and Down, Northern Ireland. Last walks of the SPARTAN
RED SOX before the deadly strike of Foot and Mouth.
is Castlewellan, a forest park in County Down near Newcastle. A nice enough
place but a little tame for the Spartans, on this occasion driven by blinding
gales and rain from the Mournes to a coffee shop(!) for two hours before
embarking on a more sheltered tour around lake, forest and arboretum. The
walk was noteworthy for the loss of a gold earring, subsequently found
in the middle of a path by a careful retracing of all the steps of the
day. The joy was such that considerable celebration was to take place that
evening, (the Spartans being well-known for their social activities).
Sallagh Braes are hills on the Antrim coast just north of Larne. Winds
blow most of the time, moving rain clouds and often leading to clear views
towards Scotland. This day, the last before walking was banned in the UK
countryside, the sun shone, penetrating anoraks and warming chilled Spartan
bodies as they descended from the peak. Approaching Ballyboley forest below,
repeated sounds of gunfire could be heard, becoming louder at each passing
||The group was
obliged to walk past this indecent infringement of the environment - an
assembly of clay-pigeon shooters strung along the forest path, popping
away at the 'pigeons' projected into the air above the trees. Most of us
felt distinctly nervous and were glad to be safely round the next corner.
Some thought that something would be in order to steady the nerves - cause
for an evening of social intercourse perhaps?
a walking group catering for all ages, are still very much active and may
contacted through Ronnie Carser,e-mail: email@example.com