The Barnack Walk – part 2, more words, more pictures

Pictures by Tony Attwood, Text by Sir Hardly Anyone

The Barnack Walk in Words and Pictures Part the first

Below are the photographs from the latter stages of the Barnack Walk on 13 June 2024.

It is indeed sometimes necessary to remind people that various activities are not allowed even when they are in fact impossible, as with the notion of cycling in dense woodland with undergrowth and whatnot biting at one’s ankles.

But local councils need to spend our hard earned money on something and so any excuse to put up a sign is accepted with relish and indeed sometimes with tomato sauce as well.

But of course, we Ramblers are not to be distracted by such chiff-chaff and so we venture forth, always looking for the next moment of excitement, and failing that, of interest.

And to be slightly less frivolous for the moment, that (along with the chance to natter with other walkers) is what I like.   I never have a clue what we are going to see next.

And most certainly on this walk that was the issue for no sooner had I become accustomed to one landscape than looking up I found something quite different, in this case what I was taught in my London youth to call “the big ‘ouse”.

And there it was standing in splendid isolation save for the trees and fields.  Who lived therein in such grandeur: well I know not, but I didn’t see any of our number nip off for a quick sandwich so I conclude ’twas not one of us.

And then forsooth another church.  I am not sure how many churches we passed, because I didn’t photograph them all, but there were quite a few.  And it made me wonder if people go church spotting like they used to go train spotting in days of yore.

Indeed was the challenge of each village to put up a church of greater grandeur than that in the village half a mile down the road?

But of course around each corner there is always another surprise, as we saw with this vehicle parked by the roadside.

I think I would call this picture “Four jolly chaps with ladders” if I named each picture that is taken on each walk, but in fact pictures are not named so I won’t.  But instead I scurry along to catch up with the rest of the gang before they turn right and vanish.

But even so, in a landscape that permits a wagon with four jolly chaps painted on the back to park by the roadside, there is yet another house of majesty just along the way, resplendent with iron gates, almost semicircular entrance, and important looking posts with a notice which said “if you don’t have a double-barrelled name, go away” or something like that.

And yet of course this is notall, for once more we venture on through more fields of field type things that grow in fields in order for the fields to feel occupied rather than ignored.

And once more single file is the order of the day staying strictly to the path, which makes one wonder how our valiant photographer got this picture without breaking the law.

And yet it would be wrong to think that singlefilededness is a reason for silence, for this is far from reality.  Conversations continue as the half-turned heads show.   And I for one am most grateful for that because it gives me a chance to pick up on the details of what we are passing, why it is there, and what happens to it later.  And apparently a lot of the stuff we see in these fields turns into food!

Or so I am told.   I mean I am a trifle dubious because in reality I saw very few tins or cans or bottles, but I was assured this would indeed become foodstuff, and food actually does grow in fields.

Being of London origins I knew nothing of this and still am not sure if I was being had.  And indeed the number of people by this time looking back at me made me highly suspicious.  Were they, I felt, checking to see that I had been taken in by their mischief as they exploited my lack of country knowledge?

That question was not answered, but we did finally find our way out of the fields and back onto the road, although this in itself was odd because there was no traffic.  Hard to believe in the 21st century but it was true.  The open road was indeed open.  Obviously some children had been along and painted white lines at various intervals, for a jolly jape, but of them I could find no sign.

I hope to walk once more next week and find perchance some answers to the questions posed here.


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