Write on...:BINTON‧1

【明報專訊】St Peter's Church at Binton stands on a hill at a junction where two roads meet, and from its square bell tower covered with lichen and ivy it is evident that the ancient greystone church has looked down on the small village and out over the rolling hills of the Avon Valley since Norman times. Yet judging from the size of the church it would seem that once upon a time Binton had been a much more active and prosperous place. From the churchyard you can see the distant spires of the churches of Stratford-upon-Avon, and it is easily possible to stand there today and imagine that a young William Shakespeare had, at one time or another, passed that way on foot, though the view to his own village would have been greatly obstructed by the multitude of oak forests that existed there at the time. A few of them still tower over the houses of Binton where, after slowing to make a turn at the crossroads, I think I might have continued on my way except for a sign I saw on the church's service board. The board announced the days and hours of prayer, but attached to it with a couple of thumb tacks was a small hand-lettered sign that turned my head: Scott of the Antarctic Exhibition. Intrigued, I pulled to the side of the road and stopped my car.