Monday, 13 May 2013

Grasses at Juniper Hall May 2013

We had good weather for the Grass Identification in Springtime Course at Juniper Hall, near Box Hill, near Dorking 3-6 May 2013 and a good group of participants.

Searching for grasses round the felled cedar.
 A sixth from group are in the background.

Glyceria fluitans... don't fall in. - on Headley Heath

Chalk Grassland on Headley Heath

Headley Heath

Before Breakfast on Juniper Top

The drainage experiments - comparing grassland, gravel  and tarmac

Looking for Catapodium rigidum (Fern grass)

and finding it.

Keywork...near the River Mole

We reach the almost summit of Box Hill

100 metres lower down the slope
we had had the whole hillside to ourselves.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Bob Leakey

It was Bob Leakey's Funeral today (! May). At Giggleswick church, just down the hill from where he lived.
Outside Giggleswick Church

He was 98 years and 10 months.

The church was full of Cavers. and members of the local community.
(See also Yorkshire Post  obituary)

I took Althea. (in wheelchair) Negotiating the wooden ledge at the foot of the church back door after the steep ramp was not easy. I didn't realise till later that the other lady in a wheelchair watching our efforts to get in was Mrs Leakey.

The wheelchair necessitated us sitting in the wide third row - which I thought was good - we were just behind the "Family" so had a good view of proceedings.

Revd Hilary Young took the service well - and was able to hand over much of the service to three people who gave long and well recieved talks about Bob.

First a Caver (The Head of one organisation) - Who described passages in Easegill system and in Mossdale Caverns that Bob had discovered - I hope all three speeches will be printed somewhere
Photos of Bob Leakey

Second was Julian Leakey, the elder son (Bob had had four children;though one died in 2010)
He told how he had served in the war and went to India - and saw the famine there - It had been a bad harvest; The Japanese of course did no sell rice. and the Australians sent their crops to Europe. There was no rationing system. So the rich people in India survived and the poor people starved.

Then he was in Burma. And after the war he did not come home straight away because he wanted to climb some mountains in the Himalayas.

Joe Lord (about 25yrs) told how Bob Leakey had helped and inspired him when he was a boy.
In the last general election Joe had been the youngest parliamentary candidate and Bob Leakey had been the oldest.

After the service Joe pushed Althea up the steep Bell Hill to the pub where the reception was, so we could look at the photos. We enjoyed staying for a meal and meeting friends - (including Robert S, Helen S, Jim D, Mike C,  Rowena and others and hearing lots more stories of Bob -

I hope many of these stories will appear in in the Book that Joe is compiling of Bob Leakey's writings.