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Following Elgar


Worcestershire is the heart of middle England: the rolling countryside enclosed us so firmly that we had the feeling we couldn’t have escaped it even if we’d wanted to. 

 

We didn’t come across many green lanes, but the one from The Firs (Elgar’s birthplace at SO 807556) to the outskirts of Worcester may be short & simple but it's a treat.  And it’s a drovers’ track.  And the ‘Firs’ referred to are scots pines (#1) showing where the route diverged from Crown East Lane1 in Upper Broadheath.  There’s even a pub, The Plough, at the point of divergence, but it may have changed its name over the years and there are no historical references to it being a drovers’ inn that we can find.

 

The route makes a great walk (#2-4), but changes character after Oldbury Farm, where barns get in the way and it’s been diverted slightly.  Then it’s tarmac for the last 300 yards till it meets the traffic on the edge of Worcester (#5).  

 

What a cheerful & generous city Worcester is, and how splendid the cathedral.  I’m ashamed to admit that I had not realised what a treasure the place is. 

 

Elgar’s father kept a music shop in the city where his son occasionally worked.  I kept thinking that we were following the young musician’s footsteps into the city as we walked along.  Hence the whimsical title.

 

1 Originally “Crows Nest Lane”.  Changed in the 1850’s to sound more genteel, according to local historian Max Sinclair.

Following Elgar image 1
Pines, (or Firs)
Following Elgar image 3
The Open Road