Text contributed by Ian S., pics by Ian and Glen
The fabulous fourteen set off from Cockfield village hall where some had availed themselves of the ‘facilities’ and one or two had taken a quick glimpse of the art exhibition. The sky was overcast and there was a stiff breeze but at least it was a bit like Baby Bear’s porridge, not too hot or too cold, just right!! Shortly after we commenced we reached Bulls Wood, managed by Suffolk Wildlife Trust. Apparently dormice are found here but we walked through without spying any, although there was a lovely aroma of wild garlic as compensation.
Not long after this we reached the scene of a ‘tragedy’ – not, as some might think, a performance by the group Steps, but the site of a WWII air crash. In 1941 a US B-17 Flying Fortress departing from Rattlesden airfield crashed in fog shortly after takeoff. Very sadly all ten crew perished: a sobering reminder of the futility of war. These young persons died far from their home while fighting for our freedom.
Our lunch stop was at Earls Meadow. It appears that Glen gives a lot of thought to his walks, even arranging our lunch stop by some picnic tables and benches. No sitting on the grass today! After lunch the sun made an appearance and several members decided to disrobe – well, partially at least! We passed along the route of the former Long Melford railway (the Bruff line), before ascending to Smithwood Green for some lovely, panoramic views. During this part of the walk one of our group described his impending TV appearance. A great deal of merriment ensued and a Q & A took place about the dangers of appearing in a reality programme!
The former RAF Lavenham is on the site of a farm near Cockfield where we discovered a huge stack of hay bales, sadly accompanied by a massive dump of plastic containers nearby….
On our return to the village hall, a couple of us visited the lovely parish church and then decided to repair to the Horseshoes pub, only to find – to our shock and horror – that it was closed. And on a Bank Holiday Monday no less! Fortunately Simon Feyver was not present to witness this sad event!