St Mary's church, Steeple Ashton
Steeple Ashton’s best-kept village secret
Despite a growing emphasis on news, Points West has always reflected the beauty of the region’s cities, towns and villages that help define the West Country and shape its character.
In 1969 Jonathan Dimbleby, the brother of David and son of Richard, reported from Steeple Ashton near Trowbridge to discover the secret behind the community’s Best Kept Village award.
Longs Arms, Steeple Ashton
Known for its ‘wool-town’ status, Steeple Ashton continues to trade on its historical good looks – from the old-world charm of the cottages and houses surrounding the village green, to the intriguing ‘blindhouse’, and the grandeur of its parish church.
The one thing that Dimbleby’s film shows is how little the village has changed.
While many of our West Country communities have been altered beyond all recognition, this film provides proof that some things are well-worth preserving.
And may be it is this unchanging longevity that prompted the judges to honour Steeple Ashton with the award “Best Kept Wiltshire Village” in 1969 – after all, such awards are not given out solely on the fact that someone got up early one morning to cut the grass and sweep away the litter.
In this film from Points West broadcast on 24th October 1969, Jonathan Dimbleby is seen talking to local residents about their thoughts on Steeple Ashton, as well as collecting filmed evidence of the village’s undeniable beauty.
However, despite a feeling that time has stood still in this West Wiltshire village there are, in fact, some important hidden changes.
According to the website “Information Britain”, Steeple Ashton’s lock-up no longer holds drunks and vagrants but now houses the lawn mower used to cut the village green.
So now we know the true secret behind their Best Kept Village status. Perhaps someone should let Jonathan Dimbleby know!
Click on the 'Play archive film' link at the top of the right hand side box.
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last updated: 22/01/2009 at 10:51
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