Saturday, 2 January 2016

Wraysbury meadows footpath.

I didn't want to write about this over the New Year (I have enough troubles already without adding any more) but I got a nasty shock on my New Year's walk.
Wraysbury parish church has been there over a thousand years in this form and longer before that.

Even before then this was a sacred site for the ancient Britons.

For all that time there has been a footpath along the meadows.

After the floods in 2014 I found a bottle from the 1930's, thrown away along the walk by someone having a summer stroll through the meadows and washed up by the flood.

Then, very recently, someone has erected this fence - worthy only of a prison yard or a detention centre;

Of course it's 'his' land - even though his tenure will only be one paltry little lifetime amongst the endless millennia of time.

But the 'landowner's' action has spoilt an ancient view for everyone and for all time.

And where someone builds a fence it won't be long before he tries to get permission to build on the ancient meadows.

Of course, the rest of us have little chance to do anything about this ugly monstrosity because someone 'owns' it. 

As you can see, the path is now a mud bath because we have such little space to walk on.

It does give me another chance to publish the lyrics of 'The World turned upside down' written by Leon Rosselson but made famous in the version sung by Billy Bragg.

In 1649 to St. George's Hill,
A ragged band they called the Diggers
Came to show the people's will
They defied the landlords
They defied the laws
They were the dispossessed reclaiming what was theirs
We come in peace they said
To dig and sow
We come to work the lands in common
And to make the waste ground grow
This earth divided
We will make whole
So it will be
A common treasury for all
The sin of property
We do disdain
No man has any right to buy and sell
The earth for private gain
By theft and murder
They took the land
Though everywhere the walls
Spring up at their command
They make the laws
To chain us well
The clergy dazzle us with heaven
Or they damn us into hell
We will not worship
The God they serve
The God of greed who feed the rich
While poor folk starve
We work we eat together
We need no swords
We will not bow to the masters
Or pay rent to the lords
Still we are free men
Though we are poor
You Diggers all stand up for glory
Stand up now
From the men of property
The orders came
They sent the hired men and troopers
To wipe out the Diggers' claim
Tear down their cottages
Destroy their corn
They were dispersed
But still the vision lingers on
You poor take courage
You rich take care
This earth was made a common treasury
For everyone to share
All things in common
All people one
We come in peace
The orders came to cut them down
Well, it always gets me going!

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)

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