Footpaths

From Clifford Chambers
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I (Avril) took down all these notes in the 1980’s from people in their 70’s and 80’s. However, I realised that what they told me did not happen only in their childhood, but in their parents’and grandparents’ childhood, and even beyond to the 1700’s and perhaps earlier! What was clear, was that footpaths were walked regularly. By the time I arrived in the village in the late 1960’s, some of these footpaths were overgrown with weeds and brambles and some had disappeared altogether.

These footpaths are our heritage, many of them the original ‘roads’ or bridlepaths leading across farmland to neighbouring villages. Before Clifford acquired the wealthy addition of a bridge, villagers had to walk across the ‘ford’, or paddle across it, at the end of Duck Lane in The Square. The ‘road’ possibly then crossed the field to join up with the present footpath going past Cross-o-the-Hill to Stratford Rec. near Holy Trinity. Presumably, villagers then crossed the River Avon where the old ferry now is.

Soon after I arrived in the village, a special Footpath Walk was arranged. This became a regular annual event. The first one drew so many people to The Square – the starting point – that it had to be divided into three sections going in different directions. The oldest participant was a Mrs. Welch, aged 90!