Happy Wanderers gathered at Reculver car park to set about a walk, part of
which had not been walked by this group before. Before the adventure could
begin there were three dramas to divert us. Firstly the astonishing news
(to anyone who has been on the Moon for the last 9 months) that Theresa May
has posted the letter to Mr Tusk invoking Article 50 of whatever Treaty will
get us out of Europe and so complete this Nation's shooting of itself in the
foot. Secondly was the car park ticket machine not functioning and, when we
phoned the advertised number to make the payment, the automatic voice
response said it didn't recognise the number of the ticket machine. There
was much wailing and gnashing of teeth before we decided to give up and not
pay. The third drama was when Mr P lost his rucksack; after accusing
everybody and anybody of moving it or hiding it, John advised him that he
already had it on his back.
Having settled all that, off we went on a circular walk following Wantsum
back through Hillborough, and Bishopstone passing various apple and pear
orchards on the way. About 5 minutes after a brief drink stop, Mr P
discovered he had left his walking stick somewhere "back there". A chorus
of "Come back Barry, all is forgiven erupted". From Bishopstone we passed
some rather idiosyncratic properties that combined elegant new builds and
elaborate extensions and ornate gardens with Steptoe's Yard and the Council
Tip. A pleasant lunch was enjoyed and then completed by Mr P enacting a
further "Barryism" in packing away not only his own flask but that of
another innocent, unsuspecting walker. We do worry about him. It was
agreed that as the the Youngest Member is temporarily unemployed because of
the Eldest Member's absence, he should be redeployed as Carer for Mr P.
Agreement was unanimous. We finally set off through Reculver Country Park,
passed a film crew and completed the 6.9 miles by 12.45. An enjoyable and
incident packed walk.
Made out of brick the predominant feature of the 'Old' St John's Church were the two towers inspired by a similar set on St Mary's Church, Reculver, in Kent. The story behind these somewhat unusual features states that they were made at the request of Elizabeth Macquarie, as St Mary's was the last church she saw as she left England. Governor Macquarie asked his aide-de-camp, Lieutenant John Cliffe Watts of the 46th Regiment, to come up with designs. Frank Walker in his article in the Parramatta Historical Society Journal refers to a drawing folder by Watts in the State Library of New South Wales, Sydney, which includes drawings of the church spires; one of which bears the watermark of 1813 and has Macquarie's initials and approved written on it. Also in the portfolio is an excellent water-colour of St Mary's Church by Watts.
|The knapsack that disappeared|