Woolverstone is very interesting, partly because it is so UNinteresting. I found this definition of a village:
"A village is a small settlement usually found in a rural setting. It is generally larger than a "hamlet" but smaller than a "town." Some geographers specifically define a village as having between 500 and 2,500 inhabitants. In most parts of the world, villages are settlements of people clustered around a central point."
My idealized image of an English village is a group of houses and associated buildings around a central point. That point would be the village green and/or square. The green would have a duckpond, a children's playpark and ideally a space big enough to play cricket. Most of the houses would be cottages, preferably with thatched rooves and wisteria or somesuch growing up the walls. The "associated buildings" would include: a small general store, a post office, a pub, a church and church hall, a doctor's surgery and a small primary school. Woolverstone has hardly any of these. In theory it has a church, but it is hardly anywhere near central. Actually, Woolverstone HAS no centre, consisting of a bunch of houses either side of the key main road along a peninsular. The ONLY communal building is the old Berners Hall - also on the main road. Woolverstone Marina is I think considered to be part of the village, but for me that is stretching things a bit as it is quite a long way from the road - which apparently IS the village.
Last but not at all least, the ideal village should of course have a thriving and positive community spirit, which I am quite sure Woolverstone has after attending Simon Pearce's Berners Family talk on Friday ,7th July 2023. An anecdote about Simon is appended!
On the face of it, Woolverstone is hardly the kind of village to set the blood racing in the search for an ideal small rural retirement community. And yet, it is very special to us as the home of our beloved school.
Wikipedia describes Woolverstone thus:
PS I was taking photos in Woolverstone and asked a gentleman passing by if there was anything to the village away from the road - to which he replied: "No, it's just a linear village of some X houses." (He told me how many but I have forgotten!).
Chatting further he told me he had been a teacher at R.H.S. Holbrook and had known a very old friend of mine, Phil Ward, who was a teacher of English there. AND of course he knew Simon Pearce, whom he described as "the heart and soul of the village".