The lack of awareness of the facilities and or- ganisations available for leisure and recreation is another, which can be surely overcome with man- agement, communication and enthusiasm.
Ropley Village Appraisal Committee
The lack of involvement in the school of the children from one third of the residents is perhaps a more insoluble problem, given the present educa- tional system that exists in this country.
Chairman: Bill Gregg Treasurer: Mike Gingell Secretary: Barbara Longlands Computer Manager: Rachel Williams
But there are other concerns where it is natural to feel that something should and could be done, but where interests conflict, and where long term trends are going to bring the conflicts into greater focus. These revolve around the dependence on the car with its great advantage (and often necessity) for getting to work, shopping, leisure, and general transport, and its inherent disadvantages of accidents, making the roads and lanes unsafe for children, for walking and riding, and problems of parking and other environmental effects. Managing the balance here between convenience and preserv- ing what most people believe to be the real attrac- tiveness of Ropley will be the major challenge.
Stephen Flook, Joanne Rodgers, Tim Day, John Goddard, Jenny Nops, Liz Wheeler, Richard Day, Graham Flatt, Brian Lawes, Barbara and Gerry Woolnough, Keith Monkhouse, John Hunt (Principal Author)
Also assisted: Pat Ure, Jane Parsonson, Ron Beal (Desk Top Publishing)
The turn of the Millennium is a suitable occasion to revisit the past and consider the future.
Overall the residents of Ropley appear reason- ably contented, but there are significant concerns. The split in the church is one, which must (one hopes) be considered short term. It appears to be settling down into a cold war situation but there is no logical reason why it should continue blighting relations for a decade or two to come.
Underlying this are longer term trends still, to do with patterns of work and lifestyle. There are un- der-used farm buildings in Ropley. Is it possible to develop these as light industrial units for some local craft employment, or as low cost housing for the young? Is there the willingness to resist the inevita- ble increased pressure for more “executive” housing in the village? Can the village find a place for social drinking and leisure at its centre? Is the A31 which divides the village going to become “uncrossable”?
It is the response of the community to issues like these which will determine how far the village of
46 — Ropley at the Millennium
2050 is from the one Grace Strong remembers of 50 years ago. A village with its own sense of community and place, or a dormitory suburb for commuting, split into separate sections by the roads. Some rec- ommendations for managing the inevitable change to the benefit of the residents are outlined above; the question that remains is whether there is sufficient support to see them through.
Photographs & Artwork gratefully reproduced with permission from Tim Day, Alan Thomas, Jim Swift (Mid Hants Railway), G Smaridge, Bill Gregg, Ron Beal. All rights reserved. Rear cover aerial photographs, courtesy of the Hamp- shire Chronicle, show the centre of the village looking north on the inside cover and an excellent view of our footpaths on the outside cover.