This is nothing to do with anybody called Winston Stiles, although it’s quite a good name for a character in a novel, I would have thought. No.
This is more to do with making a right of way which leaves Cleatlam in Teesdale and goes across a shallow but ancient ditch marking the parish boundary into the parish of Winston. One stile had barbed wire along the top and was falling to bits and the other had already fallen to bits.
Eight of us – four paid County Council staff and four DVCRS volunteers, met a small dog in Cleatlam and poddled off through a muddy field to get to the offending structures.
The little dog – just a pup, really, gave a yelp at the first stile and ran off back home, being chased by a local horse. A bit odd…. till we discovered that one of the strands on the fence – a bit rusty and quite old, was electrified and was putting a jolt out every two or three seconds or so. Many of us felt the benefit of this bonus to our levels of alertness.
Stiles 1 and 2 – Before….
The short version of this tale has us digging holes, putting in new posts and footboards and finishing off the job with some waymarker thingies. Stile 2 had a bit of new fencing and some wire to make it lamb-proof.
The stile 1 working party had a small crowd of horses which came to investigate every now and then.
Stiles 2 and 1 During renovation (and lunch)
It was a nice day. I hope the locals in Cleatlam will enjoy being able to follow this path without ripping their naughty parts on the fences or falling off the dereliction.
Stiles 1 and 2 Complete