What does the future hold for The Lee?

by The Lee residents

Maypole dancing on the green at the Church Fete

We have covered over 10,000 years in this history of The Lee; but what might the  future hold? We decided to end this series by asking a number of residents for their thoughts on “What The Lee might be like in 2050”. Here is what they had to say. 

Real challenges
By Revd David Burgess

Physically I don’t think much will change. It would take a battle with an entire community to bring in an influx of new buildings or the radical redevelopment of existing ones. 

However what we use will alter radically. IT is always smaller, faster and cheaper – in 2050 much of it might be out of sight and literally part of the furniture. Fossil energy is going the other way; so more solar, wind and geothermal installations. We’ll need to be more self-sufficient in food as well.

Spiritually… my area, I guess, and the one that may be hardest to predict. I worry about what faces our children. I believe that God has a design for our lives and that the Church faces real challenges in the years ahead if we’re to be effective in promoting his purposes in society. Many of these young ones will become key decision-makers, and the spiritual environment in which they’re being brought up now really matters. 

Things, maybe, for my successor to ponder in 39 years’ time; I hope this potential 92 year-old will be around to talk to him… or her about it!

A stroll through the village
By John Ford, The Lee

A resident of the future on a walk around the village on a warm afternoon in late 2050 might try to guess how the fabric of the village had changed from 40 years ago.

Walking up from Leather Lane observing the unfinished ventilation towers of the HS2 tunnel he wondered “when will they ever complete this project?” It seemed to have been going on for years. Strolling past the fields of sunflowers, soya beans and various bio fuels he heard the faint buzz of electric cars on the M413. He was more conscious of the constant aircraft noise as stacking air buses prepared to land at Heathrow Terminal 8, just outside Uxbridge.

Walking up to the new town hall of the unitary borough of Chiltern Ridges, past the retractable floodlights of the cricket club, now a well established county ground with stacks of temporary seating, he finally came to stop outside the community mosque and the original branch of the massive Usborne Supermarket Group. “How much of this was around in 2011” he wondered?

Looking both ways
By Geoffrey Palmer, Hunts Green

The future? I cannot help but think of the past and the changes since we came here in 1969.

Well, the Bugle was an alternative to the Cock and Rabbit and in Ballinger, in addition to the now plucked Pheasant, there was the sadly missed Bull. May the Cock continue forever!

Apart from Ernie Brown’s, mine was the only car in Hunts Green, when you could easily turn left at the bottom of Leather Lane even in the rush hour… because there wasn’t one.

And… let’s not mention the railways… but the trains at Great Missenden were 1st and 2nd class, smoking and non-smoking and had heavy doors – I remember opening one for Clement Atlee.

For the future, I wish the hedges between Hunt’s Green and The Lee could be put back – for birds and for humans. Otherwise, I will just keep my fingers crossed for all the young people in 2050.

Farming tomorrow
By Trevor Pearce, Lee Clump

In recent years nearly all the dairy herds have gone; so have the pigs and the poultry farms. The farm workers have gone too and much of the farm work is now done by contractors with high capacity machinery.

We may not have a single working farm in the area or indeed any business of any kind; perhaps not even a pub! We may see a golf course in The Lee or perhaps wind turbines; or will they soon be as out-dated as a 1980s mobile phone?

The school is the heart of the village… but that too could well be gone. Perhaps the shop will survive.

And will any of the old village families still be here? I sincerely hope so!

All that beauty
By Liz Stewart-Liberty, The-Lee

As Thomas Gray wrote:

“The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
All that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave,
Awaits alike th’ inevitable hour:
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.”

In the year 2050 I think The-Lee will be the same glorious place: thriving, full of happy, lucky people benefitting from The-Lee’s unique magic: shine on harvest moon, ring out the bells and rejoice!

The-Lee may shelter a helpful Martian come to repair the potholes! King William’s triplets might be attending our village school and Elvis (who has undergone major resuscitation) could be living in a bunker beneath The Lee Green – his choice, wise guy!

Long live The Lee, way beyond 2050. I’m just glad I shan’t be there.

We have left the last words with a teenager – who probably has the best chance of being around to see 2050.

By Alex Morgan, Lee Common

Imagine a smaller Chorleywood, up on a hill. The Lee will be bigger… with more concrete and electric cars due to inexorable expansion of London’s suburbs. The Lee will be larger and more vibrant. The majority of Lee Commoners will be Birmingham City fans due to the ease with which they can travel to home games… thanks to HS2!

Despite the increased hustle and bustle, The Lee will retain its quintessential village feel, the shop and Cock and Rabbit still remaining and flourishing, whilst the cricket team still suffer batting collapses with a Swain still as Chairman. Some things will never change!

Over to you

So, there you have it: we have come to the end of this history. What do you think? How do you see the important events that have shaped our Parish? What do you think the future will look like?

Part 9: Modern Times