22 MARCH 1957, Page 25


When an acquaintance who has not been living in the locality for long asked me where he could cut himself some brushwood to protect his newly sprouted peas I passed on the information with pleasure. Some people know the history of their Parish and others, like myself, are more familiar with its topography, its trees and streams. Ask me where a bullace tree grows and I can show you one. Long ago I discovered where the best hazels are to be gathered and a thicket where a tree that fruits every two or three years is cbvered with the largest rosy crab apples. In the same place stands a damson that only the birds harvest and the hedges round about have many a gooseberry bush in their ranks. Most of these bear hard, sour gooseberries that only school- boys sample, but at least one has small yellow fruit as sweet as anything in the village gardens. Ask me where snowdrops grow or the wild cherry blossoms, where cress can be picked or a good ash pole cut, and I am delighted to help, for in telling the way I mentally retrace my steps to places I have always enjoyed visiting.