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Walk report 2023 Oct 23 V2

Youthful memories and double custards

A select group of six walkers left the Woodman in Woodmansterne on October 23 and headed west across flat horse-grazing land towards Banstead. Former cricketers in the group remembered their youth as we crossed Banstead Cricket Club before passing the ancient Banstead church.

Five of the select six stride out

Banstead High Street provided an unusual urban setting for the walk, followed by a lengthy descent down Bolters Lane to the busy A2022.  Tranquillity was restored after crossing the road on to footpaths across Banstead Golf club and the glorious expanses of Banstead Downs beyond.

All six at the California (not Bay Area, Belmont)

Refreshments at the California pub near Belmont station led to discussions as to the origin of the pub name. Subsequent research indicated that the former seafaring landlord John Gibbons named it in the mid-19th century because the landscape of Belmont in the Bay Area of California reminded him of home.

We started the return journey back up across Banstead Downs, but Tony Keel’s bag didn’t. The group paused while he sprinted back to retrieve it. The track then led alongside the grim exteriors of High Down and Downview prisons back to the A2022.

Banners scoffs his rhubarb crumble (NB double custard)

The final stages included some overgrown paths and dilapidated stiles as dusk approached and drizzly rain threatened. Morale was restored back at the Woodman as the hearty dinner included rhubarb crumble with lashings of custard.



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