Letters from Wiltshire


Dear Reader

Most weekends Angelika and I go for a walk in the wonderful countryside around Wiltshire , there are so many places to explore and although we visited 26 (and more) of them last year when Angelika wrote her book ‘Wiltshire von A bis Z ‘ there are still many places to see .

Last weekend was no different but we had a mission – to buy bread and cakes from Michael the German baker who had a stall at a fayre in Tidworth . There was very little publicity about the event so we set of on our journey armed only with a postcode.

We drove to Tidworth across Salisbury plain and parked on the Tesco car park and set off in search of the Fayre. Tidworth is a garrison town with army bases nearby , a civilian population of 9,500 and is the birthplace of James Blunt.

From the car park we headed left and followed a route on The Ave which leads to Tidworth Park . The park is a green open space and is ringed by signs saying ‘The public are free to use the park however HM Forces reserve the right to restrict access’ . We followed the road to the roundabout and found ourselves directly in fron of the spendid facade of Tedworth House , which is run by Help for Heroes as a Recovery Centre. We explored the outer grounds and despite Google Maps saying we were in the correct postcode still , there was no sign of a fayre.

Attribution: Andrew Mathewson

Attribution: Andrew Mathewson

We decided to walk on and found ourselves walking next to Tidworth Polo Club , which we subsequently learned has the largest membership of any polo club in the country , including Prince Charles , Prince Harry and Prince William.

So far we had walked about two miles and admitted that the fayre was nowhere to be seen. In the distance we could see vehicles and a road which we headed towards. We found ourselves at the Tidworth water treatment plant and a van was parked outside , the driver was just locking the gates . We engaged him in conversation and asked whether he had heard about the fayre and the location . He was very friendly and helpful but had not heard about the fayre. We asked the best way back into town and he advised not to use the road we are going toward but to retrace our steps back into town.

We walked away arm in arm , there may be no fayre to be found but we could have a snack on our return to Tesco. We did retrace our steps alongside the polo ground and in 15 minutes , with sodden feet had reach the road leading to Tedworth house.

As we reached the road a white van headed towards us bearing the water company logo , we stopped to give him room to get by on the single track road . We then recognised the driver , it was the gentleman we had spoken to earlier . He wound down his window and said he has found the Fayre and proceeded to give us directions as to how to get there. We were extremely grateful for he had driven 2 miles out of his way , found the fayre then driven one mile back to find us .

Following his directions within 20 minutes we were at the Fayre talking to Michael the German Baker sampling and buying his wonderful fresh bread and cakes.

We did not tell Michael we got lost and we hope you will not either . We had a wonderful walk around the countryside around Tidworth , discovered Tedworth House and the Tidworth Polo ground , but the highlight of our day was meeting a true gentleman who went out of his way to help us.

So until the next time we meet , we wish you similar good fortune .
Steven and Angelika




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