Little Totham (8kms/5miles)
Although this was to be the September walk we actually walked it a week later on the first Tuesday in October. It happened to be a good choice as the weather was superb with bright sun and, although not entirely clear, the visibility afforded extensive views especially to the south across to the River Blackwater. More importantly 16 walkers turned out and we had one extra U3A member for lunch.
Having been greeted by the landlord in The Swan and ordered our food we left heading up a lane and onto open fields. As usual much chatter ensued. The path led to a road where a workman was busy putting in a new fence. We admired his work; he joked that he hadn’t seen anyone come this way for weeks and thought we may be lost, After some friendly banter we went on our way (I overheard one lady walker say what a handsome man he was and another what good legs he had – obviously I go around blinkered). We branched off over a recently harvested field where the soil had been turned but thankfully not furrowed, so it was easy to cross – and dry too.
It seems the strangest things appeal to the walkers and the sight of a dead mole fascinated them – he was recently dead and it was a good opportunity to feel its fur. Later a friendly grey horse came to a fence to greet us and enjoyed a few peppermints – he got more attention than the workman, obviously had better legs, so we had to get a picture of him.
Along a section of road we came upon a typical roadside stand where normally eggs, flowers or vegetables are displayed for sale but this one differed and had pictures of tiny puppies presumably for sale. A footpath led off the road through a small private garden, across farm fields, another road and onto All Saints Church at Little Totham. This church is historically and architecturally interesting with its 12th century nave and doorway. Nikolaus Pevsner in his book ‘Essex’ from the series ‘The Buildings of England’ speaks highly of the merits of the latter. Entering through this we passed into the bright well-kept interior and it was a pleasure to admire the font and enjoy the sun shining through the stained glass windows. The tower with its weather-boarded upper part houses three bells of which two date back to the 15th century; there was much to enjoy. However, lunch beckoned and we left to walk the last few kilometres back to the pub.
It was a super lunch that was served promptly and enjoyed by all and still chattering and laughing the group departed in a good mood.
Next Walks – Tuesday October 25th meet 10.00 The Bell, Woodham Walter 8kms/5miles
Tuesday November 22ndmeet 10.00 The Bell, Rettendon 8kms/5miles.