The Mileaters Literary Circle
…well, circuit anyway.
26 of us, and 8 canine friends, set off from near Max Gate on a grey, threatening day, soon to savour a selection of building sites and civic amenities - sewerage works and tip - perhaps reflecting the leaden clouds above.
Once passed, we were soon out into the countryside where the day brightened measurably, and onwards to Stafford House, home of Julian Fellowes. "What was the river we crossed?" Frome, Piddle, came the replies, but no it was our very own South Winterborne, but sadly no kingfishers in sight.
A quickened pace up Bunkers Hill to bag one of the 3 spaces on the bench at the top and a stop for coffee, with views over a drizzly Dorchester and Kingston Maurward. After Stafford Farm, berry-laden hedgerows brought us to the Jubilee Trail and Whitcombe, home of mystery author Minette Walters.
Surviving the crossing of the busy A352, the Trail led us up through woodland to Came House where, from a short dissertation from the erudite Gerald, we learnt that William Barnes was buried in nearby Winterborne Came church. Finally, we passed Max Gate, former home of Thomas Hardy.
An interesting local walk enjoyed by all, only to be let down by "the pub with no beer", no draught at any rate.
Nick Priddle - 22nd November 2021.