Binner Bottom 5
by David Dunham
Dave Dunham is one of the original Binners, and has the proud record for having been present on every occasion on which the Barrow has been slept in. Bit sad really. It was following a moderately successful month long holiday in Europe, which only lasted two and a half weeks, that he and fellow traveller Wayne, set out trying to make the holiday up to the full number of days required to justify calling something a month. One of these away-days included a fateful trip to Longleat Safari Park, on the way back from which Dave made his first trip to Avebury. It was then that the Binner Spark was truly ignited, and (though not properly referred to as a Binner trips for another five or so years) the tradition of motiveless trips down to the West Country, and ill fated attempts at the Ridgeway started to become a very regular thing. Here’s a list of Dave’s five favourite Binner things:
From the Chemist with the dodgy wig to Budgens with the dodgy apple pie offers, this always signifies the beginning of a Binner trip. Shopping on the parade can no longer even be described as a tradition but more as a ceremony. Me checking out the onion Bhajis and Neil running round the end Isle enthusing about some ridiculous special offer on something I neither want nor care for - so why do I always end up saying "Yeah, can you get me two of those as well."
Binner Verdict: Should be cursed for the dreadful purchases I have made there but I can’t stop going back.
Doctor Who and the Daemons aside, I just like visiting the village. It is what I think of as a typical English Village and has some rather good walking near by, up the goats back to the dig, I mean barrows, and beyond; and not a sign of devilish footprints.
Binner Verdict: Nice Village, nice walking an not bad barrows.
Top notch setting for a long barrow that probably looks more like it did when it was originally built than any other we have visited. The perfect picnic spot and venue that really does need sleeping in if it is ever repaired.N.B. Usually referred to as Stoney Littleton.
Binner Verdict: Even if the Barrow was not there it would still be worth a visit.
I have been fortunate enough to see the river, where is passes West Kennet and Silbury, in full swell and unfortunate enough to walk along its dry river bed. What-ever; walking along it’s course first thing in the morning is my finest pleasure when on Binning bent.
Binner Verdict: Sometimes wet, always wonderful.
Predictable and clichéd you may say, but certainly, for my money, the most important of Binner venues. I think it would have taken a lot longer for Binner trips to get off the ground, if at all, had it not been for the Barrow’s grim countenance and easy accommodation. Having somewhere that you can kip in at the heart of an ancient West Country obsession is an absolute bonus, and there are not many people who can claim their club house is older than the pyramids, even if it hasn't got a bar and the toilet facilities are, let us say, breezy. There are few of us would turn down the chance of a night among its long burried dead, amidst the cold stone, where spirits have for millenia trod. Honestly.
Binner Verdict: The original best, still makes Wayland’s Smithy look like a set of dentures for a hippo.