Thursday, 6 August 2020

Lieutopie Preuilly

As some of you know we are involved in a project to open a community space in Preuilly. It is called Lieutopie, with the strapline 'The association for promoting conviviality in Preuilly'. To my mind it fits very well with my personal project for creating links between the local French and incoming other nationalities, which I've called the Claise Connexion [Link]. The project has been very kindly offered a former shop on the market place but it needs a full renovation. Our first real action was to set up an association and to enter a competition to win a pot of money from our Département (County). Since we won some money we've been on television [link].

The former shop (under the balcony) that Lieutopie Preuilly has been offered.
House and former shop on the market place, Preuilly sur Claise. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

Dotty did a great job of writing up our project for the competition website and Raphaële worked hard to encourage people to vote for us. She has also created a Facebook page [Link] where we will post news about our progress as it happens.

We will shortly be having a meeting to formalise the association. We've decided to go with the collegiate style of management, with no office bearers, but a committee of 8-10 people who will step up to take on responsibilities and tasks as required. We will also have associate members who can be brought in to work on specific things.

 Dotty and Raphaële discussing our info board at the market.
Reading info board. Preuilly sur Claise. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

Our idea is that the use of the space should grow organically, according to perceived needs in the town. At its simplest it will just be a place where people can hang out and have a coffee, but we could also provide a play area for kids while parents shop at the market, or have lectures, readings or small scale performances. It could be a depot for veg boxes or exchanging books. Anything that people want and will volunteer to run.

We felt it was important to situate it on the market place, especially since the closure of the Restaurant l'Image. Today, in a space which should be the heart of the village, there is only a hairdressers, a dressmaker and a bakery outlet on the square. When we first moved here the bakery outlet wasn't there, but there was the hotel-restaurant, a florist, a bank, and a vet along with the dressmakers and the hairdressers. In the mid-20th century there was also an insurance agent, a key cutter and knife sharpener, a hardware store and a dyer. The former shop our project has been offered was once a haberdashers and mercers, then sold religious ceramic figures. 


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Colin and Elizabeth said...

Has the demographic of Preuilly changed any over the years? Are you getting more young people?

Sheila said...

I was wondering the same thing.

Susan said...

Yes. I would say we are getting couples in their 40s with kids. Also, these days, we are the oldest in our immediate group of neighbours. One of our neighbours is going to have a baby in three weeks time!

Jean said...

The way I read your post suggests that the vet practice is no longer there. That's a shame. He was a very down to earth person and pragmatic in his approach to things in our experience. He saved Lulu's life when she was bitten by a black Labrador and in huge pain and distress.

Susan said...

He retired last year and no one took over the practice. He still lives in the house above the surgery. There is a new vet in Yzeures now, but for a while our nearest vets were Tournon or Descartes.

chm said...

I have tried to find out what lieutopie could ever mean and I haven't been very successful. The only thing I found was an organisation étudiante culturelle et solidaire in Clermont-Ferrand with the name LieU'topie. Are you in any way connected to them since you have about the same name spelled differently that doesn't mean anything otherwise, except for utopia!

Susan said...

It's a play on the words lieu and utopie. Put them together in a made up word and you have a utopian space. That is what it is meant to indicate anyway. We have no connection to any of the other lieutopies out there, which is why we are careful to add Preuilly at the end.

Colin and Elizabeth said...

Heck!! You used to joke you were the youngest in the village... Great that it has reversed.

Susan said...

It's that cycle you get in neighbourhoods, where the oldies die off, their properties come up for sale at a good price because they need renovating and young people come in and take over.

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