Thanks to more than fifty sponsors, we have raised over £1600 for Shirley Men’s Shed from our walk from the shed site, to Totton Men’s Shed, Nursling Men’s Shed and back to ours. If you are one of the sponsors, thank you so much! We are applying for grants which will multiply your gifts several times over. So you might like to know how it went.
Back in September, the weather forecast for Hallowe’en looked quite good for a walk. Each day, the forecast changed between light rain and no rain. Then in the last week of October, Storm Aidan came our way. That morning, just before our scheduled departure, we (Hugh Evans, Pete Baker and I) huddled in the porch at St James Road Methodist Church and watched the downpour subside a bit, so off we went. In a few moments, the rain stopped.
As we turned into Cumbrian Way, it started again, harder. We discussed whether to take shelter, and opted not to as the rain probably wouldn’t continue for long – and true enough, it didn’t. As we passed Green Park, the next wave of rain came horizontally.
After a couple of thoughtless motorists shared Totton’s puddles with us, I tested out my theory that if you walk right next to the puddles and look at the drivers’ faces, they avoid splashing you. It’s a high-risk strategy, but it worked.
We peeked in the unlit windows of Totton Men’s Shed, but they must have assumed we wouldn’t be going. Oh well. The rain stopped as we headed up Salisbury Road and cut through the industrial estate. Over a footbridge, over a stile and suddenly we were in the country!
It’s a very pleasant walk to the next stile, except for the last couple of metres of ankle-deep rainwater, and on to Nursling Mill, now converted to apartments – that must be a very peaceful place to live. Then we took an unmarked footpath heading towards the rather less peaceful M27. Under the tunnel, and we were soon at Nursling Men’s Shed, in the old Church Rooms next to St Boniface Church.
Having allowed time for a chat in Totton, we arrived ahead of time at Nursling and found it locked, but one of the Shedders (Graham) soon arrived, ushered into the dry and made coffee as we had our sandwiches. Then another Brian joined us, and Fred arrived with a big bag of rock cakes. That was a very welcome stop.
Parts of Upton Lane can flood quite deeply and right across, as we discovered, but the sun came out for the last four miles down Romsey Road and back to our Shed site, to a rapturous welcome.
Did we enjoy it? Yes, we did, despite the conditions. Would we do it again? Well, maybe, visiting other Sheds. Would you sponsor us again, and even come with us? You don’t have to answer that – at least, not yet!
Thanks again for your support,
All best wishes,