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IN MEMORY OF AVRIL CRITCHLEY
Sadly, Avril passed away on 25 August. She was one of the founder members of FOGW and a real stalwart of the group. We will all really miss her.
This poem, written by Avril herself was found amongst her possessions and was read out at her funeral by Andy - enjoy!
I’ve often thought about writing poetry but thought everything had to rhyme.
How wrong I am, now I’ll try.
How long should it be - it doesn’t matter.
Just put down what you feel.....
Another blazing sun from an azure sky in July.
Into the wood, not been for a few days.
Along the path, narrowed now by encroaching brambles - next year’s blackberries.
Nettles - Rosebay Willow-herb - 2’ taller than me.
Everything has grown taller this year:-
Grasses rustle as we pass.
Into the shade, cool, still, silent.
I stand and drink in the atmosphere.
Not a breath of wind, the silence broken only by a distant Woodpigeon.
Listen - a Robin in the undergrowth tries out a song, shades of Autumn to come.
Two runners and their dog, panting from keeping up with them. A “good morning” welcome as they go by.
Another labrador carrying a huge branch, three times as big as itself runs behind its owner.
Silence again - we are alone.
Over the stile into the field. No it’s too hot and sunny.
Turn back into the shade. Dappled sun lights up patches in the river. The waterfall is only moving on a small part.
No rain for how long? The river is drying up.
Back to the Scout hut. Mums and toddlers are arriving.
Home down the baking streets to a welcome cuppa.
by Avril Critchley
Gillfield Wood - known locally also as Gillyfield Wood was first documented in 1561 as ‘a springe wood called Jyll felde’ but is certainly much older. Sinuous in shape and following the Totley Brook, it is at the edge of Sheffield near the Peak District National Park, lying on the boundary between both Totley and Holmesfield and South Yorkshire and Derbyshire. Gillfield is a peaceful wood, mostly replanted with American (red) oak and larch in the 1960’s but retaining much of its ancient spring flora including swathes of bluebells and wood anemones.
Like more detailed information?
Visit our Download Centre for:
The Story of Gillfield Wood - a colour leaflet.
Level 1 Archaeological Survey Report - all features found in the wood.
The Story of Gillfield Wood - full history from our surveys and research.