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Walk 29 November 2019

Mud, mud, inglorious mud

A forecast of persistent drizzle did not discourage twelve walkers from gathering at the Bletchingley Arms on November 29 for a late autumn tramp. The group set off southwards and within a few minutes John Parker fell victim to the muddy path, though suffering only a loss of dignity and a covering of slime.

Valiant walkers negotiate the mud

The route led along the Greensand Ridge and we were soon enjoying the extensive views from the path overlooking the site of Bletchingley Castle – sacked by troops returning from the Battle of Lewes in 1264, as Dave had to recount once again to his memory-challenged navigatees.   All survived a muddy descent and crossing a marshy meadow which led to a dingy foot tunnel under the M23, where the group paused for a rendition of My Lord. 

Walkers in late autumn landscape

More muddy fields greeted the group as they soldiered on towards Nutfield.  Martin (Polly) Perkins suffering particularly as once again he was wearing unsuitable footwear – yes, the very same trainers which had caused his broken ankle on the Winter Solstice walk of 2015. We passed close to the casualty site and inspected the spot where numerous emergency vehicles had gathered for his rescue.

Station stop - end of the line for Polly

After crossing the Redhill-Tonbridge railway, the group were soon at The Station pub, to greet social member Ted Mouat, together with Dick Jones who had travelled to join us by bus.  After beer and songs, Polly decided to accept a lift with Ted for the return leg,  being replaced in the second tenor section (of one) by Dick.  Soon after re-crossing the railway, we entered a cavernous tunnel back under the M23 where we performed Anthem from Chess. As the sole second tenor, Dick carried the tune by himself wonderfully.

Banners and Roger on the homeward leg 

The drizzle continued as the group headed across muddy fields and up a steep muddy path past Bletchingley Castle. John Parker fell again, adding to the covering of mud on his trousers.  The  sun had long set by the time the walkers reached Bletchingley High Street where they splashed into the pub to join a very dry Polly and Ted for a nourishing dinner.    

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