The Church Walk by Julie Franks
Once everyone had arrived at the starting point on the edge of South Wingfield with hats, suncream and insect repellent as well as the usual foot wear we set off, no need for coats as it was hot and sunny with no sign of rain.
We went through the churchyard of All Saints South Wingfield where a church has stood for over 1000 years, initially a wooden building of Saxon origins now a Grade II listed stone building. The first stone church on the site is thought to date from around 1269.
We headed across fields towards Oakerthorpe. We walked alongside and crossed a number of busy roads with traffic which included a steam roller and old tractors all heading for home after attending Cromford Steam Rally. At one point we nearly caught the steam roller up as it chugged up the hill with a long line of traffic following it.
Four friendly horses wanted to get to know us better as we tried to get over a stile into their field, some of the group were not happy as one horse nuzzled up to us as we each climbed the stile. “Farmer Steve” befriended the horse to distract it as we got over the stile and on our way across the field.
We stopped to have our sandwiches on the edge of Alfreton golf course. As we carried on our walk through the golf course we did not see one single golfer playing on the lovely sunny evening.
We walked beside Oakerthorpe Brook on our way back and passed South Wingfield cricket ground. The ground was hard and the grass crunched under our feet, because of the long spell of hot, dry weather.
We had three walk leaders, each waiting for the other to make a decision as to which direction and not always helping if one started to go wrong! There were occasions when they all appeared to have to think which way to go. But were we worried about them leading the walk? No, we knew they would get us back safely.
Next month’s 5 mile walk on Sunday 2nd September will be led by Eric and Helen in the area of Hathersage. Any newcomers will be most welcome, just turn up at the church gate with a packed lunch and walking boots when transport will be arranged.
Will everyone please note that we will be reverting to our usual time of 12 noon starting from September until May of next year.