Have you been to Outwood?

Have you been to Outwood, the village with the mill?
And picnicked on the Common, or fished the Marl Pond still
Or strolled the woods at bluebell time, around the cricket green?
Or followed arrowed paths that lead round field and lanes unseen?
You may have spent convivial hours in the Dog and Duck or Bell
The Castle, smallest of the three can also serve you well.
The Church, its tower a bustling home of jackdaws, noisy guests,
Can offer welcome porch to hikers needing sheltered rest.

Most village folk are involved in differing busy lives-
The farmers, millers, ‘horsey’ folk or keen Con-serv-at-ives
The Mums and Toddlers, Cricket Club, the Women’s Institute,
The British Legion, P.C.C. and those who like to shoot.
Activities are manifold: the Hort. Soc., Meals on Wheels,
Derby and Joan, the Yoga class and Lloyd Hall evening meals.
We must remember swimming pools and self-sufficiency;
Rescued swans and cats and owls; the Hunt and Livery.

The village scene for all to share, a welcome for you still.
Why don’t you visit Outwood, the village with the Mill?

(Reproduced by the kind permission of the author, Brenda Paxton, 1993)

Outwood’s Windmill (the oldest working windmill in Britain)

In sixteen hundred and sixty six,
When London was burning like rotten sticks,
To tell the news to the neighbouring farms,
I, the Windmill, swung wide my arms.

The wind blew high on this Surrey down
And fanned the fire in the crumbling town.
Folk cried, "It will burn till the great wind calms".
(And wildly and wildly I turned my arms).

How the timber crashed! There were terrible falls.
London Bridge went and the great St Paul’s,
The folk gathered round me and were filled with alarms,
But I stuck to my post, and I swung my arms.

I’m not quite the mill that once I used to be
When I swung my arms for the world to see,
For those were the days of my youth, you know,
Now nearly three hundred years ago.

(Reproduced from the King’s England, Surrey; published by Hodder and Stoughton)