Gordon Wilkinson paints Goostrey
PUBLISHED: 00:16 29 December 2010 | UPDATED: 18:21 20 February 2013
Watercolour artist Gordon Wilkinson takes his easel to Goostrey
Goostrey may only be a small village but it punches well above its weight. Few places of comparable size - its population at the last census was a little over 2,000 - could put on quite the sort of show Goostrey manages to produce each year.
The fourth annual Goosfest will be held this year and the week-long arts event is now established as one of the highlights of the countys cultural calendar.
Last years headline act was Georgie Fame and parish council vice chairman Martin Leake said: Weve already had a few names suggested for this years main act and wed like it to be someone of similar calibre to last year but nothing is finalised yet.
It is testimony to the enthusiasm of people here that the event has been such a phenomenal success. There is a real willingness to get things done here and the enthusiasm has spread all around the village.
But theres more to Goostrey than the October Goosfest. The village has held an annual Rose Day for more than 100 years - on the last Saturday in June - and the villages yearly gooseberry show is another highlight.
Martin, who is originally from Sale but has lived in Goostrey for almost 30 years, said: We moved here because it seemed like a pretty idyllic kind of place, with a good school, a couple of pubs and a lovely village life. All that still applies.
Its a very friendly and welcoming place and people who move here tend to want to stay, and those who do move away often come back again.
When they do come back they are likely to find a village where the ethos of village life has remained largely unchanged - its two churches, shops, pubs, thriving primary school and community-owned sports facilities are all well supported by an active community.
The old farming community grew with the advent of the railways and became a popular commuter village when the M6 opened. The number of houses here grew dramatically in the second half of the last century and in the mid-1970s Goostrey featured in a series of five hour-long documentaries about village life.
Things dont stand still here though. The recently re-launched village website - www.goostrey.info - is a fine example of how a small rural village can have an impressive presence on the world wide web.
And changes are planned to the bricks and mortar of the village too, with plans for a new youth centre beside the village hall. Work could start on the new centre, which has been five years in the planning, within the next 12 months.
Where is it? Goostrey stands in south Cheshire, about two miles north east of junction 18 on the M6. Type CW4 8PE into your satnav to find the village centre or arrive by train, the station is on the Manchester-Crewe line.
Where to park? On-street parking is available around the village and the Red Lion pub has a large car park - it seems polite to pop in for at least a drink if you park here.
What to do? There's plenty going on here throughout the year, check the village website for the latest. There are some glorious walks around Goostrey too - log on to cheshire.greatbritishlife.co.uk to find one of the best.
Gordon Wilkinson has been Cheshire Lifes watercolour artist since the 1990s.
All his original watercolours featured in this article are for sale. Contact Gordon on 01244 531785, or email him at email@example.com
More of his work - including paintings he created for Cheshire Life - can be viewed at www.gordonwilkinson.com