Reported in the Glenside News in July 1995 …
From Richard Foers …
Well it had it happen sometime and so it came to pass that for the first time our monthly walk took place in wet weather. Nonetheless, some hardy souls did venture forth to brave the elements, which in the event proved better than had looked likely earlier in the day. Discretion being the better part of valour we decided to take a shorter walk than the round trip to Stocken, particularly since certain of the party were very keen to watch a Very Important Rugby Match which kicked off at midday, at the end of which Rob Andrew gained immortality with his last minute dropped goal, to the delight and joy of the majority of the nation.
Our revised route took us up the side of the cemetery heading south across the railway bridge and pasture-land towards the Clipsham road. A small group of cattle fortunately paid us scant attention as we passed by before we crossed crop sown field on which the footpath still remains to be reinstated.
Gaining the Clipsham road we turned left and made our way past Bytham Heights, across the cross roads and on to Zetland House, where we turned left off the Little Bytham road up the track towards the quarries. We noted that the wooden Public Footpath sign at the junction with the road had been snapped off during recent hedging operations before we turned west once more to come up onto the ridge above Fishpools. It had stopped raining by now and we stood for a few minutes where once the village windmill had plied its trade to look down on the structure of Fishpools. We wondered to what extent the ground formation around us was natural and what part had been sculpted by the hands of earlier men. It has become my personal belief – there is no evidence either way – that since the area between the top of St Martins and the end of Fishpools is the only relatively flat land in an otherwise undulating landscape that it was from here that the soil was taken to supplement the natural mound on which the castle was finally constructed. After all, they had to get the soil from somewhere! Equally, it has to be admitted, the Fishpools complex might have been built several hundred years later and form no part of our Norman heritage.
Coming down to the cricket pavilion we turned north in the direction of Lawn Wood, giving thanks once again to the farmer who has cut holes in the woodwork by the stiles to allow easier access for the accompanying dogs. How quickly the grass has grown on this part of the walk, which we escaped by turning left over the bridge and stile and back towards Castle Farm on the western side of the castle mound. Then it was back up through the village in comfortable time to disrobe, change, grab a beer and settle down before the TV set to watch the famous victory!
July Walk …
What can be said with certainty is that the next walk will take place on the second Sunday in July, the 9th, leaving the Castle Inn at 10.30am. Having failed to do the scheduled Stocken walk for the last two months I shall content myself by observing that our steps may well be heading in that direction – at last!
Added : 17/12/11 : MG