Advent Adventure is the fairly naff name I gave to a Durham County Council guided walk which circumnavigates Crook. The idea is to start off Christmas with a nice walk and end the jaunt with hot coffee and festive pies in St Catherine’s Community Centre, thereby contributing to the Centre’s funds ( a bit) and, generally, having a bit of a jolly, or, more appropriately, perhaps, a Merry for ‘tis the season, innit? We did it last year, so we did it again this year.
I did the reccy last week in sunshine but with horrendously sloppy conditions underfoot. Bruno the superdawg came with me and, as there’s very little in the way of stock on this route – apart from one field of sheep in the early throws of pregnancy (morning sickness – baaa .. blech…) he was off the lead and bouncing around just like a twelve year old dog doesn’t.
The reccy was incident-free, apart from the mud.
On the day, eleven people turned up, including a local and his wee doggy, and, including me and the two stewardsEric and David ( a completely different Dave to all the previous Daves mentioned recently). The conditions were sub-zero in a very arctic kind of way and the paths and so on were frozen hard and very slippery. We slithered around the course without any accidents or much in the way of excitements.
We lunched on Billy Row green where there are seats to sit on and, often, a sunny, sheltered spot from any searching North-easterly breeze.
It was here that our local described how he used to play footie on the green (it’s a bit tilted) and used the war memorial to bounce the ball off. He also had personal family knowledge of the local pits and now defunct and disappeared industry, so he was useful too.
We heaved ourselves up Dowfold Hill, through the newly waymarked golf course (we’re very proud!) and over the frozen newly cropped fields to Helmington Row and on through the land mentioned fairly recently in a blog post as being barricaded off by the landowner – now with new stiles and then…. a chap was seen to be performing some kind of pirhouette on a wooden bridge and, arms waving and uttering a cry of disbelief, he disappeared into the five foot deep ditch (luckily frozen and not filled with wet water), legs and feet waving uselessly in the air.
Various people extracted him from his hole and he was noted to have a small hole in the skin next to his ear and a grazed wrist , but otherwise cheerful and ambulant and happy to go on. So we went on. There’s an accident report……..
We finished, in a snow shower, as planned in St Cath’s with various pies and toasties and hot drinks.
It was just short of eight miles.
We might put a handrail and some wire netting on the bridge.