Saturday, 6 February 2010

The match, The Boat, The Castle and The Train

After returning to the Midlands, I had several jobs to do....
With feet swollen and throbbing, it took several days to put proper weight on them, so God knows how Willows paws felt!
After plenty of rest, it was time to go shopping for new boots and socks! Time to fill in the dreaded tax return, how it will work in the future with no fixed abode I don`t know.
I also found time to watch my favourite football team, Wolverhampton Wanderers and join in the their celebration of winning the championship and going back to playing top flight football - needless to say we were all well chuffed and we were there!
And so after a month and a half it was time for the off.......
With a lighter pack (though it did not feel it!) me and Willow went aboard the train to go to Poole in Dorset to start on the South West Coast Path.....

We stayed at Lychett Manor Camping and Caravanning Park in Poole.
Full of flu was I that I was stuck in my bed for 3 days til the worst was over and then it was time to look around............

The Boat

We went upon the ferry, faithful companion in tow.
She had never travelled on a boat, but I was dreading it though.
We had travelled by car, lorry and train.
But she seemed quite content with this new adventure and not strained.
New smells, The sea and fresh wind running through her hair.
Her cold wet nose eager and twitching and big bright eyes all a stare.
She caught site of something differently and definitely strange.
T`was the creatures of shallow water that couldn`t be seen,
But a load of yachts that weaved in and out of buoys and sometimes in between.

Around Poole`s Islands we would travel,
Discovering a past that would be unravelled.
The history of the Islands, nine in all, had fascinating facts that made you crave more.

Brownsea Island was the biggest National Trust Island of them all.
With Lord Baden Powell and his scouts setting up camp in 1907.
You can see why in this wildlife heaven.
The land had been left and very little unspoilt.
A lady once kept people at bay here,
She was a hermit but was good with a shotgun!
She let the land enjoy its natural terrain, with no poachers or farmers allowed.

Other Islands prospered too,
Long; Round; Green and Furzley were smaller in comparison,
Though with oil and clay they made pottery and provided heat,
But now one more is privately owned and another is sold, many of their stories will remain untold.
But take a trip around the Islands and see for yourself the richness they bring,
Though bring a warm jacket as the weather could turn.
But a great 2 hrs on a ferry at sea is what you`ll yearn - you`ll see.

The Castle

Corfe Castle was built tall and sturdy,
A sight to see and full of grace.
But along came the parliamentarians and blew it up!
Trying to destroy its name, its face.
The castle was built upon a hill with a huge gap inbetween,
Natural, deep and a formidable sight to be seen.
The hill has a murky past though and has claimed many lives, friends and foe.
In 978 it is claimed King Edward the Martyr was murdered here.
Stabbed in the back by Elfryda, wanting her own son upon the throne.
As Edwards fell forward upon his horse, his foot got caught and dragged him down.
His terrible injuries and faceless face, would calim his life and no more crown.
It would be 1066 when William the Conqueror would start building its castle and town.
Soon it would rise up and be a royal stronghold.
King John would use it from 1199 - 1216, but he loved it as a prison, a decision that would prove to many to be fatal and bold.
Housing many, 22 French knights would starve to death here.
Many would hide and hide in fear.
By the 14th - 16th century, Corfe Castle proved less important as a Royal stronghold and so fell into disrepair.
Indeed Queen Elizabeth I sold it to her Lord Chancellor of which it was considered fair.
He had refined the interior with fine furniture and silk curtains, then sold it to Sir John Bankes in 1635.
Suddenly the civil war erupted and a couple of sieges took place.
But a strongwilled woman held out, kept people together with firmness and grace.
Lady Mary Bankes was her name (a Dame she would later become)
In 1643 was the first siege, the second in 1646, but she was betrayed.
An army man went for reinforcements but came back with parliamentarians and thus ended the second siege.
The Parliamentarians blew it to kingdom come.
But quite a bit of the castle failed to fall, the last act of defiance to one and all.
Monarchy reigned supreme once more in 1660.
The Bankes regained the property though, Castle, town and estates in tow.
In 1981 it was eventually left to The Natural Trust, by Ralph Bankes descendant of Sir John Bankes.
So when you look at Corfe Castle and its surrounding village, just stop and admire the history that has been written, remember what you see. You`ll leave here enlightened and free.

The Train

From Swanage to Norden via Corfe Castle is where this train goes.
Its age, grace and flair is something to behold.
`Tis not electric or diesel but the original old coal and steam.
An old steam engine that is full of nostalgia, a remnant of times gone by.
You can see the white steam puffing out the funnel, sending signals through a tunnel.
Its sound rhythmic and gentle, no horrid drones to hurt your ears!
One thing was also noted, no mobile phones went off throughout the journey, nothing to destroy the nostalgic journey, people with carraige windows down looking out enjoying the rare freedom and sound of this train journey.
We all felt like we had travelled in time, even for this journey, a brief hour.
I can`t wait for my next trip.

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