John Light discusses the magic of spring in the Cotswolds

Spring time in the Cotswolds is truly a time of wonder. Our hills, valleys, woods and streams burst forth with fresh growth.

Blossom follows buds and we all know of the magic of living on Cotswold.

Seek out a copy of Frank Mansell’s poem and the joy of the season is to be found lovingly described.

We all have our springtime memories and our special spring time places. As a boy at junior school (Sheepscombe of course) my morning journey took me down Scotts Lane. The banks would be searched for violets, not the pale blue “dog” violets but the real ones, purple or white. Being an unctuous creep I would hand them to Head Mrs Foy. One morning an adder slithered over my searching hand. The Head received no more violets.

Now I go to the twin Eastleach villages, Martin and Turville, split by the bubbling River Leach. I stand on the stone footbridge and listen to the sounds of spring in the country. Then walk along the daffodil lined path to Turville Church.

The gentle aspects of spring are encapsulated in those few minutes. Thoughts can go back for a thousand years and forward for another thousand.

There are other words than gentle to describe a Cotswold spring. Drive from Stroud to Dursley (B4068) and you will see the wold wonder of Selsley Common. You will see the most brilliant of springtime green as the beech tree buds burst forth. Find a viewpoint and look down to the vale. You will see the Severn sweeping seaward.

It is our mighty river that is the essence of the energy of springtime. Think of the powerful surge of water flowing up the narrowing estuary. A true wonder of Gloucestershire, if not the world.

My working life took me to some difficult places but one spring memory was a constant source of strength. It was playing cricket in Edgeworth Park against the village side.

The Chestnut trees would be in bloom and driving straight sixes off Tom Smith or Clive Underhill meant the white candles of Chestnut blossom would be disturbed and would blow away in the wind. Sixty years on the joy of those precious moments remains as fresh as springtime itself.

Keble Bridge – Eastleach

Taken from the Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard

steve clarke
Author: steve clarke