‘Once upon a time...’

FROM:- Vox, Waringstown.

Once upon a time, there was a lovely village, called Waringstown, in a County called Armagh. The village was lived in by happy villagers who went about their work and toiled together for the benefit of all of those who lived in Waringstown.

The villagers were all aware of the importance of Waringstown and were proud of its connection to history – the influence of Vikings, the resting place of one of King William of Orange’s strategic Commanders, the impact upon the Linen industry through the well respected Waring family, the importance of the village in the development of cricket and of course, the acknowledgement of its floral arrangement, which resulted in accolades from all over the United Kingdom. Of course, the happy villagers were also aware of the importance of their village during the last war when American troops were stationed in and around the village and neighbouring areas.

However, this was soon going to change when the big bad Ogre, who came to be known as “Craigavon”, decided that two of his sons, Portadown the Elder and Lurgan the Younger, were not as pretty as Waringstown, and that they needed to change this. Following a meeting with his advisors, Craigavon, the Ogre, decided that he would ask the Golden Cow for a purse of gold to attempt to enhance his two sons – this would, for all times sake, be known as “Public Realms Work” and would consist of bringing large rocks and benches into these areas even if this was at the expense of the happy villagers of Waringstown and other similar townlands. Craigavon, the Ogre, also decided that some of this purse of gold would be spent on creating metal images of his sons, Portadown, the Elder and Lurgan, the Younger, which he would keep hidden in the townland of Carn, under clothing which we know as tarpaulin. These metal images can be visited and talked to on a daily basis at this yard – they are quite clearly visible from the pathways and are obviously in a rest mode as they are lying in a prone position.

Now, the lovely and peaceful villagers of Waringstown were, not surprisingly, slightly upset when they found out that they had been forgotten about by Craigavon the Ogre. They had never complained about the differences in what the village received and what Portadown the Elder and Lurgan the Younger got. The villagers knew that issues such as dog fouling and cleansing were not being addressed, but, of course, neither were issues of general Anti Social Behaviour, car speeding and the noise from “boy racer” exhaust systems. Villagers eventually did complain after they had meetings relating to these issues – this eventually resulted in some improvement – more so as appeasement to keep the not quite so happy villagers of Waringstown quiet.

Lo and behold, the happy, singing villagers of Waringstown then were given another shock! Craigavon the Ogre, then decided, after forming a focus group with many of the lesser Ogres, that the best way of improving a village which had been rewarded for its “Britain in Bloom” contribution, was to stop cutting the grass and tending flower beds, even though nicer Ogres in other parts of the Kingdom of Northern Ireland were encouraging this type of activity. The villagers of Waringstown were not pleased at the decision of Craigavon the Ogre and the lesser Ogres and made this very clear – resulting in a reversal of the decision not to cut the grass!!

But then! What happened next took everyone in the nice village of Waringstown by surprise. What else could befall a lovely historical village with happy villagers who contribute considerably towards the economy in general and the rates in particular? Yes, other Ogres decided that, due to being a desirable area to live in- Waringstown was a growth village with both a young, vibrant sector with children and a more aging population who are looking forward to retiring in a lovely village- the obvious thing to do was to consider closing the Doctor’s Surgery! The lovely villagers of Waringstown really are not amused at this decision as it seems to defy all logic.

The villagers, having had a council meeting, have questioned this issue and wondered if the other Ogres have really thought about this decision or lack of decision. It would appear that the obvious direction is to accelerate the process to open the already planned new surgery in the village thereby alleviating the pressure on the alternative surgery in the neighbouring lovely village of Donacloney and at the same time, eliminating the Health and Safety issues surrounding the existing surgery in the lovely village of Waringstown.

Moral of this story. Ogres can and have, continually huffed and puffed and blown some houses down. This is a fact of life but it is also a fact of life that people, such as the lovely people of the village of Waringstown, can only take so much and Ogres, no matter where they are on the ranking system, must take cognisance of the needs and requirements of all people, no matter where they live – rural or urban. Villagers, such as the lovely people of Waringstown, will vote with their feet, they will remember those mini Ogres who are neglecting this lovely village in order to sideline the purse of gold and other resources to places such as Portadown the Elder and Lurgan the Younger.