Where the railway meets…at Richard Jefferies Museum

2 May



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This one is straight from the mouths of babes, well a nine-year-old, any how. This is the first family-friendly Magic Monday of 2016 (kicking off as part of the Swindon Festival of Literature), where kids and their families are welcome to run around the Richard Jefferies Museum at Coate Water, Swindon. 

We first parked in Coate Water. As we crossed the mud-filled car park there was some logs on the grass on the side of the road. I decided to jump from log to log. Then they ran out. So I followed my mum and Sydney (my little sister) into a freshly cut field. I quickly ran across the field with Sydney close at my side. She said she was a monster and was trying to catch me. So sprinted off with Sydney behind me shouting, ‘Milo, Milo!’ I left everyone behind (my mum and Sydney) and rushed inside the gate.

Earlier on in the day people did circus skills and building dens and drumming. At last Sydney and my mum made it through the gate. I followed my mum to the poet, Hilda Sheehan. Hilda helps run the Richard Jeffries museum with someone else, Mike Pringle. A few seconds later I met one of my best friends, William Sheehan, and a new person, Billy, (I don’t know his surname.) I saw another one of my best friends, Florence Sheehan. I quickly set off into the orchard with my friends. I asked what game we should play and William eagerly said, hide and seek. I was waiting for someone to say ‘I’ll be it’ when William and Billy pointed at me. I was so annoyed that when they ran away I speedily counted to 10 and ran off for them. I thought William or Billy would be in the house. I looked around and came back out and spied William by the mulberry tree and ran towards him and tagging him at the same time. I looked around and spied Billy. I ran towards Billy and he said, ‘fine you got me,’ not really understanding you’re actually meant to tag the person. So I tagged him any way. And filmed him running away from me and my mum put it on Instagram.

A little while later I looked on the ground and saw sticks laid on the ground. At first I thought it was an obstacle course but then I realized it was a train track. I asked William where the train was as a joke and he said follow me. He led me into a mini forest. And there was a train made out of cardboard boxes there was a few little kids inside and what looked like the youngest kid stood up and that knocked the whole thing down.

I went back around the mulberry tree and there was some hoopla-hoops on the floor and picked them up and started hoopla-hooping, even though I was quite bad at it. Soon Billy came along and said, ‘let’s make a secret den.’ Billy ran in one direction and William and I had to call him back. We showed him our secret base but he didn’t like it and said, ‘I’ve got a even better secret den.’ So we followed him round until he showed us his secret den. We went inside and got scratched by brambles. A helper of Hilda’s turned up and said we weren’t allowed around round there. So we followed William to another secret part. It was very cramped and none of us liked it. So we followed William again to another secret part. This was covered in undergrowth and lots of stinging nettles. We found two multi-coloured sticks which I claimed. William and Billy found two other sticks. Billy fought me for a bit and then I accidentally hit his hand with the stick. So that brought our game to a end.

It suddenly poured down with rain so we had to bring the cardboard box train into a old abandoned pig sty to keep it out of the rain. After that I had to go back into the car and headed home.

By Milo Davison, age 9.

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