Saturday, June 21, 2014

Bob Marley, Shropshire and a craft village that nearly was

Bob Marley's father was a white Englishman and when I was in Shropshire a couple of weeks ago, the BBC West Midlands television news screened a report about him.

It seems that, after being conscipted during the First World War, Norval Marley underwent basic training at Park Hall Army Camp outside Oswestry. He did not prove to be much of a soldier and reported sick with incontinence. You can hear all about that in a BBC Radio Shropshire feature.

When I tweeted about the news report, Gillian Darley (who has just been elected president of The Twentieth Century Society) replied that the name Park Hall rang a bell and she thought there had been a scheme to found some sort of craft village there.

A little research proved she was right. The Communes Britannica site says:
In 1976 serious proposal were put forward in 1976 by a group called the ‘The Association for the Development of a Craft Village and Centre for Charities’ to transform over 200 large wooden barrack buildings at the Park Hall Army Camp outside Oswestry in Shropshire into a village sized community. 
A planning application was submitted to turn the 260 acre army base in to a craft village with workshops and accommodation for craft workers, “… each having his own living accommodation, workshop and (share of) a retail shop.” 
While the idea was given support by council meetings at both District and County levels it was turned down at a County planning committee meeting by 13 votes to 11.

No comments: