Saturday, 9 June 2007

FROM CORNARD TO CORNARD

First of all I must warn you...if you've popped over here during the adverts of your favourite TV programme...move on.. this has turned out to be my longest post ever!!!!.....but please come back later when you've time to spare. Our "little" walk to see the ramp that Nicole had helped to build turned into a three hour trek as we decided to follow some of the route of the The Valley Walk. It has been beautiful weather..just perfect for a hike! This walk consists of going across the railway line at Great Cornard, walking beside the river to Friars Meadow near Waitrose and then following the track and completely skirting around the town in a full circle; finally ending at The Old Bathing Place where the ramp was built. I took so many photos and will interspace a few of them LOADS OF THEM (hopefully in order) along with the happenings of the day and a few historical facts...(some from heresay and some from Tourist Board Information. )
Crossed the railway line to the river:
Today the Gainsborough Railway Line links the town with the main line to Liverpool Street; if you cross the line as we did you can walk along the riverside towards the town. It is possible to hire rowing boats and canoes or even have a pleasure boat ride.


The whole of the river bank is swarming with dragonflies......these are just a few that were willing to pose!

Two different ones in this next photo............
Sudbury does have its own relative of the infamous Loch Ness Monster......................can you spot it in this photo?Only kidding it was just a dog having a swim........I hope the big pike isn't still around.....there's a tale that a large Pike lives in this river..so large that it has taken a dog or two!!!....this could well be one of those "fisherman's tales" though.

We do have some LARGE wildlife along the river though.................

With the weather being so warm I think this one was glad of a drink...and "baby" found her own nourishment as Mum had a drink too.
From here we continued into Friars meadow....there was a Beer Festival going on but we were very good and didn't stop. Before Dr. Beeching the railway itself continued to Cambridge along the line of The Valley Walk. This now provides the walker or cyclist with superb views of the town and river; beyond Ballingdon Railway bridge you can continue on towards Rodbridge Picnic Site or descend onto the footpaths of the Common Lands
The Common Lands
Sudbury's Freemen have grazed their cattle in summer on these ancient pastures for over 900 years, removing them each autumn to drier fields. The Aberdeen Angus you saw earlier used to graze here but after an unfortunate incident when a walker was gored; they have now be moved to the fenced off enclosure nearer Friar's meadow.
These cows were happily grazing though and Chris did a perfect impression of a cow mooing.....
It was so good that the cows started to respond and walked nearer.........

and nearer................
until we could see the whites of their eyes!!!!........I think Chris has missed his vocation as a cow herder! There were so many butterflies around as we turned into the meadows......as usual the moment I got out my camera most of them flew away......
This horse turned his back on me too! I thought of Julie's daughter when I saw it...she's quite a horsewoman and I'm sure she would have had better luck calling him/her over.
We started to walk through Fulling Pit Meadow; its name indicates that many other activities once took place on these lands (in this case the fulling of woollen cloth). Today the commonlands are still primarily managed to provide grazing but a variety of other habitats have been developed for wild birds, animals and flowers. There is an excellent network of paths criss-crossing the commonlands for visitors to enjoy. This took us to Salmon's Leap...it's quite a rush of water comes down here...whether there are actually any salmon I don't know but there were plenty of fish in the water...impossible (sadly) to photograph as the water is so turbulent they just don't show up in a photo.

I did manage to snap this though....I don't know what it is but it has a mighty long tail!......
in fact the tail is more like an impaling spike.......didn't like the look of it much............
After dodging numerous cow pats.....(no photos of these...I was too busy watching where I was walking!) and a good hour and a half of walking we had almost reached our destination..........................
AND HERE IT IS....................THE RAMP!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nicole explained what was involved in making it........including the cement mixer falling over on her!
This stake was one she actually sawed herself.....she was the only girl in the group and was a little worried that she may not be able to do as well as the boys but two of them said she did more work than the others!....she was quite thrilled with that....
and under the mud are some of the nails she hammered in......
it was quite a drop and they had to make sure the slope was at a gradient that was manageable for a wheelchair....
There were a few foot/pawprints in the concrete............after all the trouble they took smoothing it out!
I know how much it meant to her to think that one day someone who may be in the position her grandad was in will now be able to see this.......
The Old Bathing Pool...........

and will be able to watch their grandchildren catching "tiddlers" with a net.....


There is still more to be done...other areas to make wheelchair friendly.....we are seriously considering contacting the Conservation Trust to see if we, as a family, may be able to help with future work.
We were all starting to feel rather "peckish" by now...so made our way towards the Croft so that we could get into town...
The Croft is a large, triangular green sloping down to the mill cut where children and adults love to feed the many ducks and swans. It has been an open space for centuries. Fairs were held here until 1862 when the council decided that 'they had deteriorated into mere pleasure fairs to the hindrance of the trade of the town'. There are many fine oak trees which were planted in 1902 to commemorate the Coronation of King Edward VII. Over the footbridge is Mill Acre, where there is a boating pond and picnic place (why didn't we bring a picnic!).
Not the best of photos but this duck was swimming to and fro with leaves in its mouth as it built it's nestSome of the male ducks were really harassing one of the females....Nicole noticed a bit of "eye candy" herself on the bridge!.......
She decided to try her hand at fishing...armed only with a plastic bag.........she was so patient and time after time she dipped the bag in the water vowing she wouldn't leave until she's caught a fish........FINALLY she succeeded..........I've circled the fish...it's so small that trying to get a close-up of it was nigh impossible......of course she put the fish back..............it was the challenge of catching of it that was important to her...................
Then it was a case of up the hill and past the church.

St Gregory's Church

Christians have worshipped on this site for well over 1000 years; Bishop Aelfhun visited Sudbury in 797 AD and died here. The grisly relic of the head of Simon of Sudbury is kept locked in the vestry. Simon founded a College for priests here and became Archbishop of Canterbury and then Chancellor of England. His introduction of the poll tax contributed to The Peasants Revolt in 1381 and his beheading at the hands of a London mob. Inside the church note the fine carved misericords, chancel stalls and 15th Century font cover (the tallest in Suffolk).


I won't keep you much longer; we walked into town....ate our fill in Pizza Express!!!...and got a cab home.........................

and the poppy I watched coming out this morning?................. well it wasn't quite fully out when I left home.........and when we got back.....well by the time I remembered it had closed up for the evening!!!!!!

8 comments:

julia said...

Wow! Thanks for taking me along on your beautiful trek. Really gorgeous.

Akelamalu said...

That was some trek Ruth! Fabulous photos, I felt I was with you on your walk. What a grand job they've done on the ramp - they all deserve a pat on the back! You must be so proud of Nicole, with good reason. x

Jeanette said...

Hi Ruth, Im huffing and puffing after that long walk im sure I took every step with you. really beautifull photo's you took on the way. Take care you will need a rest when you get back...

Michelle said...

Fantastic! I feel like I was there. Yay for girlpower!

CG said...

Wow, I really feel as if i went along on the hike with you all. Am so pleased to see all of Nicole's hard work. HUGSxxx

Mark said...

Hi Ruth,I have finished two cups of tea while reading . Such an amazing day and one that appeals to me. Do you think you are becoming a dragonfly convert.
I'm sure in years to come that post put in by Nicole will mean so much to her, has she thought about putting a plaque on it...Lol

Good post and a enjoyable read... few i need another cup of tea.

Cheers Mark

Auntie Noo said...

Ruth, that was a beautiful post, fab photos, and I have enjoyed such a lovely walk with you! Nicole did well, and the ramp looks amazing..... it will make such a big difference to so many people. Three Cheers for Nicole!!!!

Shaz said...

Looks like one hell of a day out. Well done to your Granddaughter too x x x x Loved the wildlife pics x x x

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