24. Feb, 2022

Pratts Bottom

Just a mention of this draws many a juvenile snigger but the village’s 14th century name actually derives from the family of Stephen Prat and from the low-lying location of the settlement, nestling in a valley at the foot of Rushmore Hill.

The reason for my visit this morning was that a well liked circular series - Green St Green Wander had been re-vamped and it started in the village. When I was doing my planning yesterday, the weather forecast had been favourable but overnight, there had been a drastic change and there would be torrential rain early on and clearing by nine, so I decided on a later start.

As I set off about eight o’clock, it was in a slight drizzle so I thought that it was easing. How wrong I was.🥴 As I parked up in the suggested parking spot, the heavens opened but what the hell, I put on all my wet weather gear and set off. 

I crossed the road and quickly found the VHs ~ Pratt’s Bottom trad and set off up the track to GSGW 01. The series was approximately seven miles long and I reached #16 in Green Street Green at 1130.

I marched into town and quickly found Here, the clever 3/1.5 trad followed by the Coal Post 191 multi. I was hungry and soon spotted a Turkish cafe where I found excellent food and serviice. After brunch I picked up the GSG VS mystery and then sorted out the coords for the CM GSG ~ Baptist. I couldn’t find this one so I set off up the hill towards the CM GSG ~ St Mary’s trad.

I dropped down onto a footpath to find this one and as I did I received a message from the CO of the Baptist multi giving me an extra hint. I though that I had covered this angle so I carried on down the footpath for another look. There it was, pushed too far in but I was able to extract it, eventually.

I carried on with the GSGW series into Chelsfield and then took time out for a couple of multis. Both the CM Chelsfield ~ Methodist and the ST were tricky to crack but I managed it and continued on the GSGW trail. I was amazed when it got cloudy and started to snow,🥴 Suddenly the snow turned to sleet and began to fall heavily. I was reminded of that time when I was walking the Tour de Mont Blanc one August when a sunny day turned into a snowy white-out. I was called Sherpa Tel for a while for for getting the party through the snow to the safety of a gite.

I carried on towards Chelsfield Church collecting the GSGW trads. There was a challenge cache at GSGW 21 needing 15K caches to qualify. I’m not quite there yet so I signed and carried on. I passed through the church yard and out onto Church Road. I continued down collecting trads until I turned off at #24 Pecks Cottages and then followed the footpaths through the golf course down to the A21.

I paused here for another trad before finding a lull in the traffic to allow me to cross. I worked my way up Stonehouse Road gathering in the trads until I reached the end of the series, #30. I made my way back to the car and then drove the short distance down the toad for CM ~ All Souls, Pratt’s Bottom. If you said that quickly we could probably end the day with another juvenile snigger.🤔 

1 Mystery 5 Multi 33 Traditional