This planned “gentle stroll in the sunshine” proved to be somewhat different – more like a swift trip through the rain. To be fair, it didn’t rain all the time, but it did put something of a damper on the day.
There were three of us from Northampton, Joanne, Marc and myself; Leicester Unitarian Fellowship was well represented along with two from Market Harborough. We met up at 10:30 and the Umbrella Fair, an annual environmental event started at 12:00. This was a bonus as we didn’t know it was to be on this day until a few weeks ago. The first part of the morning was spent by walking around the park looking at the earthworks of the Deserted Medieval Village. These are so useful as they provide me with a chance to show people how archaeologists recognize significant sites. The park has good examples of features; a “holloway” – a medieval road that can be seen running through the grass and appearing to come from the rear of Archway Cottages. We also saw wide expanses of “ridge and furrow” – the remains of the old three field strip farming system and several clearly defined house platforms. Because the grass was so wet we tended to stick to the paths so I didn’t have the pleasure to leading the group across the ridge and furrow, as walking across it really brings home the nature of this feature. I think our visitors were impressed by our park with its fine collection of trees [including a Chinese Ghost Tree, sometimes called a Handkerchief Tree] and the beautiful lakes.
We retired to the café and fortified ourselves with tea &c. where John joined us. During the conversation it was realized that there is to some extent a lack of communication between us and Leicester because they are not in the Midland Union and it was resolved that this should not continue and I feel a visit to Leicester is on the horizon.
Whilst we were in the café the rain increased, but had more or less stopped when we left to look at the now open Umbrella Fair. Later the rain came back and after a while it was time for our friends from the north to leave, probably for home, warm fires and dry clothes!