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autumn 2016

Memories of the Binges


Mention of The Binges in a recent article by Dave Bird reminded Barry Wilford of the times he spent there as a boy, below are his memories.

My first recollection of The Binges was as a Wolf Cub going there with the Cub Pack, led by Akela and her assistants, in the summer of 1947. I remember it as scrubland bordered on one side by Fishpool Brook and fenced on the other three sides. At the end of Brook Lane, after Iliffe’s farm, there was a five barred gate and this led into The Binges, which spread off to the left. The land didn’t seem to belong to anyone, probably abandoned limestone workings. There were several water filled holes and the vegetation was mainly large hawthorn bushes with the occasional tree. About one hundred yards from the first gate was another gate that led into farmland.

During my youth, along with others, we would go birds’ nesting and during one of these trips discovered a rail track. This would tie in with the lime kilns in the area as shown on the 1984 O.S. map. As a Scout Leader I would often take Scouts for various tests into The Binges. My last venture there was in 1975, again with the Scouts, badger watching. I am sure Don Mitchell will remember this. At times during the late sixties and early seventies The Binges became the nesting place for starlings during the winter months. At about four o’clock the sky above would turn black as they flew in and the hawthorn bushes were white with bird droppings.

Barry Wilford