Trinity Men’s Fellowship Eccleshall - Staffordshire

 © Trinity Men's Fellowship       Webmaster David Sandham

August 2018. Walk and Lunch.

Over the years, there have been many interesting and enjoyable walks in our picturesque county. This walk surpassed them all in its beauty and charm. Our journeys  began at the Greyhound Inn at Burston. The Inn is situated in a quiet lane off the A51 some couple of miles south of Stone. Twenty-odd coffees were served as routes were discussed and finalised. We, the short walkers (not in stature you’ll understand) sat a mite longer in the bar with extra coffee after the youngsters strode off heading north. What an athletic bunch they looked!

We moved off from the car park in warm sunshine turning left towards the village centre. On the right, we passed a row of houses whose wide drives and splendid gardens were protected by expansive cattle grids, reminiscent of ancient fortifications!

Within only a few yards we came upon a triangular miniature village green on the left and a superb pond across the way. The pond is almost a small lake. It has a tree lined island, home to families of mallard and moorhens. Swirling swallows and house martins wheeled in arcing circles both feeding and drinking performing wonderful acrobatics in front of us. We sat a while entranced.

Soon we carried on along the designated path towards the canal bridge and a stile that was to cause some of us no little discomfort. The pathway was narrow bordered on the right by a tinkling beck and on the other by a hedge with numerous gaps affording splendid views of meadows and distant hills. Then, bizarrely, a narrow boat seemed to float across the open field! We were, of course approaching the canal and the stile. Crossing a stile is not normally a two man job but for TMF seniors, two men are certainly a requirement! The common cry was “push the back leg higher; no, higher!”

Then, all safely if painfully over we had a most pleasant meander along the canal bank heading south. We had the occasional conversation with passing navigators of narrow boats, dog walkers and cyclists. The sun was shining, the walking easy, the banter entertaining; what a pleasant day!

The second and final stile proved to be easier to overcome, leaving us with plenty of breath to amble back towards the centre of Burston village. It was at this point that an eagle-eyed elder statesmen identified an antique bird scarer. This later turned out to be a modern gate post topped by a large concrete ball! After a short while we managed another rest on the benches, observing the colourful wild life on the lake. As we had time, we visited the tiny church which nestled behind the line of ancient picturesque cottages. It really is well worth a visit, being small but perfectly formed, a veritable centre of peace, serenity and prayerfulness.

Heading for a well earned lunch, we passed the forbidding cattle grids and quickened our pace to an amble, to finish the tour looking more like proper walkers than we had managed for the past couple of hours. We merged with the non-walkers in the bar and were reunited with the less disadvantaged (but rather sweaty, it must be said) members of the Fellowship. We were seated in the airy and bright restaurant on three tables, surrounded by other diners. The Chairman asked the assembled customers to bear with us, explaining that we would say a short prayer for Andrew, a long time member who very sadly passed away a short time ago. It was most touching that everyone joined us. Thinking of him and missing his cheerful company, we enjoyed excellent food and excellent service.

Click here to see details of the longer walk