Wednesday, 5 August 2015

The Hells Angels of Clay Lane

I've overdone things this four-off.

Today's run started badly, and ended worse. Oh, not from any mental or aesthetic point of view, it is always worth being outside as you know. Rather, it was the fact that I couldn't run more than a couple of hundred metres at a time without having to pause to relieve some aching body part or other.

Or all of my body parts, more like.

I cancelled my plans to run the river trail, and instead headed off on the CLay Lane route, running the length of it. It's at its most overgrown at this time of year, its most mysterious. And it reminded me of a childhood where Clay Lane was much rougher and more unkempt than it is now, where we tried to play cricket in grass a foot long, and the conker tree named "King Kong" delivered a rich haul of conkers ripe for leaving in a plastic bag in the pantry and never ever using.

Most of the time we stuck to the main field for our adventures, but one time about 6 of us struck out along the Lane proper, swishing sticks around and generally being kids. Looking back, I find it hard to believe I ever did such normal kid things.

We had got about halfway along, when we heard the familiar bee in a biscuit tin sound of a moped being ridden across a field. Then two mopeds. Then three.

"Shit!" shouted one of our number. "It's the Hell's Angels!!! Run for your life!!!"

Even at ten years of age, you'd have thought we would have known that Hell's Angels were more renowned for riding huge Harley Davidson cruisers rather than Honda 50s with a top speed of twenty miles per hour, but we set off like scalded cats back along the path, running indeed for our lives.

"IF THEY CATCH US THEY'LL KILL US!" the same boy shouted again, probably rather irresponsibly, and we upped our pace like we were fleeing alien monsters in the dark. No-one wanted to be the fat kid left behind. Luckily, we already had one of those. Were they being captured and killed? No-one looked back.

"RUUUUUUNNN!!!" and we did and we emerged from the trees onto the field and were able to stop and catch our breath. The fat kid was still with us unmaimed, and we probably had a good laugh and (relieved) giggle, before heading off to get a 10p mix from the corner shop.

Think of this story when you look at the Clay Lane pictures below!


All images and text copyright CreamCrackeredNature 05.08.15

The bike track ditch is now choked with pink flowers - herb robert???

Entrance to the Clay Lane depths

Elderberries. Annoyed autumn is coming

Further in

Blackberries now starting to ripen

One of the few flowers in the lane

Childhood biker terrors

The end of Clay Lane is now blocked

Beacon Hill. Small skipper

A very orange bum

And another!

Small skipper, now moved to a different thistle

Wings open a little more


  1. Oh I love this story! It's always memories like this which stick out in your childhood. I love the fact the Conker Tree was named King Kong too, that's brilliant. You got some lovely shots of the lane as well, I especially love the captures of the Small Skipper. Very pretty! - Tasha

  2. Thank you very much! Hopefully will be able to take better quality pics soon!

  3. I was with you all the way Si - only I am sure that on that occasion you didn't stop to look at the butterflies.

  4. Gives me the chills thinking about it!

  5. Funny story, lovely photos. The flowers you think are herb robert look to me like hairy willowherb.

  6. Hairy, as opposed to rosebay, willowherb! Good stuff, didn't think there was more than one sort. Thanks for liking my writing, means a lot.