I love Dorking, the town near where I live. It is a little more than a mile from our house so will often walk “to town” on Saturday’s. Stops include Millet’s (an outdoor equipment store), Oxfam (a used bookstore), British Bookshops, a really cool mom and pop hardware store and Starbucks.
Last week I read a brief history of Dorking and learned it has probably existed since at least 40 AD. It was a stop on the Roman road from a city on the southern coast of England to London. Dorking once had a reputation as a smugglers’ town (with a maze of tunnels that still run beneath the city streets).
A local resident sailed on the Mayflower, John Wesley started a church here and a host of other famous people have passed through a town that has changed little in its complexion in probably 200 years.
Through the years Dorking grew in prominent residents who established large farms and neighbors tell me Denbies Vineyard produces the UK’s best wine.
I don’t believe that I’ve ever walked through Dorking without the words of John Mellencamp’s song “Small Town” echoing through my mind. (So, here’s my video dedication to my adopted town.)