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Remembered Today:

Frajohn

Sunken Lane - New Owner

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Frajohn

I have been told today that a 'British Enthusiast' has purchased the land containing the Sunken Lane. The name of the purchaser was given but without verification i will not post it at the moment.

 

Has anyone else heard this story?

 

John

 

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EAST YORKSHIRE

Cannot help with the verification of story-but a big pat on the back to person in question if true!   Ian.

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berty199

A reliable source tells me that the Hawthorn Crater has just been purchased too...

 

Martin

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Gareth Davies

I have had the latter confirmed. The owner is planning to clear the scrub and open it up. Not found out any news on the Sunken Lane.

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David Filsell

I wonder, perhaps incorrectly, if clearing scrub at he crater, and possibly the Lane, is the right thing to do or if nature should be allowed to heal the wounds of war?

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Steven Broomfield

In some cases yes, Mr F, but in this case it's somewhere people want to visit, so making it accessible (nasty modern word, but I can't think of a better to use) makes sense in this case.

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trajan
1 hour ago, Steven Broomfield said:

In some cases yes, Mr F, but in this case it's somewhere people want to visit, so making it accessible (nasty modern word, but I can't think of a better to use) makes sense in this case.

 

Perhaps... Over here we are happy to leave the prickly oak 'bushes' in to prevent over-use of the more obscure archaeological sites on the basis of if you really want to see it, then you will weather that matter...

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keithmroberts
13 minutes ago, trajan said:

Perhaps... Over here we are happy to leave the prickly oak 'bushes' in to prevent over-use of the more obscure archaeological sites on the basis of if you really want to see it, then you will weather that matter...

 

I have met a number of those bushes, and still bear the scars. I suspect that given visitor numbers on the British sector of the Somme both locations will end up needing the sort of treatment that has been applied at La Grande Mine to protect the site.

 

Keith

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David Filsell

 Keith, that's pretty much my view.

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EAST YORKSHIRE

To open it up to visitors-I wonder if there will be an entrance fee.....

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keithfazzani

I was there a couple of weeks ago and noticed that there was a "path" through the bushes through which it was easily possible to walk and to come out above the cemetery. I can't be sure it wasn't there before but certainly I have never noticed it. 

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horrocks
On 5/30/2017 at 18:29, keithmroberts said:

 

I suspect that given visitor numbers on the British sector of the Somme both locations will end up needing the sort of treatment that has been applied at La Grande Mine to protect the site.

 

Keith

 

Which, in my opinion, would be a great shame.

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SiegeGunner
12 hours ago, EAST YORKSHIRE said:

To open it up to visitors-I wonder if there will be an entrance fee.....

 

I don't see either the Sunken Lane or the Hawthorn Crater having much commercial potential, with the free 'attraction' of Newfoundland Park so close by, so I think we must hope that the new owners have acquired the sites to preserve them and for the altruistic reason of making them more accessible to visitors.  Presumably land has also been acquired (or 'wayleaves' negotiated with landowners) to give access to the Hawthorn Crater.  Richard Dunning's stewardship of the Lochnagar Crater over many years sets a standard that the new owners will surely wish (or feel obliged) to try and emulate. 

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keithmroberts

I didn't intend to belittle the work at Lochnagar in any way. Simply to make the point that if access, especially to the Hawthorne Crater becomes much easier, it might need some work to protect it from the impact of too many feet around the perimeter. better that than being seriously damaged by the volume of visitors. At least it probably won't end up with a coach location too close, which might keep the numbers sensible.

I'm far from a specialist about conservation, but I trust that new owners of both sites will be sensitive and do only just enough to protect them. I feel very hopeful that both have been acquired in a positive spirit and that therefore there will be only sensitive change.

 

Keith

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BIFFO

last time I went to the hawthorn crater it was being used by the farmer as a place to dump his rubbish, not a great deal of reverence shown, if a person has  bought either the sunken lane of the hawthorn, pat on the back time.As has already been said if they charge a fee esp to the hawthorn you wouldn't get much

Biffo :poppy:

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17107BM

Well..

 

I have been down. I would say it still keeps it's figure of 8 after the November explosion. But, would love to walk straight onto Hawthorn Cemetery, without the fences and going back down to rejoin the track.

 

Cheers all.

KEENAN 7th Biirthday 079.JPG

KEENAN 7th Biirthday 078.JPG

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nigelcave

Hmm: I can see some problems - esp, for the crater: parking would be one of the major ones. One would have to assume that a good chunk of land would have been bought for the area around the crater. I am not particularly against it, but the expenditure involved in bringing it up to H&S etc, I suspect, must be pretty daunting. If it is intended to allow people to descend to the Auchonvillers-Beaumont road - or at least more safely than now (tho' a lot better than maybe twenty five or so years ago, when the barbed wire fences lining the path were very close together) that slope can be really treacherous in wet conditions. The only realistic access, I would have thought, would be from the top end; and the only solution there would be some fairly extensive car parking - and that would require a chunk of change.

 

So, good luck! The fact is that the Somme and area (as does Ypres, of course) now has an absolute wealth of visitors centres, museums, recently (last twenty years or so) erected memorials, with major additions in the offing in the area. Perhaps there will be a 'market'; but the present one is dominated by people who have limited time in the area (notably most of the school parties). It will be interesting to see how the Somme Tourist authorities tackle the issue of attracting visitors - particularly coach parties - to stay longer in the area. At the moment a standard one day coach tour for a school offers, realistically, about four or five stops in the day, plus lunch. This would be roughly the same for the average three day WF tour for adults as well, I would have thought.

 

I was (perhaps) one of the lucky ones, who first came out almost fifty years ago (that anniversary next year); much chuntering for some years after that in trying to find somewhere to eat, some information (who remembers that excellent publication, Ypres and the Front line - green cover, very useful map, a notable exception to the dearth of tourist guides then), a publicly accessible toilet, a cafe that might be open: and cemeteries that seemed to go weeks, if not longer, between visitors .... Yet it had its charm.

 

I am sure the intentions are nothing but good; but, like the proposals for something in the immediate area of the windmill at Pozieres, I have my reservations.

Edited by nigelcave

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nigelcave
On 5/30/2017 at 18:14, trajan said:

 

Perhaps... Over here we are happy to leave the prickly oak 'bushes' in to prevent over-use of the more obscure archaeological sites on the basis of if you really want to see it, then you will weather that matter...

Which is why I find that the occasional bush fire at Gallipoli has a 'silver lining' benefit.

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Muerrisch
37 minutes ago, nigelcave said:

Hmm: I can see some problems - esp, for the crater: parking would be one of the major ones. One would have to assume that a good chunk of land would have been bought for the area around the crater. I am not particularly against it, but the expenditure involved in bringing it up to H&S etc, I suspect, must be pretty daunting. If it is intended to allow people to descend to the Auchonvillers-Beaumont road - or at least more safely than now (tho' a lot better than maybe twenty years ago, when the barbed wire fences lining the path were very close together) that slope can be really treacherous in wet conditions. The only realistic access, I would have thought, would be from the top end; and the only solution there would be some fairly extensive car parking - and that would require a chunk of change.

 

So, good luck! The fact is that the Somme and area (as does Ypres, of course) now has an absolute wealth of visitors centres, museums, recently (last twenty years or so) erected memorials, with major additions in the offing in the area. Perhaps there will be a 'market'; but the present one is dominated by people who have limited time in the area (notably most of the school parties). It will be interesting to see how the Somme Tourist authorities tackle the issue of attracting visitors - particularly coach parties - to stay longer in the area. At the moment a standard one day coach tour for a school offers, realistically, about four or five stops in the day, plus lunch. This would be roughly the same for the average three day WF tour for adults as well, I would have thought.

 

I was (perhaps) one of the lucky ones, who first came out almost fifty years ago (that anniversary next year); much chuntering for some years after that in trying to find somewhere to eat, some information (who remembers that excellent publication, Ypres and the Front line - green cover, very useful map, a notable exception to the dearth of tourist guides then), a publicly accessible toilet, a cafe that might be open: and cemeteries that seemed to go weeks, if not longer, between visitors .... Yet it had its charm.

 

I am sure the intentions are nothing but good; but, like the proposals for something in the immediate area of the windmill at Pozieres, I have my reservations.

 

I do so agree. The 1970s and 1980s were good for the old scrotes: Rose Coombes' book in hand, an early CWGC overprint map, rough and ready digs [I suspect one in Mons doubled as a brothel], no coaches, no kids ............... just reverance and wonderment and awe. I remember an unofficially guided tour led by a Canadian volunteer underground at Vimy, a cantankerous custodian [rum - swilling ] at Bedford House, a chaotic evening at Old Tom's Pub in Ypres, and The Last Post with three spectators and a dog and the devoted firemen of Ypres.

We oldies must treasure thse memories and learn not to condemn change for condemnation's sake.

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CROONAERT
1 hour ago, nigelcave said:

(who remembers that excellent publication, Ypres and the Front line - green cover, very useful map, a notable exception to the dearth of tourist guides then),

 

I certainly do, Nigel!

 

This one I think? ... (The map was also displayed (framed) in the old Salient Museum if I recall correctly?)

 

Dave

book.jpg

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Steven Broomfield

It's all coming back ...

 

Deserted cemeteries, reverence and peace at the Menin Gate, a jug of wine, a loaf of bread and Mrs Broomfield singing beside me in the wilderness (well, OK, maybe not the last bit).

 

And yes, I remember the green book and the overlaid CWG maps.

 

10 hours ago, Muerrisch said:

 

We oldies must treasure thse memories and learn not to condemn change for condemnation's sake.

 

You're not wrong, Grumpy.

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keithfazzani

As I mentioned on another thread, visit the Southernmost sector of the Somme and apart from in the immediate vicinity of Delville Wood you are unlikely to meet another soul. 

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Muerrisch

I still have my little green book ...... of course.

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nigelcave

And soon you can be equipped with Dave O'Mara's guide (interest alert:  I commissioned it) to the 'French' Somme; in a year or two you should also be able to get some even more detailed accounts. South of the river can be enchanting and it is (so far as visitors are concerned) as deserted as the 'British' Somme of yesteryear. Even if you want a break from battlefield touring, the valley of the Somme west of Peronne is enchanting; and there are one or two very acceptable picnic spots as well.

 

Although I agree with everyone re the importance of not cursing all 'developments', I do not think it is too 'sad' to wallow in a bit of nostalgia for days past and the 'empty Somme' - bar our forefathers. of course.

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David Filsell

But it is always to remember that not all change leads to improvement.

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