Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Hayley Wood, Longstowe

Today I took the morning off to join some retired BP colleagues on a 5 mile walk in the ancient woodland Hayley Wood in Longstowe, near Cambridge to get some exercise after the excesses of Easter meals. Some of the group took a longer walk of 7 miles but they are keener walkers, fully retired and get far more practice than me.

Hayley Wood is host to hundreds of species of fungi and thousands of insects and birds and at present is carpeted with bluebells, wood anemones, oxlips and lesser celandines. The hedge in Hayley Lane is 800 years old and we were surrounded by birdsong on a beautiful spring morning. After a pleasant lunch at the Red House pub I headed home reluctantly to catch up with emails, phone calls and my Blog.

Today is the 20th Anniversary of the Hillsborough Football Disaster in 1989, when 96 Liverpool football fans were crushed to death due to poor crowd control by the police. In the past few days I have heard some harrowing stories, especially the parents of 2 London teenage girls, who died close to each other, leaving devastated parents who lost their whole family within a few fateful minutes.

Some parents are still bitter that no one has ever been held to account for the police failure to marshal the crowds properly, allowing hundreds of fans to enter an overcrowded stand. However one good thing to come out of the disaster was that most football stadiums are now seating only, encouraging more family attendance, as is the case at American football and baseball matches.

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