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Burley Walk -25th January 2019

Today we had 23 Bees Knees walkers going to Burley on a 4 1/2 mile circular walk through the forest and along country lanes seeing some fabulous houses and also stopping along the way to hear some stories and historical points of interest.

Plus hearing a woodpecker busy pecking away on a tree and some ponies coming along our route welcoming us as we walked by and allowing us to have our photos taken with some of them as photos show.

The weather was 12 degs and really pleasant and not even a breeze. We had 4 new walkers today who seemed to really enjoy the walk and making new friends.

We ended up at The Cider Pantry for lunch where the staff were excellent and nothing was too much trouble and the food was very good. On the menu they had lots of dishes with an “SA” by the side meaning a small appetite which is so good especially at lunch times.

We all said we would come again.

Lovey Warne – Burley

Places all over the New Forest are traditionally strongly connected with the free-trade, but none more so than the Burley area. This was the home of the Warne family, John, Peter, and the strangely-named Lovey, their sister. They lived at Crow-Hill Top, in a house called Knaves Ash, just outside Burley.

The most picturesque yarns are associated with Lovey Warne: legend has it that when the revenue men were abroad in the forest, she would parade across Vereley Hill wearing a red cloak, as a warning to smugglers on the coast to avoid the area. At night smugglers living at a cottage on the hill would hoist a lantern up a nearby oak tree to give the warning signal.

Lovey Warne's role in smuggling didn't stop at signalling. According to legend, she would visit ships in Christchurch harbour, undress in the privacy of the captain's cabin, and wind herself with valuable silks before getting back into her clothes — somewhat fatter. Evidently the sudden gain in weight passed unnoticed, since Lovey would walk straight past the revenue men without arousing suspicion, and return home to be unwound and relieved of her burden.

This clever ruse apparently had to stop when one of the revenue men invited Lovey for a glass at the Eight Bells in Christchurch. Emboldened by drink, he became amorous and started to explore Lovey's fine thighs with his hand. A swift jab in the eye deterred his amorous advances, but Lovey was retired to the smuggling equivalent of a desk job on Vereley Hill.


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