Only the reincarnated usually get the opportunity to return to the Pearly gates – and so it wasn’t with me.
The Pearly Gates, of course is the local name of the level crossing with white-painted gates that, many years ago stood on a colliery railway line near the village of Brandon, just outside Durham. Really attentive readers may remember that some months ago, I had a day hacking through undergrowth along with various Durham Countryside and Brandon village volunteers in order to have part of this old line opened as a brand-new public right of way.
Yesterday, the hacking job was completed and all that remains now is for a mower to chug it’s way along the path to tidy up the surface a bit from the brambles.
Now certain people, naming themselves as “Skid Marks” (Ren) and “Red Bull” (Stimpy) have been writing on a walkingforum (hint) that Countryside volunteers are, and I quote, “parasites”. Presumably, as I’m a countryside volunteer and eligible for a free walk every now and then, this label also applies to me.
The reason for this walkingforum rant seems to be that they/he have/has a bit of a gripe about the fact that two years ago, the Council put up the charge for walkers attending guided walks to £4 from £3 and that the walks are now the sole dominion of middle-class walkers who can afford the extra quid. The volunteers, of course, get to go on the walks for free, hence the accusation.
They (He?) is/are right bitter about the whole thing. Good. He is, of course, welcome to come on the walks. And they are ,, in fact, open to everybody. Even pillocks who need to get themselves a bit of a life instead of sitting at home simmering about an extra quid. Its a good job the Council didn’t get their way and put the price up to six quid, which is what they wanted to do until certain “parasites” objected in strong terms otherwise Skid Marks’ eyeballs would have probably exploded in anger by now.
Pics are “before” (ish) and “after” (ish). I am now really good at lopping branches by the way. And the good news is that I might soon have an opportunity to slash my way through similar vegetated paths at Wolsingham.
Neither Ren nor Stimpy will be allowed to make any comments on this blog about this subject unless and until they reveal their/his true identity and not hide behind their/his armoured keyboards.