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Secret Path J Bates

It doesn’t take much to capture the imagination of young children – especially when they think it is a special secret (known only to them of course).

During the last couple of weeks before we (Pop and Judith) moved back into the refurbished ‘The Folly’ – our final family home in Ledbury, Herefordshire (after living in rented accommodation for six long months – without any overnight visits during that period from the grandsons), we rented a 3-bedroom holiday cottage for a few days, so we could invite our grandsons over for a weekend visit.

This, unbeknown to them, was just ‘over the hill and not far away’ from their well-known ‘The Folly’, which, even at their tender young ages, they still remembered – and missed very much

Secret Path J bates

One of many tractors

The holiday cottage itself – and the weekend visit of the grandchildren – was a very special treat as far as Harrison and Joey were concerned. It was right in the middle of a real working Herefordshire cider apple growing farm – with tractors, tractors everywhere: ten, twelve, twenty? Some working and parked up, others old and dilapidated, just sitting there waiting for (Harrison and Joey) to jump up and play on. And so they did!

Love tractors? You will here!

They loved every minute of being in the countryside –‘away from the madding crowd’, away from mummy and daddy (just for a short while), fields to run around, tractors and tractors to play on (with the permission of the farmer of course)… and then they discovered ‘the secret path’.

What they hadn’t realised (part of Pop’s skulduggery for the boy’s special weekend) was that they were staying just over the hill from ’The Folly’. “Come on boys, we’re going for a walk.” “But Pop, we want to play on the tractors” “Come on boys, we have to explore that hill.”

Exciting times ahead!

And so they begrudgingly followed Pop across the field and up and over the hill. When we got to the top, Harrison noticed the railway line and became a little suspicious, but, at this stage on our journey, said nothing, but then, within another hundred yards or so, he finally yelled out – at the top of his voice – “Pop, I can see ‘The Folly’, I can see ‘The Folly’!”

When his excitement finally settled down, he turned to me and said “Pop, we have found another secret path”.

Meet The Author...
Jimmy Bates
Who Am I?

A grammar school boy from a working class family, Jimmy Bates has had a chequered career. Before becoming a writer he worked in a variety of jobs, then graduated with an honours degree in electronics, emigrated and became a scientist in Canada and then a director of the same hi-tech company in the U.S.A. He returned to England in 1980 and spent 25 years as a management consultant and held directorships of several high-technology companies before retiring and taking up writing full-time. His interests are history, sociology, science & technology and music. He was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, spent all of his school years in Stoke-on-Trent, is married has six children (all grown up now), four grandchildren and has lived in Herefordshire for the past 25 years. His books ( include:

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