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    HORTON HEATH FOOTPATHS TO VERWOOD     
by Mr. S. Morgan

"I was born and brought up at Clump Hill, Horton Heath and lived there for 26 years from 1912 to 1938. I used the footpaths from Clump Hill every day to go to the Manor House, Verwood, where I worked as a gardener.

When I married, I moved a short distance away - to Mannington.

I remember many villagers from Horton Heath walking and cycling from Clump Hill to Verwood via Redmand's Hill, over the river bridge, up Dewlands Common and Doctor's Hill which was near St. Michael's Church at Verwood.

Three men from the Thorne family at Horton Heath and Percy Rose, all used the paths to Harry Brewer's Brickworks at Station Rd , Verwood. I remember the Brickworks from early childhood to 1938, when it closed. The hooter used to sound regularly every day at 7 am , 10 am , 1 pm , 2 pm and 5 pm . We could tell the time by the hooter if we were working in the gardens or the fields.

On one occasion when I was young the whole village was down with 'flu and I was told to go and collect the medicine for other families as well as my own. 1 went to Dr. Gurling at Church Hill at Verwood, and I used the footpath across the Heath to Verwood.

Mr F. Barrow with Old Tom

Dating from about 1923 Barrow Bros. of Verwood started delivering bread and groceries to Horton Heath twice a week. Mr. Barrow delivered to the whole village and he came via the footpath from Verwood to Clump Hill in his horse and trap with all the bread in baskets in the trap. The horse was blind, but it got to know the route so well it could remember every inch of the way and where to stop. Mr. Barrow used to tell us that by going across the Heath instead of going round by Three Cross it cut one and a half miles off his journey.

Every Whit Monday all the villagers would turn out from every direction, Higher and Lower Mannington and Horton Heath, and use the path to Verwood to go to THE big event of the year - Verwood Carnival, returning by the same path.

I lived at Clump Hill and then at Mannington for 30 years and knew every footpath because they were part of my everyday life. These paths across the Common were always well-worn paths.

I moved to Chalbury (3 miles from Clump Hill) in 1942 and since then I have used the footpaths many times accompanied by my wife. I have used the paths for 63 years - the last time about three years ago when I was astonished to find that it had been obstructed."

S. Morgan.

 

 
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