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February Ramblings 2019

23th-24th February 2019

On the last weekend of February, over twenty members of the Society attended the Neglected Mountain walking weekend that was based in Bishop’s Castle in Shropshire. On Saturday, we walked along the Stiperstones ridge, including stopping at the Devil’s Chair to enable some members to climb it and take photographs. We proceeded along the ridge and then descended down Crowsnest Dingle (“Greystone Dingle” in the Lone Pine books) to Stiperstones village, including stopping at the Post Office/shop which was the inspiration for Harman’s Stores. The last part of the walk was through part of the “Land of Dereliction”, the area known for its old lead mine workings and spoil heaps (although most of these are now grassed over), with opportunities to look back up to the main features of the ridge above us. We were lucky to enjoy fine weather, with blue skies and a lot of sunshine - there was no evidence of the devil sitting on his chair!

The Sunday morning walk, with more sunshine and blue skies, was shorter and involved climbing Perkin’s Beach dingle up to Shepherd’s Rock on the Stiperstones ridge, a walk past the ruins of the old villages on the eastern slopes of the Stiperstones and then a steep descent back to Stiperstones village via Mytton Dingle, the latter thought to be an inspiration for “Black Dingle” in the books.

A full report will appear in the next edition of Acksherley!


In the footsteps of the Buckinghams

14th-16th September 2018

Around 25 of us gathered in Stratford-upon-Avon on Friday, 14th September and enjoyed a pleasant meal together. This was a precursor to a cultural weekend based on the Buckinghams' experiences on their journey south, as told in 'The Long Passage'.

After a morning when the delights of Stratford (including a Food Festival) were explored, we met in the afternoon at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre to watch an innovative, contemporary version of Romeo & Juliet. The violence of knife crime and gender fluidity (with a number of male roles played by females) brought the timeless story into the 21st century. The drama of gang warfare & the melodrama of the 'star-crossed lovers' were counter-balanced by the humour of the Nurse in a gripping production.

Another tasty meal on Saturday night was followed by Sunday morning options of a trip along the River Avon or a visit to Shakespeare's birthplace, before we met to eat together once again - Sunday lunch this time.


Rye weekend – 1st – 3rd June 2018

1st-3rd June 2018

49 members attended various parts of the weekend which was an excellent turnout for what was a very enjoyable weekend in glorious weather. A group of us began the weekend on Friday afternoon by meeting at Winchelsea Museum, close to the church of St Thomas’. We were then taken on a guided tour of the town which included a house that was built approximately 200 years ago and underneath was one of the famous Winchelsea medieval cellars that the present owners had discovered, gradually cleared out and restored this amazing space.

We also stopped outside Chelsea Cottage where Malcolm Saville had lived, complete with blue plaque (Malcolm Saville, Children’s Author 1901-1982 lived here)! Then, onto a nearby field and along to what is left (unfortunately not much at all) of the old windmill where Jon lay on the floor and listened to the conversation between Slinky and Ballinger’s niece Valerie. The 1987 gale had completely destroyed the windmill so the only remains are a couple of brick structures and a solitary millstone.

We met up again in the evening for a sumptuous feast at the River Haven Hotel

On Saturday morning we walked from The Riven Haven Hotel to Rye Harbour Nature Reserve and across to Camber Castle where we were met by Dr Barry Yates, the Reserve Manager who gave us an excellent tour

A boat trip had been planned for the afternoon and we had been split into three parties for what we expected to be a sedate trip around the harbour which, for some, turned out to be an ‘acksherley’ rather exciting ride on a Rib (a rigid inflatable boat) with 2 x 150 hp engines – rather powerful then! After this exciting excursion, we all headed back to our respective accommodations for some much needed warm showers before meeting up for another lovely evening meal at the River Haven Hotel.

On Sunday we split into three groups for walks around Rye based on Malcolm Saville’s book ‘Portrait of Rye’ led by Clive, Sally & Kim

Rye is an absolutely fascinating little town and we saw many interesting properties on our walk; too many to mention here, but, as written by Malcolm Saville, “you can go and see it for yourself”.

The three groups then met up at The Hope Anchor Hotel, the location of The Gay Dolphin, for a delightful lunch. Many of us had pre-lunch drinks outside as it was such a lovely sunny day and we could look over the wall that Jon and Penny used to sit on and look out towards the sea, imagining the children doing the same. Now where did that secret passage go?