Life is full of ifs and buts

Derwent Hall and village exposed by the very low level of Ladybower ReservoirDerwent Hall and village exposed by the very low level of Ladybower Reservoir
Derwent Hall and village exposed by the very low level of Ladybower Reservoir
Mike Dodgson

Marchwood, S6

Go on, it's Christmas, let your imagination run away with you.

As I recently stood within the remains of the old Derwent village, effectively by the side of the River Derwent, I began to picture what it would have been like back in the 1930s, with a slight advantage of studying old photographs.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Only those who lived there at the time can possibly give us a true picture. Undoubtedly, it would have been a very depressing time, made worse by a war with Germany looming.

Trying to picture the scene, I construed a country lane following the river down to the village of Ashopton with its church and steeple. Then the lane would branch out for Sheffield, Manchester and Bamford. Then would come many construction workers and sites of the Ashopton bridge and both the dams of Derwent and Ladybower, the one which would eventually ensure the submerging of their properties. The best people, in my opinion, to understand 'Derwent's plight' are those now affected by HS2.

But what if the dam(s) had not been built? Wouldn't the Derwent Valley today still be as popular? Could the training of Lancaster Bomber pilots have made a difference to the eventual outcome? As it was, by my reckoning, the Derwent Dam was built just in time to support the Dambuster preparations.

Life is full of Ifs and Buts. One that comes to mind concerns immigration. What if the American Indians had welcomed the white man as we Brits have done all colours over the years? There wouldn't have been any Western movies, no cowboys and Indians to stir the imaginations of many primary school boys leaving (as in my case) the Forum, Herries Road.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Like many people, I have plenty more, even including Brexit, but let's not go there and spoil Christmas.

Ifs and Buts will most likely be a subject of conversation over the Christmas period for the elderly whilst the youngsters play on their play stations etc. Unlike in my day when we made full use of the empty packing boxes.

It's the thought that counts; have a good, rewarding and safe Christmas.