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Driving cattle From Burwell staion using the droves across Burwell and Adventurers Fen to the Upware chain ferry.

Herding Cattle To Upware

by Neil Ford

It's sunny and fine, and we're here good and early
There's twenty odd head with no losses
Were crossing the fen to the Upware chain ferry
Then over the Cam and on to the Washes


We're over the goods yard at Burwell today
By the pens to pick up a herd
We'll need help to get them down to the fen
Once moving we'll drive them with hardly a word

We head out on Reach road and then to the Weirs
Past the wharf and the lode as we go
Then towards Priory Farm and Adventurers Fen
A good steady pace, we've no time to be slow

We are heading for Upware and on to the ferry
So down Harrison's Drove we go
We're passing the turberies out to the left
With the peat blocks lined up in their rows

We shout to the boys on the turf field nearby
They're barrowing and loading the boats
The girls on the saddle are quartering the turves
Laughing and smiling at our silly jokes

Past the windpump we drive them on up to the lode
Were now pretty close to the bridge
We herd them all over with only one straggler
You can see quite a way from the ridge

Ahead there's old Reuben a-plodding along
He's haling a trio of boats
They've been up to Cambridge loaded with sedge
Hes worked hard today for his hay and his oats

Now we've made Upware it's round to the ferry
The Waterbeach farm lads are there
We hold up the herd til the barge has been cleared
Then we load them all on and settle the fare

We watch them across to the Waterbeach side
To see that they're all safe and sound
Then the 'No Hurry' bar is the place that we head for
For something to eat and one or two rounds

Neil Ford
Ely, Cambridgeshire
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