Those of you who are regular travellers with "By Stargoose And Hanglands" will know that I think nothing of walking or cycling miles to call in at forgotten churches in distant villages. It'll often include a train journey or hopping onto a rural bus to get even further afield. But somehow it's harder to kindle the enthusiasm to pedal a mile across the fields to photograph a place I've known for years.
I used to cycle through Barton every morning on my way to work. Sometimes on a summer's evening I'd wander over to The Hoops for a pint and I used to have friends who lived in the village. So lets start this brief nostalgia trip at the village duckpond.
Like most Cambridgeshire villages there's a lot of rather undistinguished twentieth-century housing, mostly semi-detached, brick-built houses, all very comfortable and practical to live in but lacking the character of older buildings. But if you look around you can usually find a few old cottages....
....and some rather finer dwellings.
Virginia creeper gets a foothold, softening the lines of some houses.
These board-clad houses are unusual to find in East Anglian villages, but don't you just love that wonderful heart-shaped gate?
This quiet road leads down to the church and the primary school too.
It's still got the old-style school sign, I think these were phased out in about the 1970s, but this one, on a back road, seems to have been overlooked. How many girls these days go off to school swinging a satchel, and how many boys wear caps and short trousers? I hope somebody saves some of these old signs for posterity.
The Hoops pub is still there.
And there are a few old thatched cottages to be found here and there.....
.....some with proper-job cottage gardens.
Cyclamen clusters around the old trees on the green.
And it's got a very nice village sign which celebrates the Women's Institute and the two pubs, The White Horse and The Hoops. The main part of the sign features the village duckpond and the church. Ah, I'll be getting to the church in the next post.....