Grange Moor and Flockton, West Yorkshire

Grange Moor and Flockton are two villages in the parish of Kirkburton, West Yorkshire, both with similar concerns as Amanda Griffiths discovers PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOHN COCKS

On the surface the villages of Grange Moor and Flockton are very similar. Both once relied on mining and agriculture and with the demise of these industries have become commuter villages. They retain village essentials like a pub, church, post office and thriving schools as well as other local shops and both share similar concerns when it comes to community needs.

Lin Holroyd, a member of Kirkburton Parish Council which looks after both villages as well as another nine, has lived in Flockton for 30 years. 'I think if people want to be part of a village community then this is a very welcoming place to be,' she says. 'Of course things have changed greatly even in the time I've been here. When we first moved here most of the working men were employed at one of the pits at Bullhouse, Emley Moor or Caphouse. Now the village is made up of commuters, although I think there's a good mix of both commuters and those who have lived here all their lives.'

Lin, an ex-schoolteacher, is particularly proud of the village school which has a healthy roll call at the moment and is looking forward to a full intake in September. But there are one or two issues of concern for Flockton residents. The first, Lin says, is the issue of a by-pass which has been rumbling on for years.

'When people think of Flockton they think of Barnsley Road and being stuck in a traffic jam,'

she says. 'We're on the main road through to the M1 and consequently get a lot of traffic and with the new industrial development at Grange Moor we get a lot of lorries coming through. There is a weight limit and various traffic calming measures but at peak times of the day traffic backs up all the way through the village.

'The other thing we could do with is a social centre where we could have more facilities for younger people - perhaps a youth club,'adds Lin.

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'We've got three playgrounds for younger children but apart from the two pubs there's no real social centre where we could offer other clubs suitable for other residents.'

There's a similar story just a few miles down the road in Grange Moor according to licensee of The New Inn, Tracey Plant. 'Grange Moor has changed a lot in just the time I've been here. It used to be a small village but an awful lot of additional houses have popped up.We've still got our post office and there are a number of other businesses including a hairdressing salon in the village.

We've lost those traditional shops like the butcher and grocer but so have a lot of villages. But what we haven't lost is that sense of community spirit - just recently the playgroup raised money for a new roof and I think everybody chipped in to help out.

'That's what makes it a great place to live. There's never a dull moment and there are real characters with some fascinating stories to tell.'

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