Time may have changed the village of Goldenhill but one local lads loving memories of his youth have not



Where in the world would you find a village that seems to have everything?

It would have nine public houses within the village and another three just outside the village.

Oh, not forgetting a working men’s club and a British Legion club.

This imaginary place might even have an off license or outdoor beer house listed among its traders.

Now not everyone likes to sit in smoky pubs, so perhaps one day a hall could be built so that the community could gather for dances and social evenings.

Perhaps eight or nine small grocery shops would be sufficient certainly no more than that. A few sweet shops where the children can spend the pennies their grandparents give them.

Being as this is a village where men are men, they would need good strong footwear, we would need to provide at least one cobbler, although two might be better, even three, to make their clogs and repair their boots.

It might be good to have a shop which could supply nails and general bits of hardware and preferably stay open all hours.

More people these days are sending and receiving letters and parcels so it might be a good idea to have a post office perhaps in the High Street.

A police station and some very clean public toilets would be very good.

Whether you are Roman Catholic, Church of England, Zion Methodist, Wesleyan Methodist, Baptist or of the Christ Church persuasion, you could worship to your heart’s content.

The question might arise about where would all these people be buried when they die, someone would need to find some spare ground preferably near to a church, but it must be made available to accommodate everyone irrespective of their faith.

There might be small chance of finding a stone mason who could inscribe the epitaphs onto the headstones in that graveyard.

There is a small plot of land at the top of the village opposite the bus depot which could possibly be a good place to situate such a business.

But before the headstones are inscribed, they would need an undertaker, I think I know just the man for the job, he’s local and knows everyone in the village. He certainly would look the part too.

Vegetarians may be few and far between here so if your tastes were of the carnivorous kind, you could have four butchers to choose from.

This village should have its very own supply of gourmet delights and the Staffordshire Oatcake, which is famous throughout the world even in the Australian colonies, would have its own manufactory there.

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Could you imagine the need for an ice cream manufacturer, how would they distribute their product?

What transport arrangements would they have in mind to sell this luxury item door to door?

The ice cream man would probably push a hand cart around the village with his produce in there surrounded by packed ice.

In some places people like to have their milk delivered to their doorstep, there must be someone in the area who could organise this along with bread perhaps.

Perhaps if your tastes involve the humble potato, then one of the four chip shops could tempt you through their doors.

The menu could be quite varied, chips, fish and chips, chips and peas, pudding and chips or even a fritter or two might be on offer.

A Scotch egg or pickled onion might take your fancy, you never know.

If your tastes lean more towards the offal side of the menu, then tripe would definitely be your choice, with lashings of vinegar.

A fishmonger selling a whole range of products would be a distinct asset to the village.

If you were fortunate enough to be invited to a sophisticated evening function, the ladies would need to have the choice of perhaps two or three upmarket fashion establishments to purchase their evening wear.

They say that wherever you travel to in the world, you never forget your Co Op dividend number, 13629 seems to ring a bell, it might be valid there.

General goods, dry goods, butchery and confectionery would perhaps be available for purchase in their stores. In the time honoured way they would most likely bag their own sugar from hessian sacks and pat their own butter straight from the barrels.

A similar shop might be sited near this just to keep their prices competitive.

In an age before gas fires, a coal merchant or perhaps two would be a distinct advantage. The only way to deliver the coal is by horse and cart I would think.

In the winter or actually after the thaw, a resident plumber would be worth his weight in lead piping.

Perhaps in the summer months a run out to the seaside would be nice, even nicer would be a choice of bus companies to choose from. Two local family run ones and a city wide one could provide for all your transport arrangements.

The original tram station could be converted to into a bus terminus perhaps.

A regular bus service passing through to the other end of the city and to Cheshire in the other direction, stopping at several points, now that would be very good.

Now that motoring is becoming very popular, a carefully sited petrol pump could be positioned strategically on the High Street.

I wonder if this unlikely fictitious village would have at least one or perhaps two Barber shops?

Obviously, the ladies would need to be looked after in a similar way.

I suppose that a village of this size might have quite a lot of people who own a wireless set, there might even be one or two who are the proud owners of a newfangled television set.

I don’t suppose that a small settlement like this could possibly have cinema could it?

Is it too ridiculous to ask that this supposed cinema might have two separate film showings per week, just like in the big towns? No that’s asking too much.

Next you might think that it should have a snooker hall, now that is going a bit far, or is it?

With all these supposed families, there would be supposed children, who would need supposed schools.

With those children and also those different religions we mentioned before, there would be a need to provide different types of schools.

Oh dear, this is getting very complicated now, alright, let’s see what we could provide.

A school that we could call St Joseph’s to cater for the Catholic children, yes that’s a good idea.

Now then, the people of St John’s are going to expect their own school.

That’s fine, they should have an infants school and a junior school too.

The senior school will be non denominational.

A nursery, a junior school and a senior school positioned at the top of the village would be ideal.

Just down the road at Holywall Lane we could build a school to cater for the Sandyford children, infants and juniors I think.

Oh I love it when a plan comes together.

A lot of the menfolk like a newspaper to read if only to see how Port Vale or Stoke City are getting on or might be looking for a new job, surely one newsagent would be enough, two at the most.

A very small village like this couldn’t possibly justify its own furniture store, no I thought not. It would be ideal if you could just pop in there to buy a new settee or a table and chairs.

From the point where you might enter the village to the point where you would leave the village, running in a straight line the the distance might be about one mile.

Would the houses and shops be evenly distributed on either side of the road, or would they all be on the eastern side?

I wonder if a place such as this could survive almost unscathed from the early sixteen hundreds until the mid twentieth century.

Slowly but surely adding little bits here and there, a new business, a new church or school until the little gathering of hovels atop a golden hill becomes a thriving community well known for its hospitality and togetherness.

Then, in the name of progress, a city council might appear and in their infinite wisdom smash the community to pieces in the name of progress.

Even worse, this alleged city council doesn’t learn by its mistakes, it proceeds to work its way across the city doing exactly the same for the next fifty years.

Never mind, it could be worse, at least they didn’t flatten this fictitious village completely.





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