Our village green seems to have had many exciting twists and turns over the years. From the earliest aspirations for it to become a community hub to the absolutely batshit mental idea to build a massive metal tree on it.
Getting rid of the toilets from underneath the island was a great idea to bring a little bit of Moseley back into community use. We fondly remember a cherubic Martin Mullaney toiling away on a rainy Sunday afternoon laying turf and creating a bewildering path system across a small swamp. Those were the days when shameless self publicity were a hobby rather than a lifestyle choice.
We have no idea who managed to get the money to pave the place over and turn it from being green into what has become the Village Green, but we’re sure that there will be a number of people coming forward to claim it was them. They were heady days, when there was going to be a steady stream of Tolkein tourists banging down our doors just to experience the true Middle Earth. As it turned out the Lord of the Rings turned out to be less about Tolkien’s homo-erotic fantasy and more about Peter Jackson giving us more reasons to go to New Zealand. We didn’t get the lasting legacy we expected in the form of our stainless steel Ent but we did get a demonstration on how a small minded approach to branding works.
We’ve always maintained the absolute best use of the Village Green would have been building a band stand. Though we freely accept that we have fallen into the traditional Moseley stance of having very good ideas about what other people should do with their money.
The one lasting consequence has been the monthly farmers market. Once a month, Saturday morning gives an opportunity for bleary eyed residents to come together and make mumbling explanations of Friday night. The market has been such a success as we effectively live in a food desert based on the Kwik Save/Co-op refusal to engage in the sale of fresh food. The monthly arrival of a marginal increase in the quality of food at a premium price is a great thing. Who cannot express delight in the stifled giggling of the organic farmer as he explains how £2 for corn on the cob is reasonable because he has really nice soil? Or the beef farmer that seemingly has an inexhaustible supply of superlatives for what is basically a steak?
The idea that the market should move to being weekly is an interesting one. On the one hand we like the market and find it difficult to remember which week it is held on; on the other hand isn’t our farmers market the same one that goes to Kings Heath, the Jewelry Quarter and Harborne? Moving our market to every week will obviously have an economic wellbeing of the other places, though our instant reaction is, fuck ‘em, we invented farmers markets.
If you look at Moseley’s economic development then the farmers market is one of the few bright moments. The gentrification of the late 90s got essentially derailed in a shit storm of destination drinking, myopic licensing and the avarice of absentee landlords. If increasing the amount of good quality bacon we have access to can once again encourage people to shop here then we are all for it.