The most simple answer is to say, “I haven’t lived anywhere else”.
There is a reason for this. Born on the family farm in Quernmore, I attended the village primary school before moving on to Lancaster Royal Grammar School, where for me sporting activities took priority over academic study.
Leaving school with just one A’ Level, I took employment with Lancaster Farmers’ Auction Mart, as a livestock auctioneer and eventually branching out into land agency. I stayed with the firm for 42 years, before joining Armitstead Barnett. Throughout those years, I was offered the opportunity to work for different companies around the country, but I chose to remain in Quernmore.
There are many reasons why I love my village and why I have no desire to move. Firstly, the location. The Quernmore Valley must rank as one of the most picturesque, with the Forest of Bowland with its green pastures sloping gradually, then more steeply on its Eastern side to the height of Clougha Pike. The colours of the landscape are constantly changing, reflecting the movement of the seasons, with the purple heather, as Autumn approaches, being especially spectacular. All this only 3 miles (a nice walk on a Summer’s evening) from Lancaster city centre.
Secondly, the people. My earliest recollections are of all residents being involved in country pursuits: – farmers, game-keepers, farm labourers and tradesmen necessary to support a village community, a close-knit friendly community.
Over the last 40 years many properties have been acquired by people who have moved to the Lancaster area to take employment at the hospital and university. This has brought with it a more diverse culture, ensuring a thriving community and maintaining the village school, an unusual thing in today’s villages.
When the original family farmstead was developed and sold, I was asked if I wanted to include my cottage and was advised that I could buy wherever I wanted. I chose to stay.