Canter Across The Canal

A Memory of Avoncliff

It must have been around the late 1960s, early 1970s when my sister and I used to ride our ponies down to Avoncliff. We lived a short distance away in Upper Westwood and our mother liked us to ride along the tow path as it kept us away from the roads and any traffic that may spook our ponies.  Avoncliff was a favourite place - at that time the aqueduct was dry and instead of going down and under the bridge we used to take our nimble ponies down the bank, canter across the bottom and leap up the other side!  I'm sure our ponies used to enjoy it as much as we did as they used to start prancing around in anticipation as we came round the last corner and approached the canal.  
The tow path was very overgrown and a haven for wild life. We pretty much had it to ourselves and once across used to canter all the way to Bradford on Avon, only slowing down for a rest when we got to the Tythe Barn, also overgrown, where we would stop for a while and & let the ponies eat some grass before jumping back on and continuing our ride along Frome Road over the canal bridge and back towards home up Jones Lane.  Mum's dog Yogi would hear our ponies clip clopping along the road long before anybody else could and would sit out in the road waiting for us to return.

A memory shared by Frances Nelson , on Aug 3rd, 2008.

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