Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Lawshall Suffolk


5pm 6.2 miles in 52 mins 1 secs

Week to date mileage 14 miles

Month to date mileage 117

Average weekly rate 29.5 miles

Average monthly rate 128

Year to date 631

Lifetime 10224

On the Bury to Sudbury road beyond Bradfield Combust along the roman road there is a turning for Lawshall. Initially you pass a number of greens including Lawshall, Hib's and Hanningfields before reaching the village of Lawshall. I parked up near the Swan Pub.

The weather was a mixture of sunshine and showers more April than late May and not warm. Lawshall has just held its annual scarecrow festival in aid of its village hall. This was the only 1 of the 19 or so scarecrows which were on display last weekend.

As per usual I didn't really have a plan of where I was going to run. I went through Harrow Green and past Our Lady Immaculate and St Joseph Church which sits not far from the gates to the western entrance to Coldham Hall.

There is a public right of way here that takes you up the hall and than on to Stanningfield where you can return to Lawshall along Donkey Lane. However I decided on this occasion to continue on along the road to Hawstead which was probably not the wisest choice. The road was lovely and windy and fairly hilly up and down. However it being rush hour there were a number of cars virtually all seemed to be Range Rovers.

I turned somewhere near Upper Dutmoss Wood and retraced my steps back to Lawshall. Entering the village this way All Saints Church looks more commanding.

The old Post Office is now a private residence but is still signed.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Fornham Suffolk - Circular Run

8am 7.5 miles in 57 mins 19 secs

Week to date mileage 7.5 miles

Month to date mileage 111

Average weekly rate 29.6 miles

Average monthly rate 128

Year to date 625

Lifetime 10218

A fast time in the rain. I always seem to run my best in wet conditions.

Point of Lay Chickens


It is like bringing a new born baby home from the hospital! The amount of attention and visits to the bottom of the garden to check on how our 4 point of lay chickens are doing. Unfortunately it has rained ever since we brought them home on Saturday. Our run being wire netting didn't keep the rain off so we bought some plastic corrugated sheeting to put over the top. This might be totally unnecessary but they didn't seem to like getting wet.

On the first night we were unsure if the chickens would be able to find their way up a ramp and into the the house to sleep. So when it was nearly dark I climbed into the chicken run and helped each bird into the house! The birds had been looking tired and about to sleep where they stood.

We hadn't noticed the chickens actually going into the house all day and we are told to keep them enclosed in the run for at least 2 weeks. However we had set their layer pellets up in a suspended feeder inside the house so we gave them a good handful of corn out in the run.

We have yet to name the birds. Any suggestions are welcomed. We have 4 birds a silver/white bird that is clearly in charge, 2nd in charge is the speckled hen and bottom of the pecking order is the blue/grey bird. The brown bird is docile and seems to be very friendly and doesn't seem to get any pecks from the othersAt the moment we have some ideas around characters in the Lord of the Rings. My son wants to call our brown chicken Anthony Worrall Thompson however they are all girls but thinking about it that is still ok.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Moreton Hall Bury St Edmunds

8am 10 miles in 1 hr 22 mins 28 secs

Week to date mileage 27 miles

Month to date mileage 104

Average weekly rate 29.4 miles

Average monthly rate 128

Year to date 618

Lifetime 10211

The clouds looked ominous as I set out for a long run this morning. I decided to venture up to Moreton Hall inspired by the recent growth in the no of bloggers in this area as read about on Living in Bury St Edmunds.

Running through town there was a good atmosphere as the continental market stalls and flower stands were being set up. Once again it was a pity that this was largely washed out by the heavy rains that followed.

A photo of Mothercare?

Why you might ask well until 1976 when it finally closed this was the Kings Head. The Inn had been serving customers since at least the early 18th century. According to Pigot's Directory the King's head was the starting point in the 1820's for stage wagon trips to London twice a week.

Along Mustow Street there is an dutch house and this interesting date of 1777.

During 1777 the American Revolution was in full swing with Cornwallis being defeated by Washington. Cornwallis made his home at Culford and was responsible for building the bridge at the top of my blog.

Up Mount Road there is this curious 'men' grafitti on a tree who knows what this is for? A meeting point for men, men wanted ?

I decided on a run around the Mount road plantations. With their being a bit of drizzle there was no else to be seen. Previous visits here have always been a bit challenging with many a dog let loose and the usual saying don't worry it won't bite .

I visited some of the very newest housing developments in Moreton Hall. I followed some recently opened pathways which eventually led to a dead end with a fence blocking my way.

With the area being a big building site the land disturbance has encouraged many poppies and ox eyed daisys

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Chickens !


We have added to our family today when we acquired some point of lay chickens. A drive out to Stebbing in Essex to visit Hens for Homes and to speak with Kirsty helped us to decide on what chickens to buy. Here you can see a big range of point of lay chickens before buying. They can also be delivered. The chickens cost us £12.50 each.

The choice in Chickens is vast but rather than venture into pure breeds we decided to go for some hybrid hens. We decided we wanted both friendly chickens and good egg layers. We have 4 hens 2 of which are around 15 weeks and another 2 who are about 20 weeks old.

We have 4 different birds a Bovans Goldline which is a brown coloured chicken which lays brown eggs, a Bluebelle which is a grey/lavender coloured bird, a Bovans Silver which is said to be a very friendly bird and a Maran Cou Cou a speckled coloured bird.

Kirsty provided us with a starter pack of various items including all of the necessary food which was a supply of corn and a big bag of layer pellet, some grit to aid the birds digestion, and a drinker and feeder for the water and pellets.

We transported them back from Essex in a cat box and a crisp sized cardboard box. Apparently this is the standard way of doing this. Before bringing them home all of the birds had one of their wings clipped. This is an entirely painless process which will hopefully stop the chickens flying into trees to roost. It should apparently mean they will only be able to leap about 3 foot which is important to us as some of our fencing is only 5 feet high to our neighbors.

The previous week we had bought and erected a very well made chicken house and a 6 foot run from Tillett Pet and Poultry. The houses are well made and you can fit a chicken house and a run into a standard mondeo car. The house was well made and was easily fitted together in about 20 minutes. Although we gave it a coat of Somerset Green Cuprinol paint first.

The birds traveled well in the car and were very quiet. Getting them out of their boxes and into their new house meant picking and holding a chicken which Kirsty made look simple but takes a bit of practice and confidence to get right. however mission accomplished and the birds are in their new home. We are told to expect a 2 week period period while the birds become used to their new home and during this time they have a bit of a sneeze or two.

we have yet to name the four chickens. So far the silver bovan bird seems to be the leader pecking out sometimes at the others when she is wanting first peck at any food. However the grey/lavender bird seems the most flighty and adventurous and once or twice has tried to make her escape back to Essex launching herself at the top of the run.

We are complete novices at chicken keeping and no absolutely nothing really. However it will be exciting to see when we start hopefully getting some eggs. My pictures were take in the evening fading light and I hope to get some better shots soon.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Commitments at Bury St Edmunds Suffolk


I must say that over the years we have not had much success when we have chosen to attend the Bury Festival to watch live music in the Abbey Gardens. I think there has been 2 years of complete wash outs and 1 year when having bought 4 tickets we turned up the night after the performance.

We have had some successes when we managed to turn up on the right night for cover bands for the Blues Brothers,Madness and Abba.

Tonight the rain held off and we saw The Commitments. I first read the book some years ago along with a no of other Roddy Doyle stories such as the Van, The Snapper . More recently I have read the A Star called Henry and Play the Thing based on the adventures on one Henry Smart.

Some time ago I picked up the Commitments CD for £3 in an HMV Sale and more recently the dvd of the film. So going to watch the band completes the set although from the characters in the film only 2 were actually playing in the band namely the lead guitarist Ken McCluskey (the Meatman in the film) and the drummer Dick Massey (The Animal in the film). Some what odd all round really watching a band from a fictional book playing live!

The film was based on a bunch of Dublin teenagers trying to make it good by forming a soul band in Ireland playing Motown standards.

When we arrived there was a small space at the front of the stage but the rest of the spectator area was filled with chairs, picnics and tartan blankets. The Greene King tent was our first port of call with a pint of Speckled Hen until we realised the IPA was on special offer at £2 a pint.

There was a low key start to the Commitments as every body sat and watched and politely applauded In the Midnight Hour. It took abut 20 minutes before some dancing commenced and once the front of the stage was invaded with dancers the whole atmosphere and enjoyment of the evening was improved 10 fold.

At the interval I overheard 1-2 complaints from folk grimly keeping to their sits and bemoaning the audacity of people standing in front of them and dancing!

The band ran through a number of classic soul standards such as Take me to the River, Try a little Tenderness, Mustang Sally, Chain of Fools and Wrong End of the Street.

The second half needed little crowd encouragement for dancing singing and encores . A really good evening - Bury could really do with a large music venue. The Commitments could have done with a support act just to warm the crowd up.

Horringer School /Hospital /Cullum rd Newmarket rd Bury St Edmunds

5.30pm 5.4 miles in 41 mins 40 secs

Week to date mileage 17 miles

Month to date mileage 94

Average weekly rate 29.3 miles

Average monthly rate 127

Year to date 608

Lifetime 10201

A standard run tonight. I got my entry race number for next weeks Bury 5 at Nowton Park. This is the 1st race in the Friday 5 series which take place in Suffolk and with 1 in Essex. I don't expect to beat my time of 37.28 from last year as I am generally a bit slower this year. The race is generally well attended with a big influx of late entries on the evening.

9 May 07 41.56
26 Apr 07 41.18
22 Mar 07 40.33
9 Mar 07 42.16
26 Feb 07 43.37
14 Feb 07 43.53
29 Jan07 42.46
3 Jan 07 42.13
19 Dec 06 41.50
7 Dec 06 43.45
7 Nov 06 42.33
10 Nov 06 42.02
30 Oct 06 42.0
3 Oct 06 41.15
19 Sep 06 41.39
8 Sep 06 41.01
1 Aug 06 41.45
28 July 06 42.25
17 July 06 42.46
13 June 06 42.08
11 May 06 43.21
27 Mar 06 42.41
8 Mar 06 42.13
24 Feb 06 42.33
16 Feb 06 44.0
10 Feb 06 41.50
2 Feb 06 42.38
17 Jan 06 42.50
10 Jan 06 42.52
1 Jan 06 41.45
14 Dec 05 42.47

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

West Suffolk Athletics Track Session

6.15pm 6.1 miles in 48 mins 39 secs

Week to date mileage 12 miles

Month to date mileage 88

Average weekly rate 29.5 miles

Average monthly rate 128

Year to date 602

Lifetime 10195

Tonight was a Saint Edmunds Pacers club session at the West Suffolk Athletics Track.
I ran down to the track and then ran a warm up of 5 laps.

The interval session was fairly short in duration being 2 sets of 4 x 2.5 minutes with a minute recovery in between. At the end of each set we ran a faster paced 1 minute.

A warm down and a run home followed.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Bury St Edmunds Suffolk

5.30pm 5.5 miles in 44 mins 31 secs

Week to date mileage 5.5 miles

Month to date mileage 82

Average weekly rate 29.4 miles

Average monthly rate 128

Year to date 596

Lifetime 10189

For this evenings run I decided on a run around the town centre. I am still seeing things that I have either never seen before or never registered which have been under mu nose but I have never really noticed or observed.The weather was bright warm and sunny as I set out.

I set off down Beetons Way before taking the footpath which runs beside the railway and the A14 and behind the King Edward School. Here there are good views of St Johns Church and tonight there was an abundance of rabbits on path way which ran helter skelter at my approach. Does anyone eat Rabbit now? There is certainly plentiful supplies to be had near the lake and railway track.

I came into town via St Johns Street and passed the Old School Hall.

Through town I visited Guildhall Street to try and find the old Brewery tap entrance to the Saracen Head Brewery. I think this photo showing a private residence was the former brewery tap house as indicated by the grapes on either side of the entrance.

Next door to the Norman Tower I have never really noticed the date of 1846 on this building.

I have to say I like the 2 cranes which are such a visual focal point of Bury Town Centre this year. I know for the locals in Risbygate Street and Nelson Road it is an absolute nightmare and a trampling over tradition and history with what is happening to the cattle market.

I have to say the new shopping development name of the Arc being short is simple to remember and I can see this really catching on for incoming visitors to Bury. Local residents will try and hold on the cattle market name but for me that went when the last cow, pig and sheep left the town centre. It doesn't feel or look like a cattle market any more with the clouds of chalk dust and what is a now a blank canvas building site with most traces of the past blasted away. The destruction of the Duke of Wellington at Prospect Row and the removal of the tea room with its lovely atmosphere and good tea were the final nails in the coffin for me.

I will always hold memories of the cattle market visiting as a boy whenever we went to town. I shall always think of the author Adrian Bell who farmed in Suffolk and wrote about the market and the Rising Sun. However this is gone and it is apt to come up with a brand new name. I would have preferred for there to have been a public competition for a painting , perhaps a logo and a new name and in this way the developers would have got the public on their side. As it is the developers have scored an own goal and contempt for the general public of Bury St Edmunds as the name Arc is a meaningless, wishy washy name.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Rushbrooke Circular Run


8am 12 miles in 1 hr 40 mins 16 secs

Week to date mileage 41 miles

Month to date mileage 77

Average weekly rate 29.5 miles

Average monthly rate 128

Year to date 591

Lifetime 10184

Another beautiful day and I decided to do a long run based on the old Bury 10. However instead of starting from the Bury end of Rushbrooke Lane my start was from home which means I actually run about 2 miles to get to this point.

I run through town, along Cullum Rd and the pick up Rushbrooke Lane. There is a large boarding kennels here and I always feel a bit guilty as I pass as it sets the dogs off barking. I am just glad that so far they have always been locked in preventing me setting a world record along Rushbrooke Lane.

At the top of the lane I turn left at the 1st North Hill Cottage.There is a more direct footpath which is straight on but instead I follow the road on to the 2nd North Hill Cottage. Sticking to the right you pass a small wood planted in 1996 called Amschels Wood.

The road is slightly uphill to take you into the village of Rushbrooke which is dominated by Home Farm and its various cottages.

You pass St Nicholas Church and then head down to the Eastlowhill which is a roman road.
At Eastlow Hill there is a tumulus which is a mound or barrow with a grave. You pass Rushbrooke Lake here which I have fished many a time but not in the last 20 years. I used to cycle out here with fishing rods and a box of maggots and even occasionally fish overnight.

The road becomes the Elderstub Lane and is a pretty lane almost enclosed with overhanging trees . Near Blackthorpe turn left and run past the sewage works and the 2nd North Hill Cottage back to !st North Hill Cottage , down back Rushbrooke Lane and into Bury and home.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Horsecroft, Nowton and Bury St Edmunds Circular Run

5.30pm 7.8 miles in 1 hr 5 mins 37secs

Week to date mileage 29 miles

Month to date mileage 65

Average weekly rate 29.1 miles

Average monthly rate 127

Year to date 579

Lifetime 10172

This is a good circular run that combines a run through the town centre with part of the Bury to Clare footpath and a run through the hamlets of Horsecroft and Hardwick. I decided to to the run in a clockwise fashion rather than my normal anticlockwise route. So I set of through the town centre and along Cullum Rd out to Nowton Park before taking the Breckley Ley pathway uphill.
At the top of this hill I pick up a pathway heading left to a small minor road before taking the first right pathway across countryside this being the Bury to Clare pathway.
I pass a trig point which is the Hardwick Trig at a height of 84 feet above sea level. This is fairly insignificant but has been chosen as a high point in Suffolk by surveyors. Trig points were a a surveyors tool to provide a reference point for surveying the UK before electronic positioning aids were available (GPS etc).
The trig point is called UKTP2801 or Hardwick.
Lat/long: N 52 13.049 E 0 42.531, Grid ref: TL 85146 61155 .

After this I carry on across a footpath through the middle of a field before reaching the minor road at Horsecroft. I turn right and head back into Bury passing Hardwick on my right.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Falcon Run

5.30pm 5.5 miles in 45 mins 34secs

Week to date mileage 121miles

Month to date mileage 57

Average weekly rate 29.2 miles

Average monthly rate 127

Year to date 571

Lifetime 10164

This run is so named as my half way point where I turn round for a second lap is at The Falcon Pub at the bottom of Victoria Street, Bury St Edmunds.

This run takes me through the Westley Estate and along Newmarket Rd and Out Risbygate Street. I arrived at the Falcon in 22.10 but slowed considerably on the return my time being 23.23. There are some up hills sections on the return leg but this was slow.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Adkins Wood Ickworth Park Suffolk


9am 9.2 miles in 1 hr 14 mins 5 secs

Week to date mileage 15 miles

Month to date mileage 51

Average weekly rate 29.1 miles

Average monthly rate 126

Year to date 565

Lifetime 10158

Adkins Wood is a circular run that I do which takes across and over Great Horringer Hall Farm, up Westley Lane until you reach Horringer, then into Ickworth Park. Immediately inside of the park I turn left and into Adkins Wood which is a fairly narrow strip of woodland running the length of the village.

When you reach the Fairy lake you know you are now in Lady Hervey's Wood. There is a wet path way to take you over to the Canal Lake by way of some pontoon duck boards. The Canal Lake is a very pretty spot with its summer house, vinefields and the views of Ickworth House and St Mary's Church.

The Canal Lake has a large no of Canada Geese at present. My run meant 1-2 close encounters with geese who were protecting their young as I came close by and they let me know to keep away charging and hissing in my direction.

Returning past Ickworth House there are currently many lambs. The weather continued to change from bright sunshine to heavy cloud as I made my way out of the park and back home along Westley Lane.
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