Tyneham, the deserted village

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  Southern Section diary

Following the drought, it had rained all week until Greg arranged some spectacular weather for the Club run to Lulworth on Sunday, 19th May. The group gathered at Rownham Services on the M27 near Southampton. With an initial total of 15 riders and passengers, including the addition of new friends, Carl and Christina, and Mike and Lesley.  As with all ride-outs, there are glitches where riders get separated by fate. This was no exception. 

Greg lead us away from the Services Car Park via an illicit exit through the service road, past no entry signs.  This threw a curved ball for tail-ender, Gail, who immediately became separated from the main group by the subterfuge of the exit.

Using her initiative, Gail took an alternative route around Romsey, suddenly re-joining the Group from an unexpected direction. Unfortunately, however, Bernard had dutifully waited at the first junction for the tail ender who never materialised. He graciously made his own way to the Castle Inn where we met for lunch. 

The route took us through the beautiful countryside of Hampshire and Dorset, including a riding through parts of the New Forest, through to the Isle of Purbeck, before arriving at the lunch stop, The Castle Inn. The general view was that this was an excellent stop-over excepting that this was a pub that offered a superb range of beers and ciders that could only be admired from afar!
Greg briefing the group at Rownham
The route then back-tracked to Tyneham, a village sequestrated by the Army in 1943 for use as a training facility prior to the D-Day landings, but somehow, never returned to its rightful owners. The Village then languished in military ownership until limited public access was granted in 1976. The Village is now available for limited viewing, just as it had been left, excepting damage and deterioration, and creating a time capsule of that day in December 1943 when the entire population was shipped out. The Church is the only ‘untouched’ building from that period. The Village’s buildings exude an atmosphere of desolation and intrigue, relieved only by information panels in each house’s shell describing the occupants background.
While Susan and I were viewing a couple of the buildings, a couple were showing their sons around until they came to one house ‘where great granny used to live’. “Look that’s her.” He said, pointing to a woman in one of the display photographs.

We started to wend our various ways home, but not before a stop-off at a viewing point right at the peak of the Purbeck Hills.
Thanks go to Greg for leading a delightful ride through some of Southern England's finest countryside and  on to the intriguing Tyneham village.

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