Easter Sunday 4th April 2021

So the good news is that we are able to walk again in groups of 6 but what I want to know is when and how did I upset Alan as I was put into group 4, no names being put out in the public domain, but I feel I was put in the naughty group 🤣 [Ed – I knew you'd be able to hand them.]

Arriving at our designated what 3 words start point, near Melchbourne, we set off on quite a chilly morning and were soon treated to the sight of a lone Stag. Passing the impressive Melchbourne House, a Jacobean mansion which has now been divided into luxury apartments, the wind dropped and it soon became quite warm. The Motte and Bailey was a picture stop for Naz before we saw group 2 and then 3 approaching in the opposite direction. Heading towards Yelden, the route was generally open and rolling in nature and predominantly used for agricultural purposes. The conversation turned to Ray's choice of exercise outfit and words fail me in an attempt to describe it, it’s probably best if members who wish to purchase one, speak directly to Ray 🤦‍♀‍

Coffee was interesting, watching James strike up his Gaz stove to boil water for the coffee, there was talk of providing us all with a roast lamb dinner at lunchtime, but that’s all it was, talk!! We came across an area which was heavily concreted which Ray suggested could be the remains of an old airstrip, and he was spot on - Roger sending a link about the same thing confirmed it - see below.

"During World War 2 Riseley was used by the USAAF as a base to store and fill bombs which were then forwarded to local American air bases. A large camp was set up at the top of the Carriage Drive to Melchbourne House to house the troops. The camp included a cinema. The American airmen stationed in Riseley Camp occasionally held parties for local children and there are still residents living in Riseley who can recall attending the children's parties on the camp. A 'Forward Filling Station' was set up in the woods at the top of the carriage drive where bombs were filled with gas. The last remaining containers of gas were removed in the 1970s. However remnants of deadly mustard agent and its breakdown products still remain in part of Coppice Wood near Riseley in an area which is currently fenced off and surrounded by warning signs about toxic chemicals. This mustard gas was meant to have been removed in 1988 and then again in 1998 but some of it still remains in the wood. Bombs were also stored on the then closed Sharnbrook Road just past the junction with the Butts".

Good to be walking again, hopefully soon, will be able to enjoy post walk drinks.

Report by Sue

Walk rating – Average.

Pictures - Alan

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Some Easter lambs.

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The Motte and Bailey area at Yeldon.

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We pondered over what this building was. We concluded a holiday let possibly for naturists.

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Melchbourne Hall.

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