I have always felt rather guilty that I have never participated in the annual beating of the bounds, so I joined our excellent Mayor Kate Morris this afternoon. I felt less guilty when 50-year resident Peter Hurford told me it was his first time too. And at least we could dress appropriately for the sunny weather whereas poor Kate was trussed up in full mayoral fig with fur trimming and tricorn hat, and the mace-bearer and town crier were scarcely less over-dressed
We started at Kingsbury Mill at the "gonner stone", bumped a volunteer child and lashed the stone with twigs - all very peculiar - and then proceeded in a stately and northerly direction to Stonecross and the Jolly Sailor where a bollard was similarly flogged. From there to Key Field on top of the Tonman Ditch for more corporal punishment of innocent street furniture and a welcome refreshment break at the White Hart Tap.
Finally down through Cottonmill Crescent to the Ver, a bosky walk through woods and giant cow parsley, and then back to Kingsbury via the Fighting Cocks and some rather raucous onlookers in Verulamium. A pleasant and barking mad way to spend a sunny afternoon but a further reminder that St Albans is very special.