February is here and the lighter nights have started making an appearance and that is always welcome. By mid month it always reminds me that winter is on the way out and warmer days are coming.
Here on top of the world it is when the moors start to change colour and the village starts to come to life again. Now village life is not for every one but I like it. Villages are places were people care about each other and were people stop in the street for a chat and you can find out about what has happened since the last time you managed to stop for a chat.
In this day and age it is becoming increasingly harder to make sure that village life as we know it will survive for future generations.
Diggle is like many other pennine communities it has a church, a couple of Pubs and a very good post office. The only issue is that all of these institutions are under threat.
Our local church St Chads is threatened with closure because of the repairs that need carrying out.
Pubs all over the country are closing at a phenomenal rate, we are lucky in that the two we have have recently changed hands but who knows how long they will last in the current financial climate.
Finally our local Post Office which until now survived is the only way that people can use any form of banking services is a godsend.
Saddleworth as an area is a very desirable place to live and with that property prices are at a premium. This means that our community is becoming more of a dormitory rather that a mixed vibrant community.
With people having to work longer hours or commute further it means that all the people who used to volunteer to run the many organisations and events that make a village are now few on the ground and it is these people who keep our villages vibrant and full of life.
So I do question how long the activities that I hold dear will carry on. So if you live in a small community it is vital that you get involved. No matter how little time you can offer, collectively a group of people can achieve far more than individuals.
Just think of all the traditions that could be lost because we are collectively too busy. From Whit Walks, Brass Band Competitions, The Rush Cart Weekend, The Diggle Blues Festival and all the other things that happen in the area.
These events take a lot of people and a great deal of effort to organise. So if you love living in a village then please invest a little time and expertise to keep our very pleasant lifestyle alive and well.
If you do you will feel great knowing that you have contributed and I can guarantee you will make some lifelong friends in the process.