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Gordon Wilkinson paints Disley

PUBLISHED: 01:16 06 June 2011 | UPDATED: 19:30 20 February 2013

Lyme Hall actually stands in the neighbouring parish of Lyme Handley but no visit to Disley is complete without a walk in the hall's grounds

Lyme Hall actually stands in the neighbouring parish of Lyme Handley but no visit to Disley is complete without a walk in the hall's grounds

Watercolour artist Gordon Wilkinson takes his easel to Disley, on Cheshire's eastern fringe

There are few things finer than an early summers day in Disley, as the flowers gently nod in the well-tended gardens, swallows swoop and dive through the blue skies and the sun sends fluffy clouds scudding over the foothills of the Peak District.


Its a slice of idyllic rural life which is further enhanced by those traditional staples of the English village - the church, the pub and the country estate.
In this case the church is the grade II listed St Marys, built in the 16th century, re-built 300 years later and now requiring work on the roof for which an appeal was launched last month to raise funds for the repairs.


As for pubs, youre spoiled for choice but our artist Gordon Wilkinson has chosen to paint the Rams Head - a good decision, according to deputy manager Anna Jones. Its the perfect village pub, she said. Anna, who is originally from Gloucester made the move north a decade ago and has at the pub since last summer, and she added: Its a cracking little village. I love it here. I love the people, the pub, everything. Everyone knows everyone here and they all look out for one another.


The country estate belongs to Lyme Hall, which actually stands just over the parish border but its grounds extended into present day Disley and the Rams Head pub was originally a lodge in the parkland. And if you think the hall looks familiar, but youve not yet visited, picture Colin Firth wading out of the water - this is where the BBC filmed their version of Pride and Prejudice.


And thats not Disleys only literary claim to fame - historian AJP Taylor lived in the village, and was visited there by Dylan Thomas, and novelist Christopher Isherwood was born just up the road, at Wyberslegh Hall in High Lane.


This month will see Disleys first well dressing ceremony, an event popular across the border in Derbyshire and now being taken up by increasing numbers of Cheshire villages.


Parish Councillor Diane Guy - another incomer, she moved from London 46 years ago - has been involved in planning the well dressing, which will take place on June 18th and 19th. She said: It started off quite small, but its grown like topsy.


It should be quite a weekend, with Maypole dancing, morris dancers, a brass band, and the crowning of the well dressing queen.


Members of the parish council have also been busy producing a booklet detailing a heritage trail around the village centre, which will take in key sites including St Marys Church and the new garden of remembrance which was created by Diane and other members of the Pride group who are responsible for much of the planting around the village.


Diane added: Its a wonderful place, Ive always been very happy living here. The place itself is delightful and the people are lovely - hopefully events like the well dressing will help bring the community together even more.

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