Lunch At The Rising Sun

On a morning of sunny intervals, Jackie and I nipped out to buy bread and took the opportunity for a short forest drive.

The heather on the moorland straddling Holmsley Passage is glowing purple, and the bracken beginning to yellow.

Several cyclists crossed Holmsley Passage in their trip along the gravelled path converted from former railway tracks of one of the lines destroyed by the Beeching/Marples combination of the 1960s.

Ponies and foals were cropping the verges of Bisterne Close.

We lunched with Mat, Tess, and Poppy at The Rising Sun at Bashley. Despite the hundreds of customers in this extensive establishment, we were all impressed with the speed and efficiency of the service and the excellence of the meals. Mine consisted of steak and ale pie, chips, peas, carrots, and cabbage with thick, meaty gravy, followed by ginger sponge and custard. I drank Otter ale.

There were not quite as many ponies outside the pub as in this image from 2017, but enough to give credibility to my prediction that there would be a sighting.

Our granddaughter met another contemporary called Poppy and her sister Florence – the names of our Poppy and her cousin, Becky’s daughter.

Afterwards, Tess and Poppy drove off to a beach, while the rest of us returned home and flopped.

Later, the others grazed while I didn’t.


  1. A question just occurred to me. I’ve come to understand the concept of a Commons, but who owns all these ponies, donkeys, cattle, and such? Are they also held in common? Or privately owned? Or a combination? You may have written about it, and I’ve missed it.

    1. Thanks very much, Linda. These questions have been variously answered in relation to quite a few posts. The animals are all privately owned. Some, e.g. cattle, pigs, and sheep are in farms and allowed out at particular times. The donkeys and the ponies are owned by individual commoners who have pasturage rights and remain free throughout the year. The pigs are loosed in the autumn to eat up acorns and such (mast) which are poisonous to ponies. There is an annual round up of ponies called the drift. One of these appears in the second part of this post:

      1. What an interesting post that was. Any time boats, strawberries, and horses can be combined in a single entry (not to mention crabbing) I’m there. Your answer here was great, too — covered it all. I’ll note as an aside that freeze branding increasingly is being used here. It takes longer than hot iron branding, but has some advantages. I noticed a commenter or two who used words like ‘barbaric’ to describe branding, but responsible owners who keep medical, breeding, and other records on their animals need a way to distinguish them. As for cattle, it sure does help when a steer wanders off to be able to check the brand and get it back to its home!

        One of the most interesting highway overpasses I’ve seen is in the Texas Panhandle. It’s embossed with historic Texas cattle brands.

  2. Your meal sounds so delicious, Derrick! And the countryside is very beautiful too. Shore Acres has a good question, who owns all the animals? We don’t see this over here.

  3. Love your posts. Our Appalachian mountains also had a fall tradition of letting pigs loose to fatten up. I don’t know be it some places still do that.

  4. A far sighted government (ha ha) would have retained all the closed tracks and converted them to well paved cycleways, leaving open the opportunity for reinstatement later as railway lines. As I cycle along busy roads beside deserted and overgrown old railways, I grind my teeth.

  5. Love your forest adventures! Sounds, and looks, like a grand day! The ponies are always a joy to see! Pretty perky ponies populating the pub partying peppily! 😉 HA! 😀
    (((HUGS))) 🙂
    PS…The thought of Human-Beans grazing (which we do) always makes me grin! 😛

  6. The ponies of today, and also of 2017, look as though they’re affected by post pub legarthy!
    I’m not very keen on heather – but can’t help but admire its ability to survive – even thrive – on quite barren land, as illustrated perfectly by your wonderful purple display.

  7. That has to be one of the most beautiful days out for just a simple task of picking up bread. Thank you for answering the ownership questions as I too was curious. 

  8. You certainly brightened up day my with your older photo of the ponies gathering outside The Rising Sun Hotel … thank for sharing Derrick , and this photo has been placed into my “Derrick File”

  9. Lovely lavender and an interesting name for a restaurant. It’s so nice to see the poines roaming free in the town and no one trying to exploit or move them. FYI, I have not been able to click on individual photos lately. Not sure why.

    1. Thanks very much, JoAnna. Actually the lavender is heather. I’m afraid the freezing of the gallery pictures is WP’s latest mess-up – this seems to be intermittent. Sue W has reported and been told they will fix it!

  10. Your family day sounds as though it was delightful.
    your grandchildren also vary in ages just like mine. My eldest is twenty one and the youngest is just four months

    How old is Poppy?

  11. Thanks for sharing your forest drive. Quite lovely! I especially enjoyed “The heather on the moorland straddling Holmsley Passage … glowing purple, and the bracken beginning to yellow.” Your prose is poetic!

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