It’s been an interesting and busy week on Social Media for the people of Bollington. The Saga of the BayLeaf Development reached a dramatic climax when the application was refused on Tuesday. The people of Bollington demonstrated to Cheshire East Council that they will fight tooth and claw to be heard and will fight with dignity, valour and integrity. The Council listened to reason; a victory for Bollington indeed. The news was shared throughout Facebook and the people cheered. Then the mood kind of changed…
Throughout the week the Bollington Facebook page has been very busy indeed. I think it is fantastic that we have such an active community who engage collectively on Social Media and share experiences, local knowledge and simply introduce themselves. In fact, the activity on the Bollington Page has been so good, they have have had to recruit more admin! Often citizens asked the community where they can obtain goods, products or services. Other’s make comments about the parking and other community problems and indeed successes. But one thing that creeps in every now and again throughout the exchanging of comments on the post is the notion of being a Bollingtonian or a Bollywog. This has become the subject matter for a number of posts I have seen this week and I must say, I find it a rather contentious issue and wish people did not put others down for not being one…yet.
I ask, what does it mean to be a Bollingtonian, or indeed a Bollywog? Many find the latter offensive but this is a name people do use to define themselves within the community. But whether you call yourself a Bollingtonian or a Bollywog, how did you actually become one? Is there a difference between the two? and what are the rules to join the Bollingtonian club?
Interestingly, I know I am a Bollingtonian and also a Bollywog. I am not sure if they are mutually exclusive or not but I feel that I am both. Why? Maybe because I was born in Bollington, this may give me an automatic licence to call myself a Bollingtonian/Bollywog. But I don’t know what its definition would be other than signifying that I am from this town. Much the same way I am English and a person from London is a Londoner.
I return to my original question, What is a Bollingtonian/Bollywog? My answer to this question is this; I believe it is a state of mind which represents that a person is community spirited, who shares the same values and beliefs of the collective town and believes in the prosperity of the town and is proud to say they live in Bollington. I also feel that one does not have to meet all the criterion. There are many people who do any great things for this town who do not live here and make Bollington a better place. Importantly, I feel that individuals should not be denied the right to criticise or indeed praise Bollington on social media or have these comments dismissed purely on the simple grounds of not being a Bollingtonian/Bollywog as the result of not living here long enough. I feel that this is inclusive and this is everything I find the people of Bollington not to be.
The Bollington community is warm, friendly and happy to help and more importantly always looking to have a good time. I understand that at times, the notion of Bollingtonian/Bollywog is expressed as a joke or tongue in cheek on social media but I do think it is something we should take seriously. At what point does a person become an Artist? When they sell a piece for a million pounds? When they have their first gallery exhibit? Or when they have been painting for 10 years? or what if, maybe, a person is called an artist when they themselves feel like an artist?
ONE COMMENT FROM THE BOLLINGTON PAGE SUMS UP HOW AWESOME WE ACTUALLY ARE
As most of you will know, I was born (well just outside) and raised in Bollington. I have seen so many changes in our village over the years, but it’s such a lovely place to live. I think on the whole we are a strong community. Some of you that haven’t lived here all your lives are truly welcomed here, and I for one know that some play a major role in our community. I love that! There are plenty of us ” born and bred here” which I am so proud of, but bollington welcomes anyone who wants to live here. Have a lovely weekend. xx
We have a fantastic community, we successfully demonstrated that this week, let us never forget this. Let’s also cherish the memories of a time gone by. Let us remember the idyllic architectural landscapes and rolling hills but let us also welcome the future of Bollington residents with open arms. Final thought; we have many people within our community who were not born and raised in Bollington but who do a tremendous amount of work which results in us all living in a better town which makes everybody else want to be a Bollingtonian!
Let’s be proud that people want to join our club!