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Why our Parish has such Pulling Power

caravans in a field with St. Mary's Church, Crich in the background

As someone who’s lived and worked in Crich Parish all my life, you might think my enthusiasm for the place would be fading. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Joyce, my wife, has lived in Crich for 31 years and worked at the Pre-school for 20. She shares my view that by getting involved in community life we both contribute to making the parish such a great place to be – and get a lot out of it, too.

Joyce and Paul Sayles

I remember some 15 years ago when Phil Dolby first twisted my arm about getting involved in Crich Fete – we were quite keen to help out. It’s a great advert to visitors about what Crich has to offer, it helps build community spirit and, over the years, has been a catalyst for new things like the Monument Race, the barn dance and the bonfire and fireworks events. Also, if you’re not involved, you can’t very well comment on anything you think should be different!

One way in which we’ve helped to improve things for visitors more recently is by using some of our farm’s land to create a Caravan and Motorhome Club ‘Certified Location’ (a mini caravan site to you and me!). Obviously, it’s important for farmers to diversify to stay in business, and starting the site was a way we could make money from the land and also help to bring more visitors to the parish. Members of the Club come to stay for many reasons: the Tramway Village; a base to explore the Peak District; local walking, and because Crich has such great amenities – something you don’t find in every rural village these days.

We always try to recommend other local businesses to our site customers, including our local, the Cliff Inn! At the end of a long day on the farm, we enjoy the warm welcome and relaxed atmosphere at the Cliff. Like the other pubs in the village, it hosts clubs and societies – these include boules, darts, cricket and horticulture clubs as well as weekly folk music nights and quiz nights. This connection with the community helps our pubs to stay alive and attract visitors and residents alike.One thing’s for sure, we’re not planning on moving any time soon!

Paul Sayles