13-15th January 2023
When we first came to the Anderton Centre on Lower Rivington Reservoir in January 2007 the site was dominated by rhododendron. It took us 4 years to bring Ragnarok to this poison sea of green, using bow saws, mattocks, winches and brute muscle power. When we finished we sang songs of victory and sadness as it seemed to be the end of days for our Anderton resis. But it didn’t end.
Like warriors fighting eternally in Valhalla we came back to do battle for many years more. We beat back the balsam and remnant rhodys; we planted trees and hedgerows; we laid paths and laid hedges; we dug drains and built walls; we drank beer and ate food; we cut down trees, we skipped and jumped. The last time we visited this heroic site was in January 2020, and now three long years later we have returned.
We arrived on the Friday evening as night fell and made Anderton our home. The next day we set out to test our prowess against the tasks set before us. Although the frost giants took mercy and spared us snow and ice, the god of rain decided to have some merriment and made the ground a mud bath. But nothing could stand in the way of the bold and stout hearted BCV: trees were planted and hedges were trimmed; drains were dug out and a path was made. It was a path that Grendel would fear to tread, filled with branches, boulders, and a raging torrent, but we saw the day through with aching limbs and creaking backs.
As the sun dropped beyond the horizon Trish and Lynn brought forth foods worthy of the mead halls of Asgard, and just like the good old days when spirits were brave and Monday was but a dream, we caroused late into the morning telling tales of past victories, and remembering our fallen. BCV are not just volunteers we are brothers and sisters in arms, we are family, we are eternally bound; BCV is our heart and soul and Anderton is our spiritual home. It was good to come back and harder to return to the everyday when it was done. But August beckons and another day of blood and beers will be upon us once more when we will return to this land of heroes.
Many thanks to Anderton staff Colin and Gary for having us back and looking after us; to Rick, Tom and Caroline for organising, and to all those who came, saw and conquered.