Apethorpe 29 Dec 2022

Peterborough Ramblers undertook a walk of around five miles starting from and indeed ending at Apethorpe, on 29 December 2022.   The pictures here were taken by Simon Bradford.   The quite possibly inaccurate and undoubtedly occasionally misleading commentary comes from Tony Attwood, who this time has no excuse since he was actually on the walk.

So, we parked up in the village close to the church and by the stocks, noting the array of grade II listed limestone cottages and houses around and about.

The stocks are indeed always a good starting point, reminding walkers as they do, that one step off the allotted track can result in instant retribution from the local parish council.

The village itself is noted in the Domesday Book, and as your correspondent also lives in such a village I can indeed appreciate how much of a feeling of historical continuity this can bring.

Although upon being asked by a grand daughter what it was like in such olden times one can realise that the concept of “centuries” doesn’t always sink in until a little later in life.    And thus we walked past the village pub which it was noted by some who are regular habitues of such establishments was not only shut but also not opening until the hours of darkness which was presumable something that also goes back to the 11th century.

The good thing however was that the fields were not covered in mud and we found ourselves in bright weather and on solid ground, concepts that were something of a novelty to your correspondent.

One of the most popular sports in this part of Northamptonshire is deer racing and here we see a fine example.  Just out of  sight of this shot the bookies and the tik-tak men in days of yore would gather taking bets on which deer would make it to the finishing post first.

However unlike horse racing the numbering of the winner starts not with “1” but with “0” hence the historic phrase “O deer”.

And thus the walking continued until such time as sheep were spotted, and indeed another race was seen to take place,for as we walked into the field that we approached (as in the picture) the sheep decided that we were quite likely going to steal their food (what with the pub being shut).

Thus they made a bolt for the troughs (as I believe their dishes are called in sheep language) and guards were  thenceforth posted to ensure that none of the passers by would nick anything.

And quite a fearsome bunch of scalliwags they were.  (The sheep not the Ramblers – do pay attention!)

This episode caused quite a delay in our progression as members of the rearguard were then separated from the forward team, and Walker Recovery had to be called to reunite everyone in the next field.

The story continues in the second exposition of our grand post-Christmas 2022 adventure.

Some other recent walks

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