New Year vigil for abandoned village
Ecovillage Network UK
office at evnuk.org.uk
Fri Jan 6 19:19:21 GMT 2006
Vigil is held for an abandoned village
18:00 - 05 January 2006
People from all walks of life visited Imber on Salisbury Plain over the
Christmas and new year period when access to the abandoned village,
normally out of bounds to the public, was temporarily opened by the
Ministry of Defence.
The fourth consecutive New Year's Eve Peace Vigil was held in the village
at noon, led by organiser Ruth Underwood.
Ms Underwood is the daughter of the late peace campaigner Austin Underwood,
who started a campaign for Imber's restoration in 1961.
Representatives from various Wiltshire faith communities attended,
including Quakers, the Devizes Peace Group and Swindon Interfaith, with
members of the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship and the Movement for the
Abolition of War.
Ms Underwood said: "The Peace Vigil is not a political rally nor a platform
for anti-military activity.
"It is an opportunity to focus on our common humanity in the search for
sustainable, non-violent solutions to conflict which avoid the tragedies of
"We look forward to the day when restoration of St Giles's Church is
complete and its potential can be realised as a place of spiritual retreat,
historical and environmental awareness, community development and
creativity - a training ground for peace education and reconciliation."
Requisitioned by the Army during the Second World War, the village is now
in the middle of the Salisbury Plain Army training range.
When the Army took control of Imber in 1943 the villagers left on condition
that they could return as soon as hostilities were over, but the Army
reneged on its promise.
The poignancy of the ghost village has inspired the imagination of the
international community, and on New Year's Eve journalists from the
Washington Post travelled to the site to interview former residents.
The few surviving evacuees were very young when they were evicted from
Jane Paget accompanied her uncle Ken Mitchell, 79, to Imber to revisit his
birth place. Mr Mitchell left the village aged 17.
Mrs Paget said Imber was in her blood.
"Where other children listened to Hansel and Gretel at bedtime, I heard
stories about Imber," she said.
"This is a scattered community. The surviving inhabitants only see each
other once a year.
"It's so bleak and desolate, but people get drawn back here.
"I've been talking to a lot of people who have been visiting Imber for the
first time. We need young people to carry on visiting and to let other
people know about it."
One young person who attended was Jon Nash, now studying drama at Exeter
He co-wrote a play about the evacuation of Imber which was performed at the
Woolstore Theatre in Codford during his A-level theatre studies at Kingdown
EcoVillage Network UK PeopleFinder - http://www.peoplefinder.org.uk
A new contact point for getting involved in the UK EcoVillage movement.
EVN-UK MAILING LIST: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ecovillageuk
Subscribe (approx. 1 post/2wks.): ecovillageuk-subscribe at yahoogroups.com
CHAPTER 7 - http://www.tlio.org.uk/chapter7/
The UK's Rural Sustainable Settlement Planning Campaign
'Chapter 7 News' - 16-20pp. quarterly - £2.00 ea. £7.00 per annum sub. from
The Potato Store, Flaxdrayton Farm, South Petherton, Somerset, TA13
chapter7 at tlio.demon.co.uk
Tel. 01460 249204
ECOVILLAGE GUIDE BOOKS - available (postage included) from
Mulberry House, 19 Maple Grove, Bath, BA2 3AF - 01225 484472
UK > 'Diggers and Dreamers' - Annual directory of UK Communities - £6.00
EUROPE > 'Eurotopia' - Directory of Intentional Communities and Ecovillages
in Europe - £15.00
COTTARS AND SQUATTERS > Reccommended: UK land rights history - £10.00
PERMACULTURE MAGAZINE - http://www.permaculture.co.uk/
Quarterly colour mag. for enquiring minds and original thinkers everywhere.
Hyden House Ltd, The Sustainability Centre, East Meon, Hampshire GU32 1HR,
info at permaculture.co.uk
Tel. 01730 823311
ECOVILLAGE NETWORK UK (that's us!) - http://www.evnuk.org.uk
Populating the rhetoric of rural sustainability
Volunteers: Russ Curgenven, Nikki Ali, Tony Gosling, Pam Norris, Joyce
PO Box 1410, Bristol, BS99 3JP
Tel. 0117 373 0346
evnuk at gaia.org, office at evnuk.org.uk
DIGGERS AND DREAMERS - Searchable community database
Diggers & Dreamers, a UK guide to communal living for more than 10 years
c/o Edge of Time Ltd, BCM Edge, London, WC1N 3XX, UK
info at diggersanddreamers.org.uk
Tel. 07000 780536
WWOOF - http://www.wwoof.org/wuk0.html
Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms
Join WWOOF, do some work, stay for free. Membership includes directory
PO Box 2675, Lewes, Sussex, BN7 1RB
fran at wwoof.org
PERMACULTURE ASSOCIATION UK - http://www.permaculture.org.uk
Supports individuals, projects and groups working with permaculture in Britain
Third Floor Studios, 6 Carr Mills, 322 Meanwood Road, Leeds, West
Yorkshire, LS7 2HY
office at permaculture.org.uk
Tel/Fax: 07041 390170 and 0113 262 1718
GROUNDSWELL - http://www.groundswell.org.uk
Promoting and developing self-help initiatives with the homeless
U.K. COHOUSING NETWORK - http://www.cohousing.co.uk/
Sharing expertise and experience amongst the U.K. cohousing groups.
FOREST SCHOOL CAMPS - http://www.fsc.org.uk/about.htm
Camps for kids to get back to nature with the minimum of authority.
EUROPEAN FUNDING - http://europa.eu.int/comm/environment/funding/intro_en.htm
INTL. INTENTIONAL COMMUNITIES DIRECTORY http://directory.ic.org/
GLOBAL ECOVILLAGE NETWORK, EUROPEAN OFFICES - http://www.gen-europe.org/
Rosa-Luxemburgstr. 89, D-14806 Belzig, Germany - info at gen-europe.org - 0049
Ecovillage Office, Findhorn, The Park, Forres, Moray, Scotland IV36 0TZ -
ecovillage at findhorn.org - +44 (0)1309 690154
Minutes of meetings
European email list - post <euevforum at lists.gen-europe.org> -
contact webmaster at gen-europe.org
Download free & easy to use PGP encryption at http://www.pgpi.com
More information about the Diggers350