Referring to a little souvenir booklet from 1909 written by the workers who created the Auchentibber Quoiting Green and surrounding gardens, these words describe how the old quarry at Auchentibber was turned into something useful. It also sets out to describe how Village Inns in general were losing character and a yearning for something more akin to the lively inns of old.
“The Old Quarry – Behind the Inn, for a considerable distance, stretched an old abandoned quarry, a convenient chute for the village rubbish and bearing an abundant crop of vigorous weeds. To attempt to kindle enthusiasm in such a place was no easy task, but by patiently pointing out what could be done with the place, interest was at length aroused and a start was made. Decline of the Old Village Inn – at first sight there does not seem to be any connection between these 2 facts, but closer examination will reveal otherwise. The Village Inn in most places is now but a name. Its ‘couthieness’, its joyousness, its utility as a neutral meeting place for people of all shades of opinion, are features which have vanished or are fast vanishing away.
The regret is now, instead of all these attributes, we have a Drink Shop, encompassed by legislation more or less fatuous and which has only too surely succeeded in divorcing its victims from the true spirit of village hostelry. Old Time Chivalry – in the olden days, men – keen antagonists but a few moments before in pursuit of some country game, would foregather in the Inn and sharing a pot of ale, with an old-world courtesy, forget with the true spirit of sportsmen and good fellow any friction which a hotly – contested games might have engendered.”
In these wonderful previously unseen online photos from 1909, the upper and lower terraces are captured surrounding the quoiting green. These were located on the western side of the quoiting green, the raised terrace constructed of earthworks, with timber uprights, creating some summer shading. The photos indicate small tables and chairs were positioned along the upper terrace, creating a wonderful place to have sat in the mornings and early afternoons, in the sun, with a drink from the inn watching the sports. In late afternoon and especially in the evenings, this upper terrace would have been in the shade, as pictured. The photo also shows beautiful beds of flowers on the embankments, in full bloom.
On the other photos, the lower terraces are seen in some detail. A narrow path with rockeries and flowerbeds on the nearby slopes, separates the picket fences of the flat quoiting green. Timber edging, gravel paths and large ornamental planters also beautify the terraces. It is known also that the old quarry was filled in with water to create an ornamental pool at the opposite end of the gardens, which was at one time filled with fish in summer.