Referring to the final part of the little souvenir booklet from 1909. Written by the workers who created the Auchentibber Quoiting Green and surrounding gardens, these words tell of the further aspirations people had for the area.
“Winter Scheme – So far, we have dwelt upon summer work only, but for the winter months, we have also a winter scheme. Last year (1908) we tried the experiment of converting part of the Inn, into a Social and Recreation Club, and the success attending our efforts has convinced us that here, also the Village Inn can do much to regain its lost prestige.
Course of Lectures – From time to time during the winter season it is our intention to secure the services of able men who will lecture on subjects of interest to all – subjects which will appeal to the average working man, and perhaps stimulate him to further research for himself. Our Aim – in short to make the Village Inn (Auchentibber Inn) the hub of village life, with wide-reaching influences for rational enjoyment, has been our aim, and if much has been done, much still remains to be accomplished. Conclusion – Were it not for the fact that it would extend this little booklet beyond its intended dimensions, we could enlarge upon other schemes which we have in contemplation, all tending in the same direction, but requiring time for their development. Our main purpose having been meantime served, we are, though somewhat reluctantly, compelled to conclude our little sketch, with the poet’s epitome often recurring to out minds;
‘To sum up all, be merry, I advise, and as we are merry, may we still be wise.’ – Anon.”
Auchentibber Inn did indeed go on to aspire to further developments. A tearoom was created which was known to exist during WW1 years and thereafter. The creation of a fishpond and completion of upper stone terraces behind the former Peasweep buildings. I’m sure the writer would have been pleased in knowing what was to be accomplished, but I can’t help feel a lasting sadness, for what wasn’t known then, would be how sharply a decline in population, employment and opportunity Auchentibber would suffer. By the late 1920’s, this was a community in decline, buildings being demolished or abandoned, mining opportunities being exhausted as people left for employment in larger pits. The decline continued throughout the 20th Century, and whilst Auchentibber remains pretty enough, it is sparsely populated now with very little sign of the gardens or quoiting ground of these community spirited glory days.
Pictured in 1909, in this previously unseen photo, is a Little Fountain which was situated at the back of the Inn. It would appear to have a central jet coming from a stone planter, with 3 further spouts surrounding it. It is unknown how this was powered. I hope you have enjoyed this rare insight into the Auchentibber Green and Gardens.