Ramble Reports for September 2019

“Autumn Stroll around Snowshill!”

Rachel & Geoff’s Midweek Ramble 4th September

Ramblers: Christine Adkins, Phil Dobbins, Chris Francis, Glyn Hayter, Michael Hicks, Paul & Hazel Jennings, Alan & Pauline Saunders, Ann Shorthouse, Margaret Stokes, Geoff & Rachel Thould (leaders), Geoff Smith & Pat Whitehurst. (15)

The car park looked extremely busy, as we arrived. Perhaps lots of people were joining us at the last minute, but no, another rambling group had decided to use the same car park for the start of their ramble! Anyway, after all of us managing to find a car parking space we set off in glorious September sunshine along a lane leading us out of Snowshill to the junction with Buckle Street. Here, we left the road and headed off along a track towards a wooded area known as Bournes Folly. The views were clear and unbroken, without a building in sight, until we arrived at Snowshill Farm.

This is a collection of Cotswold stone buildings, many of which are holiday homes. After a short walk along a track we arrived at a gate with a sign saying Site of Scientific Interest. This area contained some belted Galloway cattle, grazing peacefully beneath old hawthorn trees. Following the edge of the woods, we descended to the road, which led us back to The Snowshill Arms, where we restored our energy levels with food and drink! After our refreshments we took the road out of the village, past staddle stones, built into a wall, towards Littleworth Wood, which is owned by the National Trust, stopping along the route to admire the wonderful clear views across to Broadway Tower and Snowshill, nestled in the hills.

The September sunshine brought out Red Admiral butterflies, enjoying the last of the wild flowers in the hedgerows. Picking up the Cotswold Way, we rambled along, with the fields opening out to give clear views across the Vale to Bredon Hill and beyond. Charms of goldfinches were enjoying the thistleheads as we picked up the Winchcombe Way, which we followed to the valley bottom and then up to Snowshill Manor Car Park and back to our starting point.

Rachel & Geoff

“A Fruity Surprise!”

Marian’s Short Ramble 18th September

Ramblers: Christine Adkins & Derek Ball, Maggie Atherton, Marian Bearcroft, Chris Francis, Glyn Hayter, Alan & Pauline Saunders, Rachel & Geoff Thould, Geoff Smith & Pat Whitehurst. (12)

In beautiful September sunshine 12 ramblers set out from The Green in Ebrington, walking along the Main Street to Nash’s Lane.  In 2012 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee, Ebrington arranged to place 8 Parish Boundary Stones, quarried from Oathill Quarry, Temple Guiting, around the parish.  We passed the Ebrington/Ilmington Parish Boundary stone as we walked uphill to the Foxcote Estate, the 18th century Foxcote House now owned by American businessman Leslie Wexner (Victoria Secrets empire).

At the top of Knowlands Hill we stopped for elevenses where there were lovely clear views of Ilmington and the Warwickshire countryside and we watched/listened to a video of a few ERC members, whilst on their recent Berchtesgaden holiday, singing “Do Re Me”.!!!! After passing the Nebsworth masts, a few metres of road walking, then through Madgcombe Coppice we began to walk downhill towards Ebrington.

We stopped to pick some ripe blackberries before arriving at the main Ebrington Boundary Stone near the village hall. No lunch venue had been booked so by common consent (Vegetable Matters too busy) we went to the Butchers Arms in Mickleton where we enjoyed good food and drinks sitting outside and chatting in the warm sunshine.

Marian

“Wet Wandering Wolves!”

Mike, Roy and Val’s Sunday Ramble 29th September

Ramblers: Christine Adkins, Chris Francis, Roger Hallam, Carl Hedderick, Paul & Hazel Jennings, Roy Pritchard, Alan & Pauline Saunders, Natalie Taylor, Mike & Val Taylor, Marg Townend, Pat Whitehurst. Visiting: Vanessa Hallam. Apologies: Angela Fowler and Maggie Atherton. (14)

Parking near the Science Park in Coxwell Avenue was ideal, adjacent to the canal at Lock 14 and no parking restrictions.  Arriving as rain now stopped, having travelled on M5 with the predicted rain.  Canal pathways around here are covered in what I see as lovely blue engineering bricks in their uniformed pattern, added to which there are so many cathedral high viaducts connecting the railway. We were mindful of shouts “jogger” “bikes” (route 81 Aberystwyth to Wolverhampton) and making sure we weren’t the ones stepping too far to the right!  Within the hour most were de-robing as the sun came out.  From the path we could see the grand Chubb & Co Building built 1898.  Through the dark Wolverhampton Tunnel and into the sunlight we hear chattering birds. 

At Lock No. 1 we reached the Lockhouses c.1770 awarded plaque 1999. It was noticeable how many large brown sites were available around the canal areas. Many brick warehouses were left derelict alongside the canal.   Early 1880s John Lysaght expanded the Osier Bed Iron Company and Swan Garden Iron Works for their rolling mills and in 1953 Qualcast purchased the Swan Garden site.  A short break as we heard about the cast iron sculpture funded by Bentley Bridge Leisure Park. We had a view of New Cross Hospital birthplace of Pat. At the Pub & Carvery @ £4.99 which is on the nicknamed Curley Wurly canal we had time to take a Heron picture shoot. We took a comfort stop at Wednesfield with its delightful weekly pavement market stalls but the 10p toilet block was not working.

Off the canal now and onto the Monarchs Way (King Charles II) and we took a coffee break just as the slight rain began.  Crossing the busy road, we took a left down the disused railway and a right towards a farmyard and then left down another busy road, by Millride Car Boot field (closed due to weather) between two radio masts to take a left at the top of the hill and over our second stile. Due to a blocked footpath we walk right and down into a coppice and up a ridge to bring us to another busy road. Over and down through a coppice missing all the puddles, over a wooden bridge and up through the Northycote Farm estate, the corner cottage built 1600. Walking at the rear of the cottage on the bridle path with its Maple trees we head towards Moseley Old Hall. After crossing a flooded stream bridge with gushing rainwater, we head down the lane to the Hall to take refreshments at the NT tearoom where we met up again with Vanessa.

At 2.15pm we walk back up the lane towards a busy road and off Greenfield Lane we go left by the huge sub-station, winding our way through the grassy paths and stream of a ‘70s housing estate to come to the cul-de-sac leading to Bee Lane and the A449 roundabout.  Crossing this we are on Wobaston Road, passing Collins Aerospace complex. We were told that nearby was the ancestral home of Pat’s family. After 400 yards we reach the canal bridge taking us right to the canal path and back to Lock 21 where we follow the blue bricks to Lock 14 and our cars. Alan gave the group’s Vote of Thanks to Mike, Roy and Val for an interesting and varied urban walk.  An alternative car route back was via Kidderminster passing Molyneux stadium and Bank’s brewery.

Val Taylor

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