Little Eaton – A Typical English Village

 

Little Eaton is a small Derbyshire village just 4 miles North of the city of Derby. Like many small villages, it has a rich history going back to Celtic times and has a traditional summer carnival full of British culture.

Gary Austin decided to document this ‘typical village’ as an ongoing project, like many villages it is close to a busy city yet sat in the countryside. Like lots of villages it faces much change as businesses have started to be built on what was originally traditional farmland. It also has a mix of ‘born and bread’ villagers known as “Natives” as well as an influx of ‘outsiders’ who have moved into the village because of commuting distances to work.

The village suffers with traffic congestion at rush hours due to a main road cutting its way through the centre of the village as well as the school run as parents take and fetch their children as not all the other villages have schools in them.

Little Eaton has three local pubs one of which Gary’s grandparents used to court in, although Gary is an ‘outsider.’ Little Eaton still has a lot of personal interest to him, as his grandparents have passed away he continues to find his culture and identity among an ever-changing village. Gary often talks to the elder members of the village who remember his grandparents and fill in little missing bits of information.

Although a typical village that has its very British elements it is also not hard to see the Americanization that has crept in to the everyday reality and the carnival; it is not just physical change that is taking place but culture and identity as well.

In spite of the Americanization it still has its traditional British institutions the Women’s Institute, the Cricket Team, Football Teams, and Bowles Club to name a few as well as a lot of its architecture, landscape and churches, as well as the people


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