Aside from the cows, there isn't much in the way of traffic here. There is a bus service, but it comes only once a week and goes as far as the bright lights of Blandford Forum. If you find yourself here for no reason, you are well and truly lost.
The traditional cliche for pretty little villages such as this is 'sleepy'. But there's nothing bleary-eyed about the Dorset backwater of Chettle.
This is a village which defies every statistic and market trend. It has zero unemployment. Its businesses are booming. It has no problem with outsiders buying up second homes - because they are simply not allowed. Rents are way below the market rate.
This is the village the credit crunch forgot. Young couples are not driven out by property prices and there are as many children (22) as there are pensioners.
Everyone knows everyone and crime is virtually non-existent. The last intruder was driven off by a lady pensioner with a pick-axe handle. So what is Chettle's secret? The answer is enough to make a sociologist or a Labour MP weep.
For the past 1,000 years, this entire village and all the land around it - every last square inch of it - have been owned and controlled by the lord of the manor. And that is just how everybody likes it.
Aug 7, 2008
Surprise! The Daily Mail is in favour of Feudalism.
No, really. This is getting beyond parody now. The Daily Mail must be charged with killing satire and fucking the corpse.