At first sight, this looks like a classic British village. There’s a beautiful two pubs, a shop, a school, a village hall, a huge Georgian manor house with landscaped gardens, cricket pitch and dozens of red-brick cottages with gardens in full bloom and vegetable patches bursting with cabbages, cauliflowers and sweet peas.
There’s even a cricket pitch, with a match in full flow and the offside stump leaning drunkenly to one side after a particularly unplayable spinner.
But on closer inspection, things don’t look quite right. The fielders are a bit wobbly in the leg department and the chimneys are wonky – In fact, the whole thing looks rather, well . . . home-made. Which is no surprise, because every inch of this village – Mersham, in Kent – has been lovingly knitted by a small group of very twinkly ladies who started 23 years ago with a couple of cottages and some pigs, and ended up creating more than 60 properties, complete with wheelie bins, outdoor loos, gas tanks, cars in the driveways and even a smart red telephone box.
It all started in 1986 when afew ladies from the Mersham Afternoon Club had a bit of time and a few balls of wool on their hands.