Villages transformed in new government holiday scheme
- Credit: Archant
Lockdown has meant holidays abroad have been on hold in the last year - but residents of two of our villages won’t need to dream of jetsetting off to the other side of the world, thanks to a new government initiative.
The new ‘Holiday out without stepping out’ initiative will see places in the UK take on the identity of others with similar monikers worldwide for the remainder of 2021 – bringing a taste of the exotic to our shores.
In our area, this means villagers in Melbourn and Barley live out the year as though they're in the southern hemisphere – with the villages being renamed ‘Melbourne’ - as in Australia, and ‘Bali’ - like the Indonesian paradise island.
Dynamic metropolis Melbourne is the capital and most-populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, and the second-most populous city in Australia.
For this year only, a pop-up St. Kilda Beach will take over the grounds of Melbourn Village College – with the school itself becoming a version of Melbourne’s famous Crown Casino Complex, adjacent to the Yarra River (who needs the Mel?).
If that's not enough, Melbourn Community Hub’s art exhibitions will be replaced with aboriginal works flown over from the National Gallery of Victoria.
Surprisingly, however, the Crow has learned that what Melbourn villagers are looking forward to most about the new scheme is the letter ‘E’.
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Until now, Melbourn residents have loathed the E being added erroneously in letters sent in the post, on Facebook comments and by news outlets other than the Crow.
But years of frustration has meant villagers are now so emotionally worn down, that they are to embrace the E of their new name as per the scheme – and they may even adopt the new spelling officially when the initiative ends.
Over in Bali, the average year-round temperature stands at around 30 °c. So Barley villagers will get to enjoy a pool on the cricket green with a backdrop of palm trees and surf boards.
All this will mean community members will feel they are really on Seminyak Beach, they will even get to tuck into specialities like grilled snapper with sambal chilli sauce. The dish is so hot that despite our UK temperatures dropping next week it’ll still feel perfectly tropical - too hot, if anything.
Barley Town House – which serves as the village hall, and prior to COVID held meetings of the village's Gardening Club, Model Railway Club and more - Is going to be converted into Balinese temple.
The Town House is a 16th-century, Grade II*-listed building and has previously has housed a school, villagers and a fire engine in its colourful history – so a temple shouldn’t be too much of a stretch.
Barley will become ‘Bali’ for 2021, and the parish council hasn’t confirmed to the Crow whether they plan on keeping the name after the year is up - so see the new community noticeboard in the Smith End Lane phone box for updates.