Aughton is a quaint little locale in the northwest of England, in the county of Lancashire. It falls part way between being a village and a town. It is rural in the sense that it is surrounded by fields, and suburban in the sense that nobody works there. It is blessed with a variety of fine old trees, not least the stately willow that stands in my own front garden. The central shopping area consists of two places of business, a Spar (formerly a simple corner shop) and an upmarket butchers, which adjoin to a now abandoned post office. The population is primarily made up of expatriate scousers, such as myself, as well as the "locals", who have seemingly been there since the creation of the universe.
"And on the seventh day, He rested... Until late afternoon, when he made the people of Aughton"
House prices range from the substantial to the astronomical. There are no truly cheap properties in Aughton, the name adding considerably to the price, but a recent housing estate (built much to the consternation of the established local people) is relatively reasonable. However, approaching the mansion end of the scale, million, or even multi-million pound figures are considered appropriate. Therefore, Aughton has been home, and is home, to a fair few minor celebrities: Roy Evans (former manager of Liverpool FC), Alan Kennedy (former player and now sometime TV football pundit) and Ian McCulloch (lead singer of band Echo And The Bunnymen). It is connected by rail to numerous places, but the only ones that people ever really go to are Liverpool and Ormskirk. It exists in a mysterious transportation blackspot, however. Not because it is not connected to the wider MerseyRail Electrics network, but because MerseyRail do not recognise its existence, despite stations on both sides of it being a part of the MerseyRail system. Therefore, MerseyRail passes and tickets are not valid for one station, and one must get off and buy a separate ticket to the next stop. Of course, you could opt to not to, because never in my life have I been asked for a ticket in or around Town Green station. If they check you, I give you permission to blame me. In fact, you can even come to my house and demand recompense. It is a three minute walk from the station.
Politically, it is ultra-Conservative, the electorate consisting primarily of elderly, middle class Daily Mail readers. However, much to their dismay, it shares the constituency of "Lancashre, West" with the towns of Skelmersdale and Ormskirk, both Labour strongholds. Therefore, it exists in fairly safe Labour seat. Geographically, it falls under two spheres of influence, the glorious city of Liverpool, and the rural idyll that is West Lancashire. Therefore, it is not as rigid or insular as many small British communities, but possesses a benign Middle England ambiance, that casts a kindly glow over all who enter. There is a modest town hall, mostly used for OAP functions, which looks out onto an expansive park, which boasts four football pitches, three concrete tennis courts, a wealth of children's play apparatus and a rather peculiar dog's adventure course (which I have only ever made use of once, the dog in question, a Cairn Terrier, being too small). Most notably however, it possesses what is officially recognised as the best kept bowling green in the greater Sefton area.