Leighton Buzzard Writers’ LBO column. This week by Jane Hogg...
Some years ago I was filling in one of those forms designed to give feedback to the police on customer satisfaction. One of the questions asked me if I felt intimidated by groups of teenagers congregating on street corners.
I laughed. Not me! The pavement is as good a place as any for a chat. They will surely be discussing local love- or hate- life.
However, something sinister may be happening in Leighton Buzzard on Monday mornings.
You can’t have failed to notice the terrifying grannies and grandpas on the loose! Unfazed, they congregate on a certain carpark before descending on the town in a merry conga.
The fast group can be seen cantering down Clarence Road in an east-west direction, waving and throwing sweets at the ‘sedate’ group toiling painfully eastwards, or getting upsettingly lost.
It has to be said that we are managed, and sometimes told off or comforted, by a noble crew of unpaid leaders in un-missable day-glo apparel. This has a logo on its back – “Walk this way!”
If they step into the canal by mistake we shall be like lemmings!
It is rumoured that these leaders undergo training involving Dartmoor, compasses and bivouacs, but we are not sure. Also that the fast group carry ice-axes issued by Age Concern, and have been seen mounting Knaves Hill using ropes.
Apologies to the residents of quiet side-streets, who cower nervously behind lace curtains as the joyful cackling approaches. Apologies to certain other folk who wait patiently, trying to back out of driveways as we cascade past.
When the hour is up we stagger footsore and panting, into a welcome hostelry, to be revived by nothing stronger than hot coffee and biscuits.
But it has to be said that, even here, our lovely yellow-clad guardians have been known to rebuke us for being rowdy and ‘uppity!’
Thanks to Bedfordshire ‘Walk for Health’ for the opportunity to keep fit, socialise, and give and receive comfort as the ‘Best Before’ sell-by date looms.
And on that note, has anyone seen the Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel yet?