Friday, January 11, 2013

Kibworth Harcourt and Kibworth Beauchamp

Yesterday a poll of the residents of the parishes of Kibworth Beauchamp and Kibworth Harcourt was held to gauge views on a proposal to group the two parishes under a single council.

Harborough District Council has the results:

Kibworth Beauchamp
Yes - 549 votes (87%)
No - 84 votes (13%)
Total votes - 633
Turnout - 19.4%

Kibworth Harcourt
Yes - 91 votes (31%)
No - 211 votes (69%)
Total votes - 302
Turnout - 25.5%

So it was a yes from Beauchamp and a no from Harcourt. This poll is not binding, but I suspect that means the merger will not go ahead.

Anyone who watched Michael Wood's The Story of England will not be surprised that the two villages failed to agree. Take this passage from his book of the series:
In 1885 when the new vicar, the ebullient Bangalore-born Merton man Edmund Knox, took on the parish of Kibworth, the rivalry between the two Kibworths was one of the most striking, and challenging, aspects of his new living. 
Beauchamp, he noted, the home of 'stockeners' and predominantly 'radical', was in stark contrast to Harcourt, 'the home of the sporting squirearchy and retired businessmen of Leicester'. 
Between the two 'was kept up a half-playful antagonism', with even the most minor disagreement eliciting 'fiery eloquence' poured forth with 'passion such I had never heard in Oxford'. 
On one occasion, he recorded: 
The vestry debated warmly the plan of a sewer which was to run down a road that divided the two villages. It was even suggested, with a fine disregard of costs, that two parallel sewers should be constructed, that the sewage of one village should not be 'contaminated' by the waste of the other.
I am not taking sides, but my photograph above shows the Old House in Kibworth Harcourt.

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