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To Ham

Michael Tyler

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Felt a bit bored. Took a walk to Ham and Ham Spray.

Again, walked up through the estates of Little Bedwyn, with the ‘beware u will be shot’ signs, on to somewhere called ‘Prospero’ estates, again with little ‘u will be shot’ signs, but better hidden.

Saw lots of little birds and beasties along the way, including a weasel and about 5 hares.

Savernake forest

The woods are near Savernake forest which is owned by the Earl of Cardigan and is some 4.500 acres. I visited Savernake forest on Sunday, it’s possible to drive through from to Marlborough almost.

A short-cut except that the road is not made up.

Maybe if you had a motorbike, it would be short.

Savernake Hotel

I drive this on the way to Salisbury from Bedwyn.

No longer a hotel. It looks like a private residence now.

Haunted dog

Apparently, the residence was haunted by a black dog. I’ve taken this excerpt from the Burbage-online website.

The published tales refer to the black dog which haunts the hotel. Although Michelle never saw the dog many visitors did: she was at reception when a couple approached to register. The woman appeared to step over an obstacle on the floor and when her husband asked what she was doing, she replied “Stepping over the dog”. Dogs were banned from the public bar but over the years several visitors commented to her about the dog lying in front of the fire or by the bar. In none of these cases was there a dog present.

Then there was the old gentleman in the resident’s lounge; several people reported seeing a man in Victorian dress, complete with stove-pipe hat, sitting in a chair in the lounge. One couple who were residents told Michelle that while going to their room situated above the resident’s lounge, a man appeared from a side corridor on the right and passed in front of them then through a locked door on the left.

A perpetual mystery, which had not been solved by the time she left employment at the hotel in 1986, was that overnight the taps on the gas bottles which supplied the beer pumps would be turned off. Attempts were made to discover the culprit but all failed. These included checking the locking of the cellar door and confiscating duplicate keys; covering the steps with flour; taping the bottles’ taps. Nothing was discovered and in the latter case the tapes were still in place but the taps beneath them were turned off. Perhaps the perpetrator had an aversion to keg beer or was a member of CAMERA?

Her only possible encounter occurred one night. Michelle was the only staff member who lived in the main hotel and, as on this night there were no guests staying, she was alone in the building. After the last customer had left the bars she locked up and cleared away some tea and coffee cups and proceeded to take them to the washing-up room off the restaurant. The entrance to the room was on two-way hinges and was a heavy door to stop kitchen sounds disturbing the diners. The hinges allowed staff who had their hands full to enter or leave by simply leaning on the door. This night,as she approached, the door suddenly swung violently inwards then outwards – how many times she does not know as she dropped the tray and ran!

There are lots of woods around here.

These photographs testify.

Girls legs
Nice trees
Nice tree
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Copyright 2017 Michael Tyler Sailor's Almanac: Further Narrowboat Adventures
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