Archive for March, 2007|Monthly archive page

Thorpe Morieux & Brettenham Suffolk

In Brettenham, Thorpe Morieux on March 31, 2007 at 6:58 pm

8am 9.2 miles in 1 hr 16 mins 22 seconds

Week to date mileage 32 miles

Month to date mileage 154

Average weekly rate 30.4 miles

Average monthly rate 132

Year to date 391

Lifetime 9984

A bit of a drive this morning to a place I can’t recall I have ever visited before Thorpe Morieux. It is a little awkward to get to being in the middle of a corridor of Suffolk farming country which probably doesn’t get much visited except for those on business.

I came of the A134 at Cockfield and eventually got to Thorpe Morieux and parked at what I took for the village centre but was in fact Birds Farm at Blacksmith Lane.
I spoke to a springy athletic looking lady who must have been well into her 70’s to see if it was alright to park and ask for directions to the church. She looked at me oddly (as people do anyway!) but pointed out that I was in the village of Thorpe Mr’o and church was down and around and up the hill and I could park as they didn’t get many visitors.

Although Bury St Edmunds is only about 11 miles away I felt like a bit of a foreigner to these parts and indeed I was not even being able to converse or fully understand a real Suffolk accent. Living in Bury few people now appear to have a Suffolk accent this is partly do the population explosions in the towns which has seen huge numbers move to East Anglia from London. We all have a hybrid Suffolk/London Estuary accent with the later dominating.

Visiting Thorpe was a deliberate choice as I am currently reading a book called the Diary of a Poor Suffolk Woodman. The book is fairly unique as most historical diaries from the early 19th century tend to be written by wealthy folk who had both the time and the ability to write a record of their life. William Scarfe kept a dairy for 15 years in the margins of a prayer book and it is a fascinating incite into the hard life lived by the majority of people trying to make ends meet.

I ran a circular route to reach the Church in Thorpe which is on a hill close to the River Brett. St Mary’s sits beside the site of the Morieux Hall and a large lake.

I remembered from the map that there should have been a track to take me past the lake and beyond but the pathway seems to falter out quite quickly and I gave up and returned past the church and decided to take the road to Brettenham. There was a fairly steep climb up Chapel Hill but little in the way of traffic or any people. There were however some good sized hares in the fields almost the size of small dogs and they ran helter skelter in my wake.

I eventually arrived at Brettenham at the site of a grand looking school called Old Buckenham Hall. It takes full boarders at a cost of £5,600 per term. This is the site of the old Brettenham Hall which was once the residence of Joseph Bonaparte in 1830.
Running directly into Brettenham Park seemed to be out of bounds so I turned left into the village. At the village hall there is an old AA road sign which would appear to have been there since perhaps the 1950’s.

At this point I picked up on a pathway called Dux Street and more by curiosity about the name decided to follow it.

I haven’t managed to find any reason for the name as of yet but assume perhaps a roman road significance perhaps. It is shown on the OS map as a road but is no more than a rough field track. At Ryece Hall I retraced my steps back to Thorpe.

I took the green road at Thorpe and with my time running out had a hurried look for some of the cottages mentioned by William Scarfe in his book. I didn’t go far enough I think to find where he lived but did come across the Wheelwrights house which is often mentioned and must have been similar.

I returned back to Hill Farm but before going home just visited the Manor Farm which has the appearance of an old school. I returned back to the car thinking another visit will be needed here to uncover some of the secrets of this secluded part of Suffolk.

Rodbridge to Sudbury Valley Trail Walk

In Rodbridge, Sudbury on March 29, 2007 at 8:17 pm

5.15pm 8.6 miles in 1 hr 11 mins 17 seconds

Week to date mileage 23 miles

Month to date mileage 145

Average weekly rate 30.4 miles

Average monthly rate 132

Year to date 382

Lifetime 9975

I parked up at the Rodbridge picnic site which is between Long Melford and Sudbury and is reached by taking the B1064 road just off the A134. The bridge over the River Stour at this point indicates the border at this point between Suffolk and Essex.
From the Rodbridge picnic site you can take a 3 mile walk along the the Valley Trail which was part of the Great Eastern Railway linking Colchester to Cambridge and Bury St Edmunds, and was known as the Stour Valley Line. Trains operated along here from 1865 until 1967.
The weather wasn’t great as I set off there was a persistent drizzle which showed no signs of abating. The Valley Trail runs through the Sudbury riverside meadows, which are the oldest continuously grazed pastures in East Anglia.

Along the walk you pass by Borley Rectory just over the border in Essex which was said to be the most haunted house in England between 1863 and 1939 until it burnt down.

The walkway seems very suitable for wheelchairs being entirely flat as you would imagine but is obviously well looked after and is now a site of much wildlife and wildflowers.
The walk continues into Sudbury to Friars meadow but I decided to return to the Ballingdon Bridge and here there is a pathway leading into the busy town centre of Sudbury. Arriving at this time of day the road was too busy to attempt much of a run. There are some wonderful houses in many different pastel colors near the river but I retraced my steps as it was too busy to try and cross roads here.

I returned via the valley walk to Rodbridge to have a look around the picnic site. Unfortunately the weather had closed in and the rain was beginning to belt down. Nevertheless this is a beautiful; spot and well worth the trip. I have made a note to return later in the year and this time get around Sudbury.

West Suffolk Athletics Track Bury St Edmunds

In West Suffolk Athletics Track on March 28, 2007 at 9:02 pm

6.15pm miles in 58 mins 10 seconds

Week to date mileage 7.5 miles

Month to date mileage 136

Average weekly rate 30.1 miles

Average monthly rate 131

Year to date 374

Lifetime 9967

The session as far as I recall consisted of 5 x 2.5 minutes with 2 sets. I warmed up as normally with a run to the track and 5 laps and finished with 2 laps and a run home

Bury St Edmunds Town Centre Suffolk

In Bury St Edmunds on March 27, 2007 at 8:07 pm

5.30pm 6.5 miles in 52 mins 55 seconds

Week to date mileage 7 miles

Month to date mileage 129

Average weekly rate 29.7 miles

Average monthly rate 129

Year to date 366

Lifetime 9959

A fairly decent run around the town centre.

Stowmarket 10 – 2007

In Stowmarket on March 25, 2007 at 4:40 pm

11am 10 miles in 1 hr 18 mins 10 seconds

Week to date mileage 29 miles

Month to date mileage 122

Average weekly rate 30 miles

Average monthly rate 130

Year to date 360

Lifetime 9953

Today I took part in what was announced afterwards at the award ceremony as possibly the last 10 mile road race organised by the Stowmarket Striders. This is because the club would like to organise a Half Marathon instead which is a more recognized distance perhaps. I would certainly run it though I have always been a fan of the 10 mile road races and would prefer this to the Scenic Seven. Anyway what ever the Striders decide to do I am sure it will be as always well organised as todays race.

Perhaps it was the weather and maybe the popularity of the 10 which meant there were 217 finishers this year which was well up on last year. The start from the Sports Centre is helpful having ample car parking and shower and toilet facilities and no walking to find the start.

The course takes you out through the villages of Onehouse and Harleston before running a loop taking you over the A14 at Haughley New Street, through Haughley Park and Shelland before repeating the section over Onehouse and Harleston.

My times are consistently down on last year and this race followed this pattern but I actually felt good in this race. I think this was down to a conscious effort to start more slowly and try and relax for the first 3-4 miles and then see if I would able to up the anti and push on and this seemed to work for me. I was generally passing a few other runners rather than being passed as I was in my previous races and I think this made for a positive experience.

My times were as follows

Mile 1 7.25
Mile 2 7.38
Mile 3 7.48
Mile 4 7.29
Mile 5 8.26
Mile 6 7.38
Mile 7 7.52
Mile 8 8.08
Mile 9 8.01
Mile 10 7.44

I ran 1hr 17 . 31 last year so I was down by 39 seconds! The course is generally flat though there are some hills especially up at Haughley Park which would account for my slowest mile time.

As usual I have taken a large number of photos but I am so far behind at present with this blog diary and up loading photos on to my flickr site so I hope to get these uploaded asap.

Bradfield Combust, Bradfield St Clare and Bradfield St George Suffolk

In Bradfield St Clare, Bradfield St Combust, Bradfield St George on March 24, 2007 at 8:50 pm

8am 8.2 miles in 1 hr 7 mins 50 seconds

Week to date mileage 19 miles

Month to date mileage 112

Average weekly rate 29.5 miles

Average monthly rate 128

Year to date 350

Lifetime 9943

On the A143 from Bury St Edmunds about 5 miles south there is the village of Bradfield Combust.

I parked of the road just before the entrance to Bradfield park and started my run along the section of the road which follows the old roman road. The Bradfield Manger pub is a familiar site next door to to All Saints church which has a famous gravestone of Arthur Young.

Arthur Young was said to be the greatest of all English writers on Agriculture. A man who traveled extensively to pioneer scientific methods of farming in Italy , France and Ireland. Born in 1774 he was the rector of Bradfields second son who was always more interested in traveling and writing than actually farming himself.

I returned past my car and into Bradfield Park. There is a public footpath through the centre. Here you can see Bradfield House once the home of Rev Young who was responsible for much of the planting of the parkland trees.

The pathway continues on to open farmland and you cross a section of the former railway line which ran between Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury. There is a wartime pill box nearby.

The footpath emerges onto the minor B Road at Bradfield St Clare opposite the church of St Clare. I turned right and ran along the road before taking a more minor road into the village of St Clare which appears to be dominated by an enormous water tower.

Here you are in the heart of some wonderful farm land and the road bends back and forth and just when you think you will never reach Bradfield St George you emerge at some nice flint and pink cottages.

The village sign depicting St George is rather at odds with the local campaign in Suffolk to restore St Edmund as the true patron saint of England but an attractive sign nonetheless.

Horringer School, Hospital and Cullum Rd , Newmarket Rd, Bury St Edmunds

In Bury St Edmunds on March 22, 2007 at 8:25 pm

5.30 pm 5.4 miles in 40 mins 33 seconds

Week to date mileage 11 miles

Month to date mileage 104

Average weekly rate 29.5 miles

Average monthly rate 128

Year to date 341

Lifetime 9934

Ran well

9 Mar 07 42.16
26 Feb 07 43.37
14 Feb 07 43.53
29 Jan07 42.46
3 Jan 07 42.13
19 Dec 06 41.50
7 Dec 06 43.45
7 Nov 06 42.33
10 Nov 06 42.02
30 Oct 06 42.0
3 Oct 06 41.15
19 Sep 06 41.39
8 Sep 06 41.01
1 Aug 06 41.45
28 July 06 42.25
17 July 06 42.46
13 June 06 42.08
11 May 06 43.21
27 Mar 06 42.41
8 Mar 06 42.13
24 Feb 06 42.33
16 Feb 06 44.0
10 Feb 06 41.50
2 Feb 06 42.38
17 Jan 06 42.50
10 Jan 06 42.52
1 Jan 06 41.45
14 Dec 05 42.47

Cullum Rd , Ramada Hotel and Newmarket Rd Bury St Edmunds

In Bury St Edmunds on March 20, 2007 at 8:16 pm

5.30 pm 5.4 miles in 41 mins 22 seconds

Week to date mileage 5.4 miles

Month to date mileage 99

Average weekly rate 29.5 miles

Average monthly rate 131

Year to date 336

Lifetime 9929

Ran well.

2007 1 Mar 41.54
2007 22 Feb 42.1
2007 21 Feb 42.10
2007 25 Jan 42.32
2007 21 Dec 41.35
2007 5 Dec 41.48
2007 3 Nov 42.37
2007 24 Oct 41.10
2007 19 Oct 41.08
2007 6 Oct 41.06
2006 29 Sep 42.10
2006 29 – Aug 40.40
2006 27 Jul 40. 47
2006 13 Jul 41.11
2006 6 Jun 41.33
2006 18 May 41.18
2006 7 Apr 40.30
2006 7 Mar 41.31
2006 3 Mar 41.34
2006 21 Feb 41.35
2006 27 Jan 41.56
2006 13 Jan 41.30
2006 2 Jan 42.42
2005 23 Dec 43.34
2005 9 Dec 42.0
2005 6 Dec 42.04
2005 29 Nov 42.17

Fornham Circular Run

In Fornham All Saints, Fornham Saint Martin, Fornham St Genevieve on March 18, 2007 at 8:06 pm

8am 7.5 miles in 57 mins 54 seconds

Week to date mileage 41 miles

Month to date mileage 93

Average weekly rate 29.5 miles

Average monthly rate 131

Year to date 331

Lifetime 9924

A fairly decent run and time around Fornham villages.

12.03.07 56.40
10.03.07 59.25
01.01.07 58.26
23.12.06 57.59
16.12.06 58.48
16.11.06 59.56
26.8.06 58.01
6.08.06 57.20
26.07.06 57.29
09.07.06 58.44
24.06.06 57.24
03.06.06 59.17
13.05.06 58.20
6.05.06 57.03
25.04.06 57.02
18.05.06 56.51
11.02.06 59.25
14.01.06 1.0.05
17.12.05 59.29
29.10.05 59.52
03.10.05 1.0.19
11.09.05 1.0.14
28.08.05 57.42
19.08.05 59.36
22.07.05 58.24
10.07.05 59.48
01.07.05 59.42
23.06.05 1.4.0
18.06.05 1.2.18
29.05.05 1.0.26
23.05.05 59.38
5.4.05 1.2.41
1.4.05 1.0.26
19.3.05 59.0
12.3.05 1.0.43
5.3.05 1.2.16
26.2.05 1.2.16
6.2.05 1.1.23
28.1.05 1.1.2.
16.1.05 1.1.14
8.1.05 1.3.19
29.12.04 1.0.11
24.12.04 1.1.26
20.12.04 1.1.31
3.12.04 1.1.13
30.11.04 1.1.18
11.11.04 1.0.32
2.10.04 1.0.40
24.09.04 59.50

Bury 10

In Bury St Edmunds on March 16, 2007 at 11:27 pm

I have just scanned a number of photos from the early 80’s including these from the old Bury 10. These photos were taken on the 12th of June 1983. I can be precise as I still have my running diaries from this time which showed I completed the course in 1hr 22 minutes.
If anyone knows the old course I would really like to know. I do know this race started and finished pretty much outside Lloyds Bank so was guaranteed good number of spectators. What a pity it isn’t still the case!

These photos are interesting to the non runner as well as they show a number of landmarks which are no longer including Purdy’s, the old Bus Station, the old Focus Cinema the Castle Pub, the Co-op, Halfords and Debenhams. I will load more on to my Flickr site.