Text contributed by Ian S., pics by Christina, captions by Glen.
Sixteen of us set off on Glen’s Yards, a circular walk of about 5.5 miles from Lavenham via Brent Eleigh in the pouring rain. We were very soon fifteen as Geraldine Grundy decided to opt out and repair to a local coffee shop. Most of us would agree that this was probably a very wise decision. We trudged around the edges of several fields while the rain continued to pour, ever heavier. As we walked uphill we were met with a mini torrent on either side of the road. We eventually arrived back as the rain eased (a little). This is without doubt the wettest IOG walk I have taken part in. People dispersed for lunch and some went home, probably due to being soaked to the skin!
For lunch some of us sheltered in the porch of the magnificent church of St Peter & St Paul where we were welcomed by friendly members of the church. We were told to go inside as it was a little warmer and to use the ‘facilities’. Surely Christianity in action!
The second half of the day saw Jim Grundy turn on his tour guide mode, giving us an excellent tour around the centre of Lavenham. We learnt that the Cock Horse Inn, although thatched, was actually only built in 1950, replacing a pub of the same name on the same site. In this instance, a cock horse is believed to be a place from where you could hire a horse. We looked at the wonderful crooked house and noted the notches in a nearby timber framed building used for assembling the frame, and also the fact that timber-framed buildings were often built off site and reassembled in situ. Pre-fabricated buildings are nothing new, apparently.
We visited the Market Place where one of our number demonstrated his perspicuity by working out that that a former pub was in fact named the Red Lion.
Not everyone settles happily in Lavenham, Marco Pierre White, the celebrity chef, bought the Angel Hotel and proceeded to repaint it in the wrong shade of pink. Eventually, he had to have it done again to conform with local regulations! He moved out shortly afterwards.
It seems that the owners of the Swan Hotel have bought an awful lot of the centre of the town or is it a village. I’m still not sure…
We finished off in the Greyhound where certain members were looking forward to visiting a ‘proper pub’. Sadly it is no longer a proper pub, but a shiny modern bistro. No tables were available but we were told we could stand around. Clearly this was unacceptable so we trudged back to the Cock Horse where we were made most welcome and we sat around enjoying various beverages.
A really interesting tour by Jim resplendent in his Institute of Tourist Guiding lanyard. Thanks again to both Jim and Glen for an interesting and wet day.
P.S. Jim – we won’t tell that you turned your back on us whilst explaining, contrary to the ITG rules…