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Village history brought to life

EIGHTY-four-year-old Graham Crawford has written a book about the village where he’s lived all his life.

EIGHTY-four-year-old Graham Crawford has written a book about the village where he’s lived all his life.

The volume, which took the pensioner a year to complete, looks at how Marston Green has been transformed over the years.

Its release comes as residents rally round to fight the proposed development of two, remaining pieces of farmland.

Graham first wrote a book on the village’s history to mark the Millennium, but was keen to release a larger, updated version.

“To be honest, I was amazed how much had changed in just a ten-year-period,” said the grandfather-of-five.

“There’s been many new developments, including 140 new homes on one small piece of land. It’s been a busy time.”

The Marston Green of today - with around 4000 residents - is a far cry from the mid-19th century, when the population was just 302.

And it’s also changed a good deal since Graham was a boy, his family moving to the village when he was two-years-old.

“Back then, the roads were just the tracks which linked up the farms and there were no paving slabs put down.

“It was also a while before there was any street lighting - it was a real rural community.”

The book follows local history as far back as the 11th century, but also looks at more recent developments - including the demise of the maternity hospital.

Graham, a former parish councillor, researched the book at Solihull Library and by talking to fellow-residents.

He also used his vast library of photos - taken over the decades - to illustrate how the village had changed.

“I suppose I’m one of the oldest residents who’s still active in the village and wanted to make a record of what things used to be like.”

Marston Green: From Olden Days to the Present Day was launched this week. It’s on sale at Marston Green Library and the village Post Office.

 

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Cathrina Hulse
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