Timeball & Telegraph Trail Pt 3 Rochester to Teynham LINEAR

Sun 10th Mar 2019

Walk Details:

Event Type
Group Walk
Southern England
Local Group
Start Time
Meet Rochester rail station. Finish Teynham rail station

This is the third of five walks which, in total, cover a 97ml route between the Timeballs at Greenwich & Deal, going over 9 hills on which the relay stations of the predecessor mechanical telegraph stood. JOINT WITH KENT

General Notes
Pub lunch

Entry Details:


Walk Report

Timeball and Telegraph Trail Part 3 - Rochester to Teynham, Sunday 10th March 2019
18 walkers, 21 miles - leader Peter Jull
By the time trains had deposited walkers at Rochester station the cathedral bells had stopped but the sun had come out. Marched to Rochester Castle to do the bit shortcutted at the end of the last leg, 18 were force photographed in front of the keep, its streaming flag stretching its shrouds. Michael's hat retrieved and crashing tree limb dodged the bells had begun again but only audible downwind as we crunched twiglets and larger along park paths. Rochester invisibly became Chatham and a short riverside stretch with progress preventing gusts before many steps up to the grand naval war memorial. Down the other side Chatham morphed into Gillingham. Freshly toileted and missing man found, more riverside through a boatyard with rattling rigging screaming before becoming country park. A three-bench sheltered spot sufficed for elevenses viewing tide out mud fiat grey before the biggest fence flattening faller of the day forced a furlong detour. Staying on the Saxon Shore Way a potential lunch pub was eschewed for lack of picnic comfort. The next was more timely and with nearby playground benching, but there was no room at the inn with space only in the stable (smoking shelter) and the wait for food too long. Departure coincided with a short shower but before Callum Hill was topped the sun was back lighting the views its telegraph station would have had. Blown down the other side a struggling straggler signed off at Kemsley station; the rest country parked through Sittingbourne but couldn't avoid the trading estate that in the Kent version of Monopoly takes the place of Old Kent Road. That littered landscape left behind rurality resumed gently up to Tonge's telegraph hill. A bonus not on the main Admiralty to Deal line but a branch to The Nore anchorage. It's a pimple compared to other hills but enough, surrounded by flatland marsh. The next hill is higher leading to lamb land with essence of lambing shed then Conyer Creek's incoming tide blued by the now clear sky. 50 knot winds blessedly behind us for most of the day, the abating breeze blew in right ears for the final four fields to the finish at Teynham.
Photographs by Peter Jull



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