West Dereham Sign Gary Trouton

Runnin' on

March 2002


Driving along Bexwell Road into Downham, the car in front of us activated the 30 mph speed limit lights, the bright lights were very obvious and we thought that the traffic on our road would keep a set of them well lit up for most of the time.

We were pleased when the West Dereham Village council managed to get a 30mph speed limit through most of the village. Our roads are not safe to walk on these days though despite the speed limit. With very few pavements we have no choice but to walk on the road but it is a hair-raising experience at times, unfortunately the limits are ignored. I know the exercise we all get hopping off the road and onto the verges is beneficial for us. I'm just grateful that I'm able to hear the mad drivers as they approach at speed. To be hard of hearing would be as fatal as being unable to get onto the verge quickly.

Our roads are quite busy and continually developing large holes as a result of the increasing traffic. Cars are driven around the dangerous potholes as they get steadily larger. I imagine hitting one of the craters would be very damaging to vehicle and driver! Our village roads are always in need of repairs and eventually a team will come along and paint white lines around the biggest holes. In time a repair team arrives to fill the holes but in a couple of months the holes are back, probably less speed would make the repairs last more than a month or two, or am I being too optimistic? I am sure that if the drivers observed the 30 mph limit our road surfaces would last a lot longer than they do now.

With the news that the average community tax is due to rise to £1,000 this year we can but hope that there will be some improvement in the state of our roads. Well that has got a load off my chest, I still reckon our part of the world has got a lot going for it.

I drove home last night and came across a deer standing in the middle of the road. She had a good long look at me; what the animal was thinking I had no idea, but I watched her until she walked gracefully and slowly to the roadside and through the hedge. I drove the rest of the way home in a happy glow.

From our house before the crops grow, we can watch hares chasing across the fields. In their paddocks there are horses playing chase and at times overhead flocks of birds returning to their roosts. Skeins of swans and geese fly over us at such a graceful and leisurely pace, they are beautiful to watch. I never tire of the pleasure they give me. Of course, all these treats are free and no doubt there are other villagers who have time to stand and stare and what appears to be just a field.

Have you got any special country treats near your home? The best part of being retired is having the time to stand and stare across an apparently empty field, it is surprising what you will find to watch and enjoy.

Janet Tilburn

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