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Tuesday 24 November 2020

The Tally Ho

 The Village

by our own reporter

    I don’t know how the location for the village came about, perhaps teams were sent out to find an isolated location, miles from anywhere. But I can imagine how the British Intelligence, would want the village as far away from the homeland as is possible. How the installation came to be built on foreign soil might have been agreed by political treaty or private agreement.
    The site being closed in on three sides by the mountains, making it only accessible from the sea, so any men and materials had to be brought in by ship, transferred to boats and landing craft due to the shallow water of the estuary. And the first task would be to clear an area for a campsite, and a landing stage ready for the landing of machines and equipment.
   The ground would initially be cleared by hand until room enough for heavy and large machinery to be brought in. Undergrowth cut down and burned, trees felled and stripped of their bark, the wood then cut into planks and used in the building process of the village.
    Once an area had been cleared, the ground would need to be sculpted, and later landscaped, Plots for buildings marked out on the ground, so even before a boot was put on the ground a plan of The Village would have had to have been drawn up first, and then adapted to the location.
   The work force would be recruited from Labour Exchanges and Employment Bureaus. All manner of companies connected to the building trade might well have been given government contracts, to supply men and materials. They of course would eventually make up the first of the population, never to see home again!
   It would take time of course; two deep holes would have to be dug out of the ground for one thing, in order to accommodate both the Control Room and Council Chamber beneath the Town Hall. Foundations of buildings dug out by hand, the soil used to help sculpt the site. The project would require a constant line of supplies brought in by ship, each one in turn would lie off at the mouth of the estuary as it was unloaded.
    As the buildings, arches, walls, the café, bandstand, the Green Dome, the village shop together with a number of cottages were erected, roads and paths would be wound around them, tarmac and cobbles stones laid, until the village really began to take shape. The workmen would live in a village of tents, then in rough hewn wooden shacks. How much of the village we know was actually built before residents were moved in is unknown. It might be that originally The Village might have simply been made up of an administration building, the Green Dome, the Village shop, and a few cottages. The rest of the village then developed and grew over the years. How many prisoners the village was originally designed to take, is as difficult to say as to the number of its population in the 1960’s.
    For any prisoner who wakes up in what appears to be his, her, or their own home, does so in a replica of a room in their own home where they used to live, and not an entire house. Basically prisoners living in the village generally have four rooms to their accommodation, a living room, a bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom. There is no upstairs. Most accommodation in The Village is terraced, there are no semi-detached cottages, but there are a few detached cottages of which ‘6 Private’ is one, and in that regard Number 6 is lucky, as he appears to have a whole cottage to himself, but even so its nothing like the home he had in London how could it be considering the scale of the village. And so 6 Private has no more rooms than anyone else’s dwelling. And yet perhaps the Butler lives as Number 6, in his annexe to the Green Dome. The same cannot be said of the Green Dome itself, because although it’s called Number 2s residence, it is in fact only Number 2’s office, he or she does not actually live there, No.2 dwells in that room in the Town Hall.
    The village is very charming, picturesque, a place where one might not mind spending a fortnights holiday. And yet all the candy coloured buildings, the mixture of architecture, and the manicured gardens, are all designed to make the citizens feel very much at home, once they have overcome their initial shock of waking up there. Designed to put citizens at their ease, designed to hide the dark undercurrent that flows throughout the village!     

   Be seeing you

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