On 17th October three Love Hambrook Marshes trustees gave about 15 members of Extinction Rebellion a tour of Hambrook Marshes. As you can see from the photo, this was made possible by everybody being extremely sensible about social distancing. They learnt a little about the history and wildlife of the site, how it passed from Bretts to Kent Enterprise Trust and then on to Love Hambrook Marshes in 2014, and a point of particular interest to the audience was a summary of where we are with the council’s proposed extension to the Wincheap park and ride. 

A pleasing diversion was provided by Tom Hunt reading from Gray’s “Elegy written in a country churchyard”, the tenuous connection being that it has been claimed that the graveyard in question was not at Stoke Poges in Buckinghamshire but St Nicholas church, Thanington. The famous poem opens with the line “The curfew tolls the knell of parting day”, but there was no curfew bell at Stoke Poges, whereas our cathedral’s curfew bell tolls at 8.55 every evening. In the second line “the lowing herd wind slowly o’er the lea”, but there are no cattle near the Buckinghamshire church. I’m sure the dispute will never be resolved, but it is nice to think that part of Thomas Gray’s inspiration may have come from just across the river at Thanington.