Country Life in Palterton

Two menbers of the Sowter family

The main purpose of this site is to arouse an interest
in the local history of Palterton and to appreciate
some of the problems that faced our ancestors.

Village history is the real history of England, since
it is the history of the common man.

Each man took an active part in the government of
the village, acting in rotation as churchwarden,
overseer of the poor, constable and pinder.

Their reports were read and passed at the annual Vestry meeting, usually held in the parish
church and attended by the inhabitants, who had the right to query any item.

Village histories, although having a common basis, differ widely
in character and personalities.

Our forefathers in Palterton were mostly agricultural
labourers and associated trades.

They were mostly poor, uneducated: yet through their
customs, folk songs, games, proverbs, local parish
and above all religious life - all dating back more than
1000 years - they were conscious of handing on the
immemorial traditions of the village which their great
grandchildren have almost forgotten.

George Whitworth, blacksmith, seen with fellow blacksmith Mr. Askew and Mr. Skelton in the background

The people of Palterton in yesteryear, for all their lack of education, had a 'culture' of their own:
unlike the present generation who for all their media, have hardly begun to acquire one.

The result is that a large and growing section of the village is more or less consciously out of
touch with the village traditions of Palterton.  Newcomers have mostly no knowledge
of these traditions and show little desire to be part of the village life.

A group in c1955 potato picking

The need for forging links between the past and present has
never been more obvious than at the present time.

Country Life in Palterton


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Created 2 December 2001
Last updated: 1 February 2004