Reported in the Glenside News in September 1995 …
From Richard Foers …
After all the hot and close weather we have had our August walk was thankfully completed on a much balmier day than we have been experiencing recently, with the open spaces carrying zephyr breezes to provide most amenable walking conditions.
This walk was noteworthy in that it was the last of the footpaths to be walked in the Castle Bytham parish – next year we shall have to walk them all the other way round! Our route led once again up past the church, old school and cemetery. How sad it was to see the increasing dilapidation and vandalism affecting the school. We then passed through Mr Hix’s pastures and linseed fields on our way to cross the Clipsham road. As on our previous walk to Stocken we noticed the serious effect of the drought on the ground beneath our feet. It reminded me how fortunate we are to have our houses built on solid, stoney ground with firm foundations as reports reach the media of houses subsiding due to the drying out of the clay beneath them in other parts of the country.
Our walk continued southwards towards the Holywell to Clipsham road, initially along the well worn track leading to the dilapidated School Farm, now little more than a derelict ruin and the subject of a current planning application. We wondered why it should be called School Farm but nobody knew. Answers on a postcard please … ! Although Mr Hix had recently cropped and ploughed the cornfield beyond he had kindly run his tractor over the line of the path to mark it out for such as us, so we were able to continue on line to the first of several stiles, which eventually took us down to the ridge which divides the two quarries adjoining the road, one some years derelict, the other producing the famous mellow blocks of Clipsham stone.
It was encouraging to find that almost all the group knew that the Houses of Parliament had been built with stone from Clipsham quarries. They were less aware of the problems which the quarries had faced in providing the stone, for the architects in London had specified dimensions for the stone blocks which were so large as to make quarrying most difficult, given the natural faults of the quarry face, which grew ever nearer as work on the building progressed. In the end an on site meeting had to be arranged with the ‘experts’ from the London end to the point out that the quarry would shortly be unable to meet the specification required. Naturally, the quarry owners concern was that they might lose the contract but as soon as they were made aware of the problem the ‘experts’ were honest enough to admit that they had never thought of the practical problems involved in quarrying to their specifications. So they reduced the size required on the spot and that enabled the Houses of Parliament to be completed in the same coloured stone. Not a lot of people know that!
Having reached the Holywell to Clipsham road we about-turned to retrace our steps, wondering why this route should be so particularly well way-marked. The latter end does run along the Leicestershire border but we were pleasantly surprised to find that the work had been done by Lincolnshire County Council. And so back over the tops, once again to admire the magnificent panoramic views of the local area and to reflect how fortunate we are to live in this lovely part of the country. And so to the pub!
September walk …
Contrary to what I said to those on the August walk(!) our September walk will be The Highways and Byways of Morkery Woods. The intention is to spend as much time off the tarmac paths as possible on the woodland trails, ending with a picnic in the picnic area. So please assemble at the Morkery Wood car park at 10.30am. Anyone needing transport ring 410523. Exceptionally this walk will be on Sunday 17th – the 3rd Sunday.
Added : 22/12/11 : MG