Whatever happened to civic pride?
I suppose it is now considers to be something that is now only something seen amongst people of a certain age who are considered as being somewhat quaint and old fashioned.
Whatever did happen to politeness?
When did displaying and performing old – or should that be out of fashion – ideas becoming something that others indulgently smile at?
As for dress well don’t get me started.
And yet against the cynicism of those who deride civic pride Ipplepen would appear to be an oasis with me who still wear shirts with collars, waistcoats and corduroy trousers and polished shoes.
They almost appear to have come from a different era.
Which in the 21st century is an accurate description.
What Ipplepen has in abundance are people who not only care about the village but are also very capable (and happy) to practice and share the skills they have mastered over the years.
They are more than being a handyman (or handy woman) or even a jack of all trades being more like a master of any number of trades as they help neighbours with those jobs that are always best done before they are actually needed to be done.
Not for them breakdown crisis repairs as they find threat the windows and roof leaks during prolonged periods of high winds and heavy rainfall of which in South Devon there is an abundance throughout the winter months.
People in Ipplepen especially those who live in the original older centre of the village cottages and house lie comfortably and snugly in their beds at night listening to the weather outside beating against their homes demanding entry and being soundly rebuffed.
Devon people tend not to be so much talkers as doers.
If a job needs doing their view is there is little point in wasting time talking about it when you can just get on and do it and if anything needs doing there will be someone in the village who knows someone in the village who can do it.
It is an approach that has held the Ipplepen community in good stead down the years and thankfully shows no sign of abating.
Parish Councillors are regularly seen out and about in the village carrying out small repairs and tidying up around the bus stops and the Local District Councillor arranges regular “litter picks” to keep the village tidy.
Dog owners are now required to carry “poo bags” when walking their dogs and face fines if they don’t have them which sounds a little severe but dog fouling especially in a village with so many young children around isn’t acceptable to the residents of the village.
Civic Pride in Ipplepen has a pragmatic face and attitude not for our village an airy-fairy holistic approach of procrastination while the issues are endlessly discussed and put off when a straight forward hammer and nail would solve the problem.
Not for Ipplepen the warm egalitarian approach to life espoused by those who don’t believe in a hierarchical structure of working where everyone is equal when a job needs doing.
Life is a lot simpler in South Devon, if you need a plumber get a plumber, if you need an electrician send for Roger, if you need a plasterer send for Roger who will tell you exactly what needs doing and does it.
If you want a cosy chat about what options are available and can it wait until the weather turns worse and the rain is running down the inside rather than the outside of your house don’t whatever you do send for Roger.
Unless that is you are happy to have your horoscope read (put in the picture) as to why you’re an idiot and stop wasting his time.
By the way ‘Roger’ is a number of different people.
So whatever happened to civic pride?
Well in this little corner of England it still exists and long may it continue to do so.
Otherwise all of the Rogers and Rogerettes would be out of work.