Pages 4 – 5
Thus the potential gulf between the new population and the old has a number of origins not the least of which is simply the town versus country upbringing. Although very many contacts have been made between the new inhabitants and the existing village organisations there is good evidence of dissatisfaction with the leisure and social facilities available in the village and of a need to create their own exclusive leisure activities among the newcomers. In fact it is notable that already one of these clubs functions at as high a level of sophistication and organisation as any of the existing bodies in the old village. It clearly fills a need and has all the signs of being a viable and enduring organisation.
It is also our impression that few of the newcomers have any sympathy towards or understanding of such bodies as the Women’s Institute (who have certainly not increased their membership substantially from the influx of young women) and the newcomes’ image of this body is often the townsman’s one of a number of elderly ladies in felt hats who mainly drink tea nad knit. (This is in fact the opposite of the truth as far as Chinnor W.I. is concerned.) There is probably very little sympathy for what remains of the ‘squirearchy’ of the village or for the traditional village religious orientations. It is interesting that recently the occupants of one new estate by concerted action were prepared to challenge the rights and actions of a senior member of the old village society.
This energy and drive is at present lost fo the village as a whole, unfortunately, but we assume that gradual integration between the adult generations of village and estate will occur. The problem may be more acute in the next two decades with the children of the estates who will take up the parent’s attitudes and expectations. It is most important that these children should achieve integration at both personal and group level into the life of the rest of the village community and they can do this only through three agencies – the primary school, the leisure activities outside school hours and their parent’s attitudes and activities.
Both sides of the village will need to adjust, but it is probable that the existing village organisations will have the greater adjustment to make in terms of the raising of their standards of performance, the level of sophistication of their activities and the range of these activities.
We are well aware that Chinnor is a microcosm compared to towns like Cumbernauld and Harlow but were the healthy development of only a few teenagers at stake it would still matter that a community did its very best to aid their growth into mature and happy adults.
Chinnor may find itself with this responsibility for as many as 800 teenagers by 1980 and it is in our opinion an indictment of those concerned with effecting the planning policy of the County Council that this enormous expansion should have been allowed to take place during so few years in a community whose resources were so totally unprepared for it in every way.