On my walk this morning…

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Martin Wimbush with Daisy

On my walk this morning, I met Martin Wimbush, the actor and frequent performer.  I had taken the path from Winchelsea Road sluice by the River Tillingham to Gibbets Marsh and there was this figure in the distance standing by the level crossing. I waited for him either to come or go, as social distancing requires, but he just stood there, with his little dog. So I approached and was recognised (in military parlance).

“What are you doing,” I asked. “I’m waving to the trains,” he replied, “the first one has gone and I’m waiting for the second”. This seemed mildly eccentric, but I resisted the temptation to ask whether he came there often.

He then explained: “I enjoy my little walk twice a day with our dog; I come at 11.45am and 6.45pm and I wave to the engine drivers because I feel they need encouragement as they drive their ghost trains up and down the line. They’ve got used to me now, so they always wave back. I was inspired by the story I read of an old lady who stands on a road bridge over a motorway and waves at the lorry drivers as they pass underneath.”

The pheasant

We watched the train together, and the driver did wave back. Then he walked first across the track and I left him on the green grass with Daisy the poodle as I continued on my way round the fields to West Undercliff.

It was a beautiful day, the air was fresh and clean and the birds were singing. I saw a cock pheasant in splendid spring plumage duck under a gate. I was less than a mile from the centre of town. Several other walkers I recognised and greeted before arriving home in time for lunch. I’m getting used to this routine, but very conscious that all is a bit fragile and vulnerable.

Image Credits: Kenneth Bird .

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