Is Bare a village?
This is the question which has provoked serious debate amongst our readers and the people of Bare themselves. Many Bare residents are proud to retain the area as a village whilst others claim Bare is a suburban part of Morecambe.
The Oxford dictionary defines a village as “a group of houses and associated buildings, larger than a hamlet and smaller than a town, situated in a rural area.”
Local historian David Hodgson researched his family history and discovered a census of Hodgsons names in Bare dating back to 1841.
The census titles Bare as a “Township” or “Hamlet.” The word township refers to different kinds of settlements in different countries and hamlet refers to a small settlement, smaller than a village, and strictly (in Britain) one without a church.
The 1841 census shows there were 120 people living in the area, none were fishermen, lodgers, or railway workers.
By 1851 the population increased to 305 with more than nine farmers and fisherman residing there. By 1861 Poulton, Bare and Torrisholme were grouped together with a population of 991 residents, which included more than 80 fishermen, nine lodgers and more than 16 railway workers.
Mr Bob Chadwick was one of the many readers to express his view on the controversial subject.
He said: “Yes, at one time in the past Bare was a village as was Poulton-le-Sands. The fact that they are today is nonsense.”
Residents and business owners disagreed and said Bare has “always been known as a village.”
Mary Benjamin, 84, has lived in Bare for just over a year and believes the area is classed as a village.
Ms Benjamin said: “Yes I would say Bare is a village, we have got everything we need here. I have always known it as Bare Village.
“It is a great place to live, there are plenty of bus routes and the train station is nearby, plenty of shops and lovely people, I like living here.”
Abi Dakin, 24, owner of Abi’s Arrangements on Princes Crescent, describes Bare as a “community village.”
“We do class Bare as a village, it is why we have Bare Fest every year to celebrate all that is great about Bare, it is why we have our own Mayor of Bare, and the Bare Village Business Association. We are part of Moreambe but when it comes to funding from the council we very much stand alone.”
Ron Assitt, 82 has lived in Bare for 40 years.
He said: “It is a village, it is known as Bare Village. When I bought my house from the estate agents here it was classed as a village on their records.
“Bare should stand on its own like they used to but they built the area up, however it still doesn’t alter the fact that Bare is a village. I love the area it is nice and quiet and has everything here.”
Maggie Dwyer, 84, has lived in Bare for 30 years.
She said: “We have got everything we need here. I think it is great. I think we could do with a fish and chips shop and it is a shame we don’t have a bank anymore. I don’t agree with people who say we are not a village.
“We have got as much here as say Bolton-le-Sands. The people are very friendly here it is a wonderful area.”
Chris Mount and Lynne Winn, of Bare Village Butchers, Lynne, 65, said: “It is a village, sometimes we take living by the sea for granted. The community here is buzzing.”
Chris, 45, said: “I’ve worked here for 30 years, the area has become more commercialised but you only have to go into the shops and see it is a village. People who say Bare is not are crackers. Bare is mentioned in the Domesday book.”
Some readers also had their say on social media.
Callum Crookes said: “We are one village that stands alone, a community that works together for the benefit of the people of Bare Massive.”
Dave Wilson said: “They are suburbs of Morecambe now.”
See next week’s Visitor to find out more about Torrisholme.