On Good Friday we took the bus up to Heptonstall for the traditional Pace Egg play. The first bus arrived 15 minutes late, then sailed passed us! Eventually, we got on one; also late and overfull. I said it was just like getting a dolmus. We arrived at Towngate just after 2. The players were stood about in preparation for their next performance. They eyed us critically and said “don’t mind us. We were due on 10 minutes ago.” We followed them up the hill and captured some good shots, which is more than can be said the actual Pace Egg. Although we got near the front, the crowds made manoeuvring impossible.
I spotted a friend and went over to chat. They were heading back to town so we headed for the pub. In the beer garden, we chatted with other friends and were introduced to a new addition to the family – a lovely, chubby, smiley baby. The spectre of a skeleton in n outhouse window grinned ominously over the scene.
We left to investigate the fabled octagonal chapel. En route, we spotted the historic Whitehall Farm. Descending a flight of stone steps into yet another graveyard (four in total within the parish boundaries) we explored inside the chapel, up and down stairs. I even had a cheeky spell in the pulpit.
The boards displaying the history of the chapel made me laugh, particularly the ‘belly dancing’.
We found a path down the side (Tinker Bank Lane, as Marisa later told me), seemingly heading towards the road and decided to follow it. We passed fields housing sheep and guinea fowl, making strange noises of alarm as we went by. Although it often looked like the path would fizzle out, it led all the way down to Lee Wood Road.
We crossed over and went through a very small hole in the wall and down into the woods, by way of another tiny hole in the wall and very small pixie steps. We stopped briefly to admire the woodland before continuing down. We met up the other path that we now knew well, just before Hollings.
The hamlet appeared different with low afternoon tones rendering a softer light. We descended the steps onto Foster Mill Bridge. We eschewed a second pub visit as bank holiday madness had set in. It had been a lovely sunny day to mark the official start of the British drinking season!