we can expect this year.

We have an extra rehearsal for the Buckden singers to accommodate the TV crew from The Dales programme.

It was difficult to reproduce the mistakes we had previously cured ourselves of but with much laughter we managed it.

Considering it is holiday season the turnout was very good and everyone made a real effort.

The choir has been built on the hard work and dedication of a small group of people and I am amongst their admirers.

More people have come to view the house and I have liked all of them so far.

All of the rescue battery chickens that have been thriving over the past few months have moved on to proper homes so I am left with just a few special ones that are all characters I am fond of.

I managed to catch some of the sheep and tend to their feet and trim off a horn on one of my Scottish black-faced wethers that was going too close to his eye.

It took ages to do with a small hacksaw but I shall make a couple of buttons out of the bit I removed and he is the better for it.

In the barn the swallows are raising a second clutch of chicks and the noise they make is quite deafening at times. There are a lot of young rabbits about too, much to Boo’s delight. Little Ginny has a new home which she will go to very soon. She is a great little dog but wants to be the only dog and her new owners are just right for her.

There may be some disadvantages to living in an outlying rural community but these are more than compensated for when we have seen in in the inner cities this week.

Times are hard for everybody at the moment but there is no excuse for the anarchy that has emerged.

We do suffer from the greed of thieves and their total disregard for the victims that have had to put up with metal theft and the theft of agricultural machinery, but the community values what it has here.

The inner cities are very far removed from our way of life where we care about each other. City dwellers may have a 24-hour service culture but give me the old fashioned and simpler life of the countryside any time.

Our youngsters have a good work ethic and some healthy attitudes. I know that I would never consider living in a city again.

It is no good blaming the emergency services. The fault for this appalling state of disorder lies wholly with the criminals.

Soon things will be back to the normal state of life here. I hope the same can be said of the rest of the country. We live in trouble times!