The Magpie Anthology

Hart Village and Surrounding Areas

North East contributor Ivor Robinson continues to show us around his local area of Hart Village, just off of the A19 heading North towards Durham and surrounding areas including Hartlepool, his nearest town. Photographed in April 2020.

“The Weather was still poor for a couple of days and so we just grabbed a few minutes here and there to get out and about. Very much like this week where it has rained everyday with hail and strong winds to boot. I often enjoy walking in the rain, but not so much when it’s blowing in your face and down your neck. I had my share of working in those conditions and now I am older I enjoy looking out the window at those idiots dragging their dogs for a walk in all weathers. My dogs, right back to my parent’s dogs did not like going out in these conditions. Don’t the owners realise that the dogs only go out because they think the owner needs to and they, being faithful and caring dogs put on a happy face and go with them, against their natural instincts – which are to curl into a ball and wait till better weather comes, very sensible too.

I had watched dog walkers walk around the back of Hart Farm on a route we hadn’t explored before so I convinced my partner that we needed to check it out. It was quite a bit different from our previous excursions as this was across fields and through little gates until we got thoroughly lost. We eventually could not see where to go next and were somewhere in the back of the farm yard half expecting an irate farmer to come out and shout at us for trespassing. So we did the only sensible thing when the horse in the field we were in suddenly appeared from behind a piece of shed and decided to investigate us, we turned around and rushed back the way we came to the safety of the church yard.

But of course you can’t even claim “Sanctuary” now as all the churches are locked up!

Must be the first time in our history when citizens have been barred from going to church. Back in the day you could lose your job, your house and be persecuted if you didn’t go to church. How times change and how changes turn beliefs and understanding on its head.

Our horses are back in the field again so at least we now have something to look at other than the bird feeders and all the newly hatched sparrows and starlings. We only seem to have ten horses now there were thirteen before, wonder where the others went?

This is a mixed bunch of images taken haphazardly during brief forays out into the wild and at various times of the day. I am often amazed that I can catch as many in focus images as I do when the wind is often gusting around and blowing the plants back and forth. One secret I have learned is to watch and try to capture the shot at the end of a swing or movement; it’s usually stationary for a split second. Another technique which is rather obvious but very time consuming is to try and wait for a lull in the wind, very unpredictable hence the reason to develop my secret technique.

This current spell is more squall with the occasional sunny spells, two or three times we have thought about going out as it looks nice only to be disappointed by the weather’s sudden change, who needs to get wet, might go rusty!

Keep Safe.


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