Friday, March 08, 2019

Bevis's Council Oak at Coate Water

Phil, Tom, Ted, Jim, Frank, Walter, Bill, 'Charl', Val, Bob, Cecil, Sam, Fred, George, Harry, Michael, Jack, Andrew, Luke and half a dozen more were talking all together, shouting across each other, occasionally fighting, wrestling, and rolling over on the sward under an oak. There were two up in the tree, bellowing their views from above, and little Charlie ('Charl') was astride of a bough which he had got hold of, swinging up and down, and yelling like the rest. Some stood by the edge of the water, for the oak was within a few yards of the New Sea, and alternatively made ducks and drakes, and turned to contradict their friends.
The Swindon Advertiser names its top 10 free outings in Wiltshire. It includes Coate Water and mentions the trees around it, but not the Council Oak from Richard Jefferies' Bevis. You can see it in my photograph above.

"Ducks and drakes" here, it seems, means skimming stones.

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