We never had a hotbed of crime

The 2nd Annual Marg Barry Memorial Lecture, 2006

Sue Rosen, Historian, heritage consultant and author

The lecture material comes from oral archives, based on extensive interviews with many Inner Sydney residents. Sue then produced a book, in association with South Sydney Council, We Never had a Hotbed of Crime, which points to the rich fabric of Inner Sydney communities in the 20th Century – perhaps indicators of what we could build on in the beginning of the 21 century.


I’m delighted to have been invited to deliver the Marg Barry Memorial Lecture.

Particularly, since this honour is a response to, and recognition of, the community members whose voices were captured in an interview program in the early 1990s – some 12 years ago.

I wish to also recognise and acknowledge the traditional owners of this country – the Cadigal people.

I hope this afternoon to pay tribute to the people who spoke to me about the places around the inner city that they wanted remembered.

The interviewees, both recalled and represented, life experiences in places like Redfern andWaterloo,Alexandria, Erskineville andNewtown.

In essence, I wish to throw light on the elements that made and sustained these communities across the last 100 years.

Just one warning, some of the people that you will hear are no longer living. If this is of concern to you, I’d like to say that the interviewees wanted to be recorded so that their experience and opinions survived their lifetimes, so I hope no offence is caused, none is intended.  These are also edited extracts. In cutting the extracts down however I’ve been careful respect their originally intended meaning.

With urban renewal again on the agenda, the stories are also a reminder of the continuity within communities despite numerous periods of change and uncertainty across their histories.

I think to outsiders and newcomers, the degree of cohesiveness of the community and the quality of life in the area across the twentieth century is not always evident. The continued existence of this older sense of community may even come as a surprise.

To the locals, that viewpoint can be exasperating. That exasperation is encapsulated in the title of this lecture – “We never had a hotbed of crime!” – we can thank Joyce Higgins of Woolloomooloo for that particular outburst, but its sentiments were echoed across all the suburbs that made up the former City ofSouth Sydney. The theme was so prevailing, so dominant – both in terms of its literal claim and the frustration expressed at the implication of the area being riven by crime that it became the title of the book of extracts that was published in 2000.


Firstly, I’d like to provide some context on the interview program.

While I do this, scrolling on the screen behind are the names of the interviewees, their years of birth and the neighbourhoods they represented.

The original idea of the “Hotbed” project was to entice, if you like, from the personal arena into the public sphere, the voices, opinions, and experiences of residents and former residents.

The intent was also to capture descriptions of the places and identities and the impact of some of the great and lesser events of the twentieth century, on the residents of say, Erskineville or Chippendale. To record for posterity their experiences, through the toing and froing that typifies any period of change, so that continuities and understandings of localities could be maintained.

The official spin on a place can have a tremendous impact on the phases of a places history just because the public perception of it is being played with, as it were, to suit particular policies.

Back in the mid 1990s when “Hotbed” was created in manuscript form – Sth Sydney City Council was concerned to create a sense of identity for the city ofSth Sydneyas a unified place. The intent was to blur the localised boundaries between suburbs and to draw out the commonalities of experience across the city. There were to be no urban villages.

Yet in doing the interviews I came to the conclusion that the only way to do justice to the stories and experience was to collect them around the places that made up the city. As far as I got in that process I felt that the personal stories that were collected spoke eloquently about the general experience of life and the nature of these places. In the discussion about the way ahead for the manuscript at Council, a comment that “Nobody wants to know about individuals” went straight to the heart and I foundered in the shock of it all and failed to articulate that it was in the individuals stories – physically set in the context of their communities – populated by policemen, shopkeepers, publicans, politicians, matriarchs, factory workers, families, neighbours and mates – that the story of the community lay.

These stories were redolent of life, of smells, sounds and achievements – scholastic, sporting, professional and of a less conventional kind – like Leo Hannan racing Tibby Handshaw and Whopper Westle down to building contractors, Stuart Brothers, to scavenge wood off-cuts in the depression years.

The “Hotbed” interviews and transcripts produced biographies of place as experienced through the lives and associations of locals as they went about their everyday business, and passed through life’s personal milestones and the events of the twentieth century.

Most people can find out the stories of the great men, the great places and the great events – like Governor General Bill McKell, former PM Billy McMahon and local alderman Eddie Ward, for example. And similarly, the “facts” associated with WWI, WWII and the Great Depression are covered in numerous publications and mediums. But the focus here was on the everyday reality of life in these places, and the local’s perception of that experience.

What the project aimed to explore was the feeling of and the experience of life in the inner city across the twentieth century. What was the mood, the reaction in Newtown at the outbreak of WWI? What was the feeling when damaged troops were disembarked at the Finger Wharf and were taken back into the communities? What were the places that were the setting of life in the area and who were the notable characters? ‘Hotbed’, which presents the local’s take on events (both public and private), is unashamedly subjective and there are undoubtedly errors of fact, particularly since some people were recalling events from 70 years on. But the local viewpoint, the local perception and appreciation of events is true. In the sense that all those that I interviewed told me their truths, and brought meaning and color to the usual litany of 20th century events.

The  stories were focused around places, and although no one used the term ‘Urban Village’, the accounts of life invariably focused around suburbs like Redfern and Waterloo, Erskineville and Alexandria and Newtown, Woolloomooloo, the Cross, Darlinghurst and Surry Hills. And they certainly were communities or urban villages as we understand them today. With a great deal of emphasis recently on the negatives of life in the area and with redevelopment being imposed from above as it were – do the planners and newcomers know how much the place has been valued and loved or for what reasons?

Hopefully what follows will make a contribution…

The phrase ‘We never had a hotbed of crime!’ also reflects how locals felt their place was perceived by outsiders, and outsiders were often perceived to be not very far away. Almost universally, residents of Redfern believed that Newtown or Surry Hills were the ‘Hotbeds’ and that Redfern had been maligned by an ill informed press. In Alexandria, the criminals were believed to inhabit Redfern or Newtown or Surry Hills or Glebe. In Woolloomooloo, it was The Rocks or Surry Hills. All were firm in the belief that ‘real’ criminals did not live in their neighbourhood. Listen to what Joyce Higgins has to say about it:

We didn’t have a hotbed of crime. It was over the other side, the top of William Street, where your hotbed of crime was. Oh, we had sly grog, and we had a pak-a-poo joint; it was a family home, but I think one day a week they sold pak-a-poo tickets. You pick your numbers,  a bit like lotto.  Woolloomooloo had such a bad name, even though it wasn’t bad, because of all the other things that happened, I mean, like all the gangs that were around that weren’t really in the heart of Woolloomooloo. I mean, they were on the outskirts, but the whole neighbourhood got blamed. It was as if everybody had razors. (Joyce Higgins)

 Perceptions of the Area

The following extracts exemplify the contradictions within the community, and even within families. As Terry Murphy of Erskineville recalls there are different views within his family about the character of the area, yet much of what was condemned as slums in the 1930s and 1940s, is still part of the housing stock of the area. And is now highly valued. Part of the problem, undoubtedly related to poverty during the depression and an inability to do essential maintenance. In the war years and the immediate post war period there were materials shortages. This is what Terry had to say about his sisters’ views of Erskineville:

One of my sisters has the Irish lace curtain view, and the other one has the real drib view. The lace curtain view holds that everything was lovely and Erskineville was almost Hurstville, if you said it fast. But Erskineville was slums, it was known as slums. (Terry Murphy)        

Others valued the area for the very attributes that make it attractive today, while recognizing that outsiders did not see it in quite the same way. Beth Thorpe thought Woolloomooloo in the 1940s was:

Absolutely wonderful. Only a walk away from the heart of the city, from the Domain swimming baths; a tram ride away from all the beaches in the city: Bondi, Bronte, Coogee, Maroubra.  On a few occasions we were able to walk over to Luna Park. So we thought it was a wonderful place, and yet it was perceived that we were deprived because we lived in that area.  It was perceived as a slum; I mean, it had connections with prostitution and the Razor Gang, plus it was on the waterfront. So we had more going for us than kids who had a house on their quarter acre block out in the suburbs. We knew it, but they didn’t. You know, they thought they were bigger than we were just because we lived in a ‘slum,’ or what was virtually a slum. But we had running water and sewerage, and that was probably better than what 70% of the rest of Sydney had. (Beth Thorpe) 

Redfern locals were acutely aware of the finer distinctions between suburbs and the disdain that came from the outside. Cathi Joseph, who grew up in Redfern, felt that locally, Redfern was considered to be superior to Waterloo, in part because of its parks and also because it had a grander past, evidenced by some of the grand terraces on Cleveland Street. But the attitude from outside the area was much more negative, Cathi said of Redfern in the 1960s:

People would acknowledge that there were nice houses in Redfern and there were some streets that were nice in Redfern.  It was sort of grudging, but it was like, at least Redfern had Prince Alfred Park, Redfern Park; it had some nice aspects, whereas somewhere like Waterloo was really looked down on; it was just industrial, it was just mean streets and hovels. Beyond the local area, Redfern had no status; it was dirty and filthy and disgusting, and it was dangerous. It was just absolutely atrocious. (Cathi Joseph)

Sense of Place

So as you can see, there were demarcations between communities, some of which came from the outside, but locals also had their localised distinctions, sense of difference and sense of place. There were localised borders, such as a main road or the railway line with associated marginal lands. Certainly in childhood, when sizable gangs of kids from Erskineville, and Terry Murphy will remember this, engaged in wars with the Newtown kids throwing railway ballast across the line. Not that this was approved of by their elders, as Terry said, he got a hiding every couple of days for this sort of activity. Yet such rivalry was spoken of across suburbs and across the century – it was another prevailing theme that reflects the sense of place and of belonging that my respondents felt.

Billy Pascoe said of the late 1920s and 1930s period in Woolloomooloo – and remember, by the age of 14 these kids were working, and were well embarked on their adult existence:

When we got to be about fourteen or sixteen there was a lot of street fights. We used to fight the Surry Hills mob. We’d go up to Darlinghurst and there’d be a fight, and then we’d race like mad and come back. We’d probably stop at William Street, they weren’t game to come any further than that.  Might be a fortnight after they’d come right down Woolloomooloo and we’d have a bash up down here and chase them back. (Billy Pascoe)

Among young people, these demarcations, this sense of place, and turf ownership, if you like, was almost a way of being. Across the city at Alexandria, some 30 years later in the 1950s and 60s, Harry Brennan recalled:

We didn’t mix with the Erskineville mob. The Alexandria mob was different, and the Redfern mob were different again, and the Waterloo mob were different again. I don’t know what it was, I don’t think there was any struggle or anything like that, I just don’t think that they really associated with one another. The Redfern boys were pretty  tough, the tougher of  the lot, and I believe the Ultimo kids were even tougher than that. (Harry Brennan)

Despite the demarcations expressed above the area was not insular. Thousands of people were disgourged from train stations, such as McDonaldtown, each morning to work in the area, with an equivalent evening exodus – this was an accepted aspect of existence for locals that did not diminish this sense of their place. Your own place – where you shopped, raised and educated your children, socialised and gambled and often worked, was personally mapped in the psyches of the people and these maps focused around the suburbs where these people lived.

Yet, the places were not stagnant – there was a lot movement, people were coming and going. During the wars many men saw service overseas and in the depression years, many hit the wallaby track, in search of work. Listen to this extract about life in Erskineville in the depression and the role women had in the community.

Sometimes, there was …. this was in the [19]30s, they had a grandmother, a grandfather, probably had a couple of grown men like the boys and that, who were working, probably weren’t married because that was the Depression time, … my father’s family – they lived down in George Street and he, her husband took off to the country to try and earn, like to make a living because there was no money here, and no jobs here, so they went on that business of … going through the country, picking up whatever they could, … this is what, I don’t want to get into it, but that’s what, women were the bosses. This is what amazes me about all this talk about the influence of women. Women were the major people of, of authority and of that period if you go back to 1938, Vera Roach, oh there’s heaps, Lillian Fowler, all those women were really very, very, strong women, because the husbands from the time of the Depression, either were out walking looking for jobs…. we were all poor, I don’t think there was anyone bloody rich and I know they weren’t rich. But no, people didn’t have money. And some how, you know, you had something, I don’t know what, how, I don’t know how the women did it. (Terry Murphy)

Later on there were women like Betty Makin, a friend and co-activist with Marg Barry. Women like Honora Wilkinson, Nell Leonard and Brenda Humble were active in the Save the Loo campaign of the 1970s. Bev Hunter of Darlington became an Independent on the Sydney City Council in the late 1970s. And that tradition is still carried on, often informally via personal networks by women, for example, like Betty Makin’s daughter Jill Edwards. For Jill, the qualities that bind her to the area, aside from the multi-generational residency of her family are a sense of belonging, commitment, understanding and strength. The most recent disruptions to the sense of community in her opinion have come about through government policies of using the area’s public housing stock as a dumping ground. As Jill said, there have always been people with difficulties in the area but they could be coped with by the community, looked after and absorbed, but overloading has been a relatively recent phenomenon imposed from the outside. This has occurred at a time when low skilled jobs (e.g., tea ladies, messenger boys, cleaning) have virtually disappeared or been contracted out of the area. Leaving some of the most vulnerable, even more vulnerable, unable to find a role for themselves in the community.

Local Knowledge

Some things conspired, in the past, to ensure that people were known and seen locally. With no refrigeration, except for iceboxes or kerosene fridges people shopped daily- and they shopped locally – at local bakers, butchers, greengrocers and corner stores that served the ordinary working man. Jean Hendy lamented in the 1990s that King Street, Newtown, no longer had the range of shops necessary for everyday existence

Because in terms of the daily necessities of life people were out and about they were known.  Kids were sent to do the messages, for their parents and for less able neighbours and the elderly – earning some pocket money and in the process a body of knowledge of who was who, and how well they were. People talked and gossiped.

As Henry Brown, of Erskineville, said

A friend’s grandmother lived in the street back from Mitchell Road behind the Parkview Hotel, and somebody broke into her place and messed the place up and pinched a few things. Two of the local hard men, Limerick and Nigger Fox, passed the word around that if the stuff wasn’t back within a week they hoped their funeral fund was paid up, and all the stuff came back again. But if anybody in those days, especially around these districts, hit a woman or a child, well they’d have a good chance of finishing in hospital themselves, because there were a lot of hard cases, but they wouldn’t allow anybody to interfere with children or women. (Henry Brown)

Much of the local so-called ‘crime’ in the area was of a petty nature, or essentially victimless. Some, like brothels were later legalised and others were corporatised by the State government, like the TAB, initially run as a state monopoly, until it was privatised in the 1990s. Despite the reputation of the area, when asked if Surry Hills was a safe neighbourhood  in the late 1940s, Terry Glebe responded, wholeheartedly that indeed it was safe, while acknowledging that:

My dad did SP betting for a while, once my mother was standing at the gate calling out to me; I was only standing outside the gate and I couldn’t understand why.  And then a few years later I discovered there was a bell at the top of a gate post, a buzzer, and apparently at that time the police were coming around, and she was supposedly calling me to come in, when in actual fact she was pressing the buzzer to let Dad know, to get everything off the table and get all his friends playing cards. My dad was into anything where he could make a dollar.  He used to go down to  Thommo’s two-up school at the bottom of Reservoir Street and work there at nights, to make a few extra shillings. (Terry Glebe)


There are many contradictions when considering community life in the inner city. A significant theme is the fact that people were not necessarily living a life of abject poverty and deprivation. Take Anne Ramsay who was born in 1914 and  who in 1994 had been living in Marriott St, Redfern since 1928, firstly as a tenant, and from 1970 as an owner occupier. Two doors up  in 1994 there still lived a childhood friend and further up the street was another friend who also had lived there since at least the 20s. Anne had left Cleveland Street School to go  Sydney Girls, but when the depression hit and her father, who worked on the trams, went on strike, she had to leave school and got a job at Raleigh Park, the tobacco manufacturing plant near Moore Park. Even though Anne’s mum was an invalid and never worked –  lots of mum’s didn’t – Anne’s life was hardly deprived or confined to the area. She had relatives who were horse trainers at Kensington and she regularly rode and did track work atRandwick- just for the fun of it – and then there were the parties to celebrate wins. Anne, her sisters and friends went to the pictures regularly on a Saturday ‘arvo’. “Mum’d give us sixpence and thruppence to get an ice-cream”. That’s probably about $15 by today’s standards. The local fruiter, Mr Marsh, who had a horse and dray, would drive local kids and a few parents out to La Perouse on a Sunday for a day’s picnicing and swimming. At home there was a gramophone, wireless, toys and the ability to play in MoorePark, and further afield. Anne said they would:

Go for hikes down to National Park by train to Sutherland. Then we would hike from Sutherland down. We would go to a place called Burning Palms. Go for a swim. And you had to hike up all these big rocks, and that to get back up and then hike back to Sutherland to get the train when you were going home.

Although Jane Lanyon, talks about the family needing to do ‘midnight flits’ to escape the landlord’s bailiffs around Erskineville, Chippendale and Redfern in the depression years when there was no work for her father, who was a builder’s labourer, it was not entirely bleak. Incidentally, she described her father as a tall man who always wore a bowler hat and carried an umbrella. Not the picture that immediately springs to mind.  Her mother was a stay-at-home mum, there were eight children in an extended family, which would keep anyone poor. She and the neighbourhood children would get damaged goods from the local factories – anything that was produced locally – biscuits and saveloys, and fruit and veg from Paddy’s markets. But in the 1930s it was hard – all over the country and from my own research it doesn’t appear that the inner city people did it any tougher than those in Bankstown .Despite the hardships, the midnight flits and scavenging, there was family pride and limits, Jane got a hiding, when someone told her mum that she had been raising money by singing outside the Glengary Hotel.

This is what Jane had to say about life after her father lost his job:

He was always a, a builders labourer, but he had plenty of work. But then like the depression they stopped building and they got put off and ‘cause the dole in those days wasn’t like the dole today, you got a, if I can remember correctly, you got a food slip and then I think once or twice a year we used to get a dole issue of clothing and shoes. I’m afraid my mother was a regular customer at the pawn shops. As I got older I used to stand outside the hotels and sing. Oh, I was doing alright you see and I used to buy myself a halfpenny lolly and with the other money I used to get half a pound of butter or something, what Mum was short of and take it home and, she must of wondered where I was gettin’ the money from but somebody told her I was outside the Glengarry Hotel singing [laughs] . Oh dear, oh dear I’ll never forget the beltin’ I got [moans] . She was well known in the area, and… The drunks in the area knew my mother, they knew where they could come and get a feed. They used to knock on the side gate and they used to want a feed, she used to give ’em, make ’em some sandwiches and that, and, they’d leave their empty beer bottles there, I s’pose as, as a payment. 

As you can hear, people still had their pride and, despite the hardships, generosity. Jane had it pretty hard – a bed of old coats, no sheets and no pictures, but outings to parks and public places and books and supervised homework. Social clubs associated with lodges, the churches and The Settlement run by Sydney Uni. Singing and drama. And as the unemployment situation eased – roast dinners. It’s amazing the number of children who had piano and ballet lessons in what were reputedly the bleakest years of the century.

While I found some families stuck to the immediacy of their neighbourhood, many ranged the city and its distant fringes while remaining bona fide denizens of Waterloo or Chippendale. There was a rich social and cultural life here – even in the worst of times – and we need to keep in mind that the inner city was not alone in the suffering of the depression or the wars or in the experience of increased standards of living and affluence that characterised the post war period.  It may have been just more visible. The famous Newtown eviction ‘riots’, were also replicated in Bankstown. In many ways the residents were better off than those in the western suburbs, where housing, infrastructure and public transport defects caused enormous problems. The neighbourhoods were often mixed in terms of the socio-economics. People caught trams and, living so close to the city and beaches, they got around to public cultural and recreational facilities.

In fact, the availability of cheap public transport is another crucial element, particularly the trams – which gave a great degree of mobility to the people of the area. Ann Ramsay was not the only person to talk about bushwalking expeditions in the Royal National Park, or the Blue Mountains or walking out to La Perouse, or swimming at Bronte and Balmoral. To Nick Shehadie, the name Nambucca Heads, was magical – his mates used to go there for holidays and he wanted to go too.

Diversity and Acceptance

Waterloo resident, the late Kath Ingram, who had moved away for a time, returned toWaterloo because of the acceptance she found there for her Aboriginality. Kath said:

I still like the Waterloo area, I wouldn’t live anywhere else now. I think it is a friendly place,  cause out at Lugarno, there was a bit of racism and prejudice and different things. But in Waterloo the people around here are just more down to earth and they accept you. I think they’re lovely, I haven’t had any problems with any racism or anything, I think they all just learnt to live together, in this area, because a lot of the Aboriginal people have been around this area for a long time, so I think that the people around this area have just accepted it.

While Surry Hills was a very ethnically diverse area, with a large Chinese community interspersed with Greeks, Italians, Irish, Maltese and Anglo-Irish Australians, Mick Green, who grew up in Beaconsfield – his dad was the MP Fred Green, after whom Green Square is named – said of that area, that it was mostly Anglo-Saxon, with just a few exceptions:

For instance, there was one boy that I went to school with, and he was only young and he’d come fromGermany. And this is well before the war, 1936 or 35, he went to school in a German sailor suit. So you could imagine his reception, with the kids at the school. And I said to him, “Godfrey, get out of the suit for Christ’s sake,” so he did. But they’d come out here, they were refugees from Hitler, there was no doubt in the world about that, and his father was a glass blower and he’d received an offer of a job with the ACI over here. (Mick Green)

Sir Nick Shehadie in nearby Redfern found the community to be accepting with kids from various backgrounds mixing freely. He said:

The only differences I used to find was if I took something different in food to school, people would look, because in those days, if you didn’t have corn beef and potatoes, or steak and eggs, you were different. There was none of that race problem. Kids don’t know black from white, you know, we were just all kids together. I’ve been called a wog and all those things, especially later in the football years, I was called a black bastard and a wog. But by experts, not just here, even overseas. (Sir Nicholas Shehadie)

In the 1940s, there was the mass exodus and disruption when the flats went up and the home of the Shehadie’s on Walker Street and others were resumed and demolished. When asked to recall his saddest memory, Nick said:

I think when we had to move, from there, because, you know, it was a big wrench in those days, the housing commission come and knock down your place … we fought, you know, we didn’t want to go, and it was a traumatic experience for a lot of those people to move away from an environment they had all been used to, and some of them weren’t young, and it was very sad.

Gentrification had a similar effect in the 1960s and 1970s in Paddington:

They, they didn’t like it. I remember a lot of them didn’t like it, they’d complain and say all these new trendies that are coming in here, and what are they doing to our suburb, and things like that, so they didn’t like it at all, actually the original locals, that were there. That’s probably why a lot didn’t stay, well then the money was too good to stay anyway, because they were getting too much for their houses. But quite a few people were renting too, and they couldn’t afford to stay anymore, because once that started happening, the rent started going up, and the owners  saw the prices so they were selling, and people were buying them and refurbishing them, the way they were. So I guess because of that reason, because there was a lot of renters there, in the area, they didn’t like it one bit. (George Tourvas)

How has that sense of community been retained? To what extent? How can it continue to be fostered? These are some of the questions that the local accounts of life in the area bring to mind.

In the early 1990s when these interviews were undertaken of the seventy people who came forward to be interviewed 43 were still residents, some were multi-generational. They had friendship and community networks that had existed and/or evolved over their lifetime in the area. At the time, like now, many thought that the old community had been lost, that things were not as they had been. And life has thankfully changed in many respects, but many people still have those long strands of connection and others have formed them. There are new 3rd generation families in Redfern and Waterloo. Women are still talking over fences and in the street. Bonds have been strengthened and renewed through inter-marriage. People come back, its still a meeting place. I met many interviewees and was referred on to others at the Annual Woolloomooloo Playground Reunion. The inner city is not a completely transient place, you can still be referred around by people in the know to services and social venues – the playgrounds still exist, there are drama groups like PACT at Erskineville. As was the case across the twentieth century it’s easier for outsiders to focus on the difficulties.

There has always been a community here. It has evolved and the demographic changes as differing generations die out and a percentage moves on, but there are always the stayers. The elements that attract people to the area, the proximity to the city and social, cultural and recreational venues remain. The diversity of the area socio-economically has also been a consistent feature, with pockets of wealth as well as extreme poverty – the area has never been homogenised or pasteurised and it is this diversity and liveability of the area that in the past has served it so well and has continued to attract residents.


Now, there could be a sense that this is gone, but I know that this is not so. The community is still there – one wonders if in the redevelopment that is underway and as planners search for community, and express a desire to create communities – if they understand what makes a community, what the community was like before, and if they can recognise the essential elements that make up these contemporary communities.

The recent promulgation of the urban village idea which is now featured on the City of Sydney Council’s letterhead and its publications is actually recognition of the obvious. The fact that it appears as a novel or new concept is an indicator of the degree of misunderstanding and threat that these communities, centred around the newly branded villages, are under.

I don’t know whether the locals overtly ever thought of their places as ‘villages’ – but they certainly identified with, and knew the localities which were the core of their sense of where they came from, of their place. They continue to do so.