Time for Alfie’s house

It’s that time of year when Alfie’s house comes out of the attic and goes on display. To be more correct, it is actually Alfie’s Villa. It goes back to the time when my sister and I were small girls and my aunty and her maybe boyfriend would take us away for a few days, camping. My auntie had an Austin 7, but I think we probably went away in Uncle Geoff’s car. Uncle Geoff was a wonderful, dear kind man, and we thought he was tremendously funny. To entertain us on the journey from Cambridge to Derbyshire to see the Ladybower Reservoir which had dried up in the drought, he told us stories. We arrived, and there, visible in the mud of the near empty reservoir, were the ‘drowned’ villages of  Ashopton and Derwent. The reservoir dried again this year, and again people visited, marvelling at the remains of the old villages.

The stories Uncle Geoff told us were mostly about a little creature called Alfie who lived on the roof of the car. Alfie was very naughty and got up to all sorts of mischief – I don’t know if he was a monkey or an elf or what he was, it didn’t really matter, he was very real to us. Later that year, at Christmas, we went to my aunty’s bedsit for the Christmas tea-party with our cousins… and there was Alfie’s Villa! It came out every year, and when about twelve years ago my aunty died and I was asked if I would like anything from her home, I asked for Alfie’s Villa… and it comes out every year…

Here’s some very interesting information, and great photos of the lost villages and Ladybower:


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