Friday, October 28, 2022

Cranfield, 5 miles, 6 ramblers led by John

This was a lovely change from our usual areas.  The walking from Cranfield to Bourne End was full of interest, passing footpaths through grass-land, a hundred acre wood and fields. John has lived in Cranfield all his life and made this a really interesting walk with his local knowledge. 


Once at Bourne End John told us about the history of some of the cottages. One dated back to 1600’s and he knew the owner, a 94 year old lady. The garden was lovely with a river and a bridge.  Another of interest was an old rambling building that was having an extension. Or had it been damaged by a fallen tree? It was hard to know.  Another property was owned by a 60 year old woman that still did all her own drilling, sowing and harvesting of her fields.
But the most fascinating was the manor house.  This was once owned by Split Waterman, the world speedway champion rider.  He was rather wealthy but not all his money came from motor bike riding! In 1965 there was a gold bullion robbery at a London bank and the ingots disappeared. The remains were found at the Manor House: Waterman had been melting them down on a bonfire in the spare land in front of an outbuilding, packing the gold into the chassis of his Triumph Herald and taking them to Europe! Not all was recovered. 

Later we were treated to some amazing views, 20 miles in each direction. To the East we could see the transmitter on the horizon and the Cardington hanger: to the North the wind turbines at Stagsden and to the West right over to the transmitter at Potton.
Finally we walked through a farm. There was extensive landscaping going on: a new road, diggers levelling the ground, huge piles of stone, a newly dammed lake. We were even more amazed at the cleanliness of the site: brand new silos for wheat which we were told went to make Weetabix, tanks of fertiliser, clean farm machinery in immaculate sheds, clean hardstanding without a trace of mud. John told us that he is friends with the farmer and has known him since he was a boy.  We do hope for some more walks in this area in future.


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