Tuesday, 23rd June, Abberley to Bromyard, 17.27
Beth, (Mrs Locket to the pupils), invites me to have breakfast with the borders, before attending assembly where I give a brief talk to the pupils about my pilgrimage. Tommy and I drop by one of the classrooms on our way out and invite the children to come and say hello to Tommy. Making sure no one goes near his back end (valuable lesson for children), there must be about 20 little people all crowding around wanting to get close to him. Tommy just stands there patiently accepting the attentions of dozens of small hands and faces up close and very personal. He’s a star, and we’ve really enjoyed our short stay here at Abberley Hall Prep School. A friendly, open place run by two delightful people.
It’s a glorious day and I’m so happy to be riding towards our mid-way rest stop with my friend, Fuffy, near Bromyard.
The countryside is beautiful, rolling hills with pear and apple orchards, and the bridle path is well marked and used. I come across my first ‘Sabrina Way’ marker on the path between Shelsley Beauchamp and Clifton upon Teme and come to the conclusion that the bridle paths here in Worcestershire are well kept and well used. It is such a joy. And the views looking towards the Malverns are spectacular.
At Shelsley Beauchamp, we cross the river Teme on our way to Clifton upon Teme,
where we will shortly be crossing the border into Herefordshire.
The next bridle path is also well marked and goes around a large farm where we have to cross a field with a herd of very inquisitive bullocks. I am leading Tommy because I have had to get off to man-handle the metal gate which is hanging on one hinge. As they charge towards us, I wonder whether to dive back the other side of the gate but decide it would mean a very long detour trek and a busy main road. I opt for the trampling instead and Tommy, again totally unphased, and I walk the long walk with a herd of big bullocks following close on our heels.
We finally arrive at Fuffy’s, hot and weary, delighted to have achieved another days ride and a mile stone in our journey. Tommy gets a hose down and a turn out in the field which Fuffy has sweetly called Tommy’s field, next to his two new companions, Big Joey and Little Harry.
He is in heaven. And frankly so am I. Reason for celebration, a little over half the job done.