I didn’t run last week, but this run was the week before (as I write on the 7th June). I followed the same general route as the previous week with a few tweaks along the way as I discovered more about these new paths. Aside from Lew’s cows coming over to ‘talk’ to me as I ran past, the highlight of the run was actually stopping to allow someone time to negotiate a stile.
I stopped to chat and it turned out that the man (Peter ‘Percy’ Pettinger) had grown up in the Royal Oak and was just back in the area visiting.
I was captivated as Percy described the area when he was growing up in the ’60’s… for example, the main road had gates across it because common had sheep & cattle grazing on it. Apparently the local kids would turn these gates into tolls, charging drivers to pass through. As the road developed so they installed kerbs, but these stopped some distance on either side of the Royal Oak to give people more space to negotiate the sharp corner. He also described walking past the local labourers working in the fields and hiding, until they walked off home at the end of the day (probably via the Royal Oak), in order to poach a fish from the farm’s pond.
You can see the run on Strava at https://www.strava.com/activities/310967949 – 7.12 miles in 69 minutes (excluding the time spent talking!), average 6.2 mph.