Parish Clerks are not timelords, so we don’t have a Tardis at our disposal. The best we can manage are the documents of the past as pathways to our history.
Everyone uses our knowledge of the past to make sense of the present. We set markers in our memory to indicate significant events in our lives which may have included moving to Kibworth.
When we discuss major planning developments and how Kibworth has changed, we compare the Kibworth of today, with when we first discovered the village and explored it, perhaps even unpacking everything in our new home. From the moment the removal van left we became part of Kibworth and began taking ownership of it.
Michael Wood, in his ground-breaking ‘Story of England’ BBC TV series, told how Kibworth changed over the centuries. What made Michael’s programmes so outstanding was an underlying (and understated) theme that, despite change, human experience remains relatively consistent. For example, the people of Kibworth faced plagues and devastating infections in the past, and we are all still aware of illnesses that continue to frighten us and affect so many families today.
Michael also showed how employment moved from the farms to the factories, how the children of the Kibworth were educated, and the reasons for the housing developments that became the ‘New Town’ of Kibworth Beauchamp, where Dover Street and Gladstone Street now stand.
In Victorian times Kibworth had several local builders and landowners willing to sell their land. John Loveday built superb houses (and probably the Grammar School Hall). John Mason and his son, Edward Woodford, were not far behind. Today, their work is part of our heritage.
In recent years, hundreds of new homes have been built in Kibworth, with many more on the drawing board. Each new planning proposal is more controversial than the last for reasons which have been well-rehearsed in meetings and consultations.
There are 4,841 people on the present Electoral Registers of the two Kibworth villages, all of whom pay council taxes and can vote at elections. Each with personal memories of Kibworth and reasons for living here. Each with a voice that could be used to comment on the latest housing development proposed, which, if it went ahead, would change the character of Kibworth once again.
Parish Clerk, KBPC