Great Oxendon

Sunday 13th September 2020

So last time we did this walk the walk report opening line was ‘Who would have thought that today would have seen us walking in temperatures of 20° or even slightly higher? Low and behold, we had temperatures of high 20’s yet again.

We were able to walk as 1 group today as the new COVID guidelines don’t come into force until tomorrow. I’d forgotten the amount of stiles at the beginning that needed to be climbed and certainly don’t remember the amount of barbed wire around them and elsewhere. We are considering wire cutters are needed as part of walk leaders itinerary!

A thank you to Martin who was leading the walk and successfully got us to Arthingworth (without missing it!) Coffee was taken in a quiet spot where a couple of passing walkers asked if we were a band of gypsies but not sure if I missed the connection for this comment. [Ed – looking at the attire of certain individuals, I can understand the comment, albeit a bit on the rude side.]

Today we went through the tunnel at Great Oxendon, back in March 2014 we walked over it. A bit of history especially for Andrew and Emmie....The tunnel was designed and built by George Stephenson and opened in 1859. It was built as a single track line to connect Northampton and Market Harborough, to transport huge amounts of ironstone. The tunnel, situated in the Brampton Valley Way, is 418 metres long with single vertical air ventilation shaft half way through (35’ high on the outside) which allowed the smoke from the trains to escape. There are a number of doorways that have been bricked up called refuges. These were used to stand in as the trains passed through – but we were unable to see any of them. The tunnel is unlit and our torches came in very handy. [Ed – another item to add to your kit list for those who didn't have one.]

Just after the tunnel there was a handily placed bench for certain oldies to use, I’m sure there’s a picture that will name and shame them!

According to Alan’s new little man we had been walking at over 12mph, Martin is a tough leader making us walk at that pace![Ed – yes, my new little man isn't yet performing as expected; but a little bit of encouragement can soon improve matters.]

Still, we didn’t have far to go before we were back at the start which meant we were in the pub (the Swan in Braybrooke) sooner for a well received cold drink.

Report - Sue

Walk rating – Not bad.

Pictures - Alan

picutre 1

The natives look reasonably friendly.

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A patchwork quilt of fields.

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The gypsies amongst us can be identified by the peaked caps and neck scarves.

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The church at Arthingworth.

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Exiting the railway tunnel.

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The tunnel exit.

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We stop for lunch and those darn gypsies are still with us! The oldies can be seen occupying the bench. Meanwhile George keeps a lookout for any other needy travellers or unrestrained puppies.

Back line