Welcome to Swanage Army Link.

The Swanage Army Link is a dynamic association that has evolved over nearly 30 years between the Swanage Railway, the British Army, the People of Swanage and the Royal British Legion.

Regular ongoing visits by the Royal Corps of Signals soldiers are core to this Link, as is Team Herston, formed in 2007, bringing together local residents and ex soldiers who work regularly on our core project – the upkeep of Herston Halt.

More recently we have been proud to welcome Heroes Haven into the fold.

Want to know more? See About the Army Link .

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Heroes Haven Donations

If you would like to make a donation to the Heroes Haven, please visit their site http://www.heroes-haven.org.uk (opens in a new window) and click on the 'Donate' link in the top right of the page.

Please enter SWCP as the reference.

SWCP:Day 34

D34. Wed 22 Jun. 573 miles. Osmington.

 

The weather was due to be, well, raining! And so it was. I was up at 06:00, more reports, I shaved my head, packed up and had some cereal. Sue had made another packed lunch for me, and John had a late start. I was ready, and made good speed for the South West Trains railway station for the First bus. It was like home turf with the diesel train pulling out on the way to London. I wished all the kids were off to London too, but they weren’t – they were on my bus, messing about so at one stage the driver stopped and came upstairs to tell ‘em to all sit down. They were loud but ok really. I spoke to Mark Franking on the phone and he explained the trials of his SWT week, and as I looked outside it was – raining!

I got off the bus in Chideock, and just got my head down, up and down the hills, and round corners, past many Dorset cows (they mooooo differently from those in Devon), and blimey I was at West Bay. Since my VW Camper days I have had a soft spot for this small strange, huddle of dwellings. Little changes here I thought, although I did notice the close proximity of the campsite at Eype, which I would try sometime, and then I noticed an NEW indoor café, so I dived in. It was good to warm up a little, and I got chatting to an elderly lady who was born in the Coastguard cottages at Coverack – one of my favourite villages on the SWCP.

We chatted about the modern world and then it was out into the drizzle. The weather remained the same until well passed the inland turn at West Bexington. I had decided that I wanted to slow down, so I would take the inland SWCP route north of Abbotsbury, passed the Hardy Monument, and across the head of the White Horse that is carved in the hill north of Osmington. You are not supposed to walk on his head, but I did! As I moved passed Abbotsbury, the clouds did in fact lift, and I was able to see Portland for the first time in well over two days. It looked formidable, and as usual it reminded me of the rock of Gibraltar. The Hardy monument actually looked like a tree at first, and then through the mist I realised it was covered in scaffolding! It was wet and uninspiring, and there were no visitors so I moved on.

More impressive were the huge power pylons as they could be seen on their route into Weymouth and 125 miles to the north, then too the brand new Weymouth Relief road as it goes though a major cutting and over the top of the Bincombe railway tunnel on another SWT route to Weymouth.

Between Bincombe and Osmington I had two crucial developments. The first was that Paul Cookson, who had finished work in Bournemouth had successfully retrieved my Bergen from Axminster and it was on route to Osmington. The second was that Lynne Connell had offered me a bed and shower for the night at Winfrith. A far better option, as I had decided a tent after a wet day was not for me, and Alan had that day confirmed the lack of many B&B at my destination.

It had been a long wet day of 24 four miles, my second with no Bergen, and whilst I was proud of the miles I was limping like a wimp again! I agreed to meet in the Osmington pub, but as I walked along to it, Paul arrived, so we went to Weymouth past all of the fantastic red, white and blue bunting ready for Armed Forces Day the following Saturday, and we parked up on the old tramway, ready for fish and chips near the lifeboat mooring. They were brilliant, and by the time we got back to Winfrith Newburg I was happy to meet Lynne and Des, sup another quick beer and rest my weary head.

 

 

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