The Winter Solstice

We started marking the Solstices and Equinoxes in June, and today is the shortest day of the year. We chose the closest weekend day to mark this Equinox, and yesterday – Sunday 20th December – yet again there were supporters walking round the fields from the moment of Sunrise until the moment of Sunset.

The weather was both good and bad, with beautiful sunshine plus heavy showers at times. The highlight was a perfect rainbow over Manning’s Pit, that curved down into the field itself so that an unsuspecting walker appeared to walk right through it. Because of the rain, and an old camera it wasn’t possible to get a photo of that fleeting moment, but it was indeed a perfect moment.

As at the other Solstice, John Lovelock was the first to start walking and the photograph shows him looking East towards the Sunrise. It was darker than it appears in the photograph.
John looking at a gap in the clouds where another cloud caught a touch of the light from the rising sun.

Following on from weeks of rain it was very muddy indeed! Here are some more photographs – sometimes it was raining too hard to take any.

Another of our earlier walkers
This was an attempt to photograph a running supporter who went too fast and was gone before the camera was out of its case!
Another walker sets off in a shower of rain

Then there was the beautiful rainbow….

This was just the beginning of the rainbow but shows the colour

This shows more of the rainbow but the photograph wasnt so good because of the rain and it wan’t possible to get a good one of the rainbow actually arching down into the field.
It was sunny again and a walker looks back from the bridge beyond Manning’s Pit after walking through the fields. This bridge is on the footpath that leads to Tutshill Woods.
Leo’s owner came with festive sparkly earrings – you can just see them if you look closely
Leo loves Manning’s Pit and doesn’t care how wet it is.
Another walker ready for the off… and the sun was shining again.

A couple of photos sent next are not uploading properly so until we fix the problem we’ll continue with the later ones. Dusk was approaching early and it was getting damper and colder.

John was out again – dressed in more festive style now_ and he joined Robin at the end of his walk.
It’s darker and colder and Richard and Katie are well wrapped up for their walk.
It isn’t obvious in the photo but we were holding candles (in jars) as the dusk drew in – and Carols begain to play from somewhere behind us in Lynbro Road to add to the festive mood.
Tim, our Treasurer, was the last walker to do a leg of the fields, and he too brought a candle with him,

We would have liked to make a special occasion of the finish, with mulled wine and mince pies and a bigger crowd, but with the news the day before about the new variant of the virus it wasn’t right to do that. Even so, as dusk came down on Manning’s Pit, and Christmas lights began to twinkle in the distance on houses bordering the fields (as well as some striking ones over at Anchor Mill) we were glad we had had our small socially distanced event. We all hope that this time next year it will be different. Until then our message has to be, keep safe, and keep your fingers crossed for our campaign and our hopes to buy Manning’s Pit.

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