Four go to Swift’s Hill

Posted on 26/02/2022 By

Swift’s Hill

Bertie at Swift's Hill.

Swift’s Hill last summer.

Bertie: “Gordon Bennett, Bobby! It’s chucking it down; the roads are flooded; you can only see out of one eye and we are driving to Swift’s Hill. One thing is certain. I am not going up that bleedin hill with you. It will ruin my mohair!”

Bobby: “It’s the 15th of February, Bertie. I will always try to climb Swift’s Hill on that date in memory of Diddley. The day we spread her ashes up there.”

Bobby spreading Diddley's ashes on Swift's Hill.

Spreading the ashes on 15 February 2016. The breeze took them directly down the hill to the Woolpack. Laurie Lee’s pub.

Bobby: “Anyway, you and Trevor have been before. Eamonn hasn’t, so I am taking him.”

Eamonn: “’tis my pleasure, Bobby. Coming from the Emerald Isle, I don’t mind a bit of the wet stuff. The problem with Bertie is his Yankee Doodle roots. With me, my label says ‘Republic’ and once said ‘Ireland’. His says ‘Heidi Steiner’. He tried to contact her in America. Found her latest website and was feckin mortified by what he saw. I would be. A feckin travesty. How can one of Winnie the Pooh’s most famous sayings be ‘unknown’ to a teddy bear person! Even an American one.”

The remains of Eamonn's "Republic of Ireland" label. Only the "Republic" part remains.

Eamonn… Republic of “Ireland”.

Bertie's intact "Heidi Steiner" label.

Bertie… Heidi Steiner.

Screen print of Heidi Steiner's Instagram page.

Heidi Steiner today…

Eamonn: “That’s why he is Sarf London now. Adopted. Just like you, Bobby. Your label says you were born in Surrey. But you have adopted Sarf London too.”

Trevor: “Dear oh dear, chaps. What is your problem? I have no label and no idea where I came from before the teddy bear shop in Dorking. I am just me. Less common than you two, maybe, but appearing to be less loveable too. My loose bead filling makes it difficult to maintain an upright posture even with the confounded belt Bobby insists I wear. Fully jointed, unlike you Eamonn. And much more sumptuous mohair than you Bertie. I am quite simply me. Content to be Trevor, as christened by Christian in California.”

Eamonn: “You two are mute. My growler still works!”

Eamonn sings “The Teddy’s Picnic”:

Bobby: “Well it’s stopped raining and here we are at Swift’s Hill. Just Eamonn and I climbing up it.”

Trevor: “Since we are all here, and the weather forecast promised inclement weather, I have arranged something special for when you come back. I totally understand, as we all do, why today is so important to you Bobby. It has elements of obsessive, compulsive behaviour, but ultimately is indicative of a love affair that will last forever.”

Swift’s Hill and Slad

Eamonn sat on a Laurie Lee Poetry Post on Swift's Hill.

Laurie Lee Poetry post, looking down to Slad.

Close up of Eamonn, with Slad school and church visible in the distance.

There’s Diddley’s school and the church.

The former Slad school.

Slad school (now a private residence).

1958 Slad County School photograph.

1958. Diddley – tallest girl back row. Teacher’s hand on her shoulder.

"Field of Autumn". The poem within the Laurie Lee poetry post window.

“Field of Autumn”. The poem within the poetry post window.

Close up of Bobby smiling at Eamonn on Swift's Hill.

Wonderful up here. Lots of memories of years before you, Eamonn, joined us. She would have liked you.

Roadside Snowdrops down the embankment slope.

Snowdrops in Slad village.

Snowdrops in the village.

Holy Trinity, Slad.

Holy Trinity, Slad.

Laurie Lee memorial window.

Bertie, Eamonn and Trevor together with church furry friends.

Together with church furry friends.

And then Storm Eunice came. A couple of days before, on Wednesday, we had a lovely lunch with Chris and Angie and we dropped into Cherington to see the glorious Snowdrops. We did get to Newark House for its Snowdrops the day before the storm, and Slimbridge that afternoon. The latter for a very special reason which we will tell you about next week. But Friday came together with Eunice and we did as we were told and stayed inside the Frocester George. During the day we were the only guests until the storm abated. We really like the Frocester George.

Cherington Lakes

A carpet of Snowdrops in a wooded area of Cherington Lakes.

Cluster of Snowdrops beside a stream.

Snowdrops in Cherington Lakes.

Newark Park (National Trust)

Newark Park House.

Snowdrops in Newark Park.

Snowdrops against a dry stone wall in Newark Park.

"Time to Relax..." carved into the back of a wooden bench in Newark Park.

A blue Peacock in Newark Park.

The Road to Newark

Fantastic new dry stone walling. What craftsmanship.

Newly built drystone wall.

Newly built drystone wall.

Newly built drystone wall.


View across the Severn Estuary from Tower hide, Slimbridge.

Tower hide, looking across the Severn Estuary.

Wild Cranes on the marsh.

Wild Cranes. A successful reintroduction programme.

Wild Teal.

Wild Teal.


Teal. A very smart small native Duck.

The Swan lake at Slimbridge.

Swan lake. Only wild birds here. More next week.

Marsh Harrier in flight.

Marsh Harrier.

Bewick Swan.

Bewick Swan. (See next week).

Bewick Swan in flight.

Bewick Swan. Poetry in motion.

A Black Swan amongst White Swans and Mallards in Slimbridge.

Black Swan. Officially wild here. Just flew in and stayed. But it didn’t fly from its native Australia, so it’s anyone’s guess where it came from. A favourite of Victorian collections.

A male and female Pintail Duck.

Loads of ducks. Here’s our favourite. The Pintail. Guess which one is the male.

Feeding the birds and Slimbridge.

Evening feeding time. (See next week).

Frocester George and Storm Eunice

Bertie, Eamonn and Trevor in a bucket chair in the Frocester George Hotel.

Nice here.

School photo of Diddley

Diddley. A school picture from Slad School.

The Frocester George: Bar; Restaurant; Hotel.

Hiding from Eunice.

Four Light a Candle for Diddley in Slad

Bertie, Trevor & Eamonn with a candle lit for Diddley and a vase of Snowdrops in Slad Church.

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