Goostrey village in Cheshire Life 2012

A look back at an article by Polly Berkeley in Cheshire Life January 2012….( tho LoveGoostrey has never come across the tradition of Gooseberry throwing ! )

“Goostrey is an ‘olde worlde’ village with a thoroughly modern outlook

Goostrey demonstrates that village life is far from dead. That is the message from those who are lucky enough to have a home here. Could there be a more active village? Certainly Goostrey is hard to beat for its range of activities and local involvement.

Of course, it is a pretty location with two churches, a thriving primary school and a number of shops and pubs, including the lovely Red Lion, but it also has a tight-knit community which isnt afraid to embrace modern life.

One claim to fame is that it was, in 1975, the location for one of the first fly-on-the-wall documentary series which focused on the Womens Institute and their involvement in village life and its still reckoned to be pretty cutting edge.

Independent shops and excellent community-owned sports facilities are shining examples of how communities can thrive and in spite of its old world half-timbered buildings and beautifully weathered Cheshire brick houses, it hasnt stuck in the dark ages. In fact, Goostrey was one of the first villages in the UK to have a profile on the social networking site My Space.

Its origins as a small farming community are embodied in its architecture, parish church and delightful location, not far from Jodrell Bank Observatory.

Another delight is the local tradition of gooseberry throwing and an annual gooseberry show and in 2007 Goosfest was launched, an arts festival which continues to have a packed programme including stand-up comedy, classical, folk and contemporary music, pottery photography and art, taking place in the Red Lion, the village hall, the Crown Inn and St Lukes Church.

For visitors who want to explore Goostrey and the surrounding area, the community has produced More Goostrey Walks and Strolls, detailing with maps and images nine walks around the village.

One place to explore is the wooded valley of Red Lion Brook on the northern side of the village, known as The Bongs and which features in Alan Garners play, Holly From the Bongs, which the children of the village performed in the 1960s for the BBC. Alan Garner still lives in the village in a late 16th century house known as Toad Hall.

Where it is
Goostrey is an old farming village in the unitary authority of East Cheshire located off junction 18 of the M6 Motorway near Jodrell Bank observatory.

Where to park
Free parking is available at Goostrey Station.

Where to eat
Soaking up the atmosphere in the local pub is a great way to enjoy Goostrey. The Red Lions Grouchos restaurant has full restaurant facilities and caters for everything from a light lunch to a buffet function. The Crown Inn also has a good reputation for food and good ale.”

The print version of this article appeared in the January 2012 issue of Cheshire Life

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