It all began last summer when a letter landed at Dursley Session explaining the Folk Trail. We decided it looked like a 'mad', but 'damned good idea', and volunteered to run a session. After an e-mail or two we managed to meet up with Clare for a few minutes at Bampton so that we could put a name to a face.
We thought that if they were mad enough to take on a challenge such as this it would be no hardship for us to give them a little help along the way!
On our first two days of walking, (having sorted our transport logistics), we successfully met up the group and walked most of that day's route. The 15 or so miles passed much easier than expected and we found them all such good company that the miles and time slipped quickly by.
By the time we reached Dursley the following evening, we soon started to realise just how much work went on in the background, eg sorting the route, organising the recording equipment for that night, downloading the previous night's session, charging equipment etc etc. After another late night it was up early again for what was to be our last leg of the journey with them.
There is a point where all good plans go awry! We were enjoying the whole experience, so why not join them for the Bank Holiday Monday as well?
Do you think we could find them that day? We 'intercepted' their route and walked towards them, but there was no sign of them. Surely they couldn't be in front of us?? Fellow Cotswold Way walkers tipped us off that they had spotted the support vehicle. We jumped in the car and found the van complete with sleepy driver. "They'll be along any minute" and we set off to meet them again. Did we find them? No! Did we discover lots of beautiful countryside on our doorstep? Yes!
Eventually phone contact was made (surely the phone hadn't been on silent, had it?!). After realising that we were on completely different routes, all three parties managed to meet up, drink tea, eat sandwiches and progress northwards together!
Leaving on Monday evening, following farewells and milkshakes, we realised that the group of strangers we had met on Friday had now become of group of good folky friends.
It's a shame we couldn't have joined Folk Trail for longer, but are looking forward to catching up with you later in the year for some songs, tunes and a few beers!
If the Folk Trail is still to visit your area, and you are wondering whether to get involved or not, we say do it! You won't regret it!
Anne, John and Murphy Roberts, Dursley