The Doones rode out in the Lyn Valley yesterday as we re-enacted parts of the Lorna Doone story. Children in the group were asked to shout ‘DOONE’ if they spotted anyone who looked like they could be trouble. They were soon in full voice as we immediately stumbled across one of the notorious villains trying to hide a barrel of ale in the cave opposite Watersmeet House! This rascal, suitable scolded, was sent on his way and we continued our walk upstream.
Near the lime kilns, as we watched young Jan Ridd fishing for loach in the ‘Lyn Stream’, we were accosted by Highwayman Tom Faggus who, after unsuccessfully trying to rob us, agreed to act as our guide and narrator for the rest of the walk.
Our next encounter was with the witch Mother Meldrum who, after reading the palms of some rather startled children, gave us a grim warning of things to come. As she returned to her cave I’m sure I saw her stuffing her face with a scone, cream and jam.
The light rain was forgotten and as we progressed Doones were spotted on several occasions. These sightings were always accompanied by courageous shouts of ‘DOONE DOONE’ by everyone. At one point, after watching some poor soul being attacked on the opposite bank, we heard a gunshot as he undoubtedly met his end at the hands of the despicable Doones. This grim episode was followed by a more light-hearted and gentle scene as we came across ‘Girt John Ridd’, now a full grown man, wooing his Lorna on the river bank at Crook Pool. They paddled in the river and sat on the bench as Tom Faggus recounted more of their story.
Our tale culminates at Ash Bridge where Carver Doone was suitably duffed-up for his wrongdoings by our hero. Then, amongst more gun-shots, fisticuffs and some very brave shouting, the Doones were forced back along the Lyn towards their Badgeworthy hideout.
We all returned to Watersmeet where remembering Mother Meldrum’s scones we all had a well-deserved cream tea.