CONTACT: SPRING 1969
With a change in the season the least we can expect is a change in the weather, but the biting easterly winds which whistled out the last days of winter showed no signs of abating with the coming of spring, even when the Club's ramble had been planned for the first Sunday of the new season.
The area chosen for our walk was in the countryside around the villages of Blakedown and Chaddesley Corbett in Worcestershire. On this occasion it was possible for all of us to make our own way to Blakedown by private transport, the number present just filling the seats in the four cars available. The railway station forecourt in the village was an ideal place to park our cars, and it was here we finally assembled prior to our walk.
Just beyond the station only a short distance up the main road to Kidderminster we left the beaten track and made our way along a bridle path towards some wooded country overlooking a watered valley. Skirting an old mill in the valley below, we eventually came out onto the main road to Bluntington. Not wishing to continue along the highway for too long we climbed over a stile in the grounds of a country mansion known as 'Monks', and made our way across the fields to Harvington. The old Hall in this quiet hamlet is of great historical interest. It was the headquarters of Father John Wall, the last of the English Martyrs who was executed because of his faith in 1697. A mile further on lies the village of Chaddesley Corbett. The church spire, a landmark for miles around was clearly visible. It was almost one o'clock when we crossed through the churchyard and headed for the village inn where we the landlord kindly allowed us to eat our lunch in a private room.
After lunch we followed the country lanes to Hill Pool and Drayton. Drifts of snow several feet deep were still piled high on the side of lanes. Belbroughton, on the other side of the hill, was our next port of call. We have frequently visited this village on our walks, and once again we sat for half an hour in a shelter on the green, enjoying a few jokes and making idle gossip. Instead of following the main road to Clent for our evening meal, we retraced our steps for about half a mile and turned off the road at a bridle track leading to Holy Cross, ten minutes away from our final destination, and our ham and eggs.
Of course no one had a magic wand available so it was not possible to jump into our cars after our meal and head home. We still had to walk to Blakedown. Although the evening walk was only about three miles, the road signs around Broome gave varying distances much to the consternation of some of us. But as we drank the ales of our choice before a blazing fire in the 'local' at Blakedown, it was evident that we had all had a wonderful day and looked forward to the next ramble. We think you would too. Why not come along?
M J DAVENPORT
CONTACT: CHRISTMAS 1969
The streets of Elmley Castle were deserted when we arrived there in our cars just before lunch one Sunday in September. Parking our cars was no difficult task as there was plenty of room available. After a quick drink at "The Queen's Head" we began the steady climb of Bredon Hill.
A keen wind was blowing as we climbed the tortuous upper slopes of the hill having left the friendly path far below. The course to the summit now was through the gorse and brambles. When we eventually reached the summit the path followed the ridge. The view from here was breathtaking. The rolling plains of the of the Vale of Evesham stretched far into the distance.
A grassy slope overlooking St Catherine's Well was an ideal spot to eat our lunch. After spending some considerable time enjoying the marvellous scenery, we descended the hill. Just past Woollas Hall we joined the lane to Great Comberton and civilisation once again.
In the centre of the village we took a short cut through the churchyard. The village shop was open when we passed and an ice cream was very welcome.
The sight of a wayside seat in the village of Little Comberton when we passed through, was a welcome sight for some of us. The more hardy amongst us, however, rested our weary legs by stretching them a little farther along the road back to Elmley Castle.
Those who had fallen by the wayside were not neglected. We picked them up on our way back to Evesham where we all enjoyed a good hot meal. But to end a perfect day we called at "The Green Dragon" at Sambourne on our way home, and over a couple of drinks, sitting before a blazing fire, we related tales of past adventures.
M J DAVENPORT