At the age of 23, Matt Masson fell off a roof during a night out. He was in a coma for six weeks and, when he awoke, couldn’t walk, talk or sit-up. When his voice returned, so did a determination to return to his previously active life. Walking formed a central part of his rehab; his first goal was to walk just 300 metres but by 2014 Matt had walked the Amsterdam Marathon which took 9 hours and 37 minutes. In this edition of Ramblings, Matt and his mother, Anne, walk a stretch of the Centurion Way in Chichester and recall his many endeavours. The Centurion Way is a route between Chichester and West Dean which follows the line of part of the disused Chichester to Midhurst Railway. fell off a roof during a night out. He was in a coma for six weeks and, when he awoke, couldn’t walk, talk or sit-up. When his voice returned, so did a determination to return to his previously active life. Walking formed a central part of his rehab; his first goal was to walk just 300 metres but by 2014 Matt had walked the Amsterdam Marathon which took 9 hours and 37 minutes. In this edition of Ramblings, Matt and his mother, Anne, walk a stretch of the Centurion Way in Chichester and recall his many endeavours. The Centurion Way is a route between Chichester and West Dean which follows the line of part of the disused Chichester to Midhurst Railway.
Richard Vobes is a film maker and amateur historian. He frequently makes short films and audio recordings that explore Britain’s great heritage, traditions and legends. He has a website https://baldexplorer.com/ where his videos and podcasts can be easily accessed.
On the 20th September 2018, he visited Chichester and interviewed some of the Friends of Centurion Way. Unfortunately it was raining and therefore filming was not practical . However Richard was still able to use his sound recording equipment, so watch out for a potential podcast appearing soon on the Bald Explorer website.
It is not clear how the event will proceed if motor vehicles are simultaneously allowed to use the roads with the cyclists during the event. However Friends of centurion way hope that both Vélo south cyclists and the local residents enjoy this unusual event.
Philip Maber caught this interesting image at night on the 18th August. It shows interesting nocturnal activities of some of the Friends of Centurion Way participating in a walk to find bats.
A young bat enthusiast Francesca can be seen on the right of the image holding a bat detector and third from the right is Peter Etheridge who did a fantastic job leading the walk.
The walk started from Bishop Luffa Close at dusk. Immediately as we moved onto Centurion way Francesca detected bats with her detector. We all looked up and two bats could be clearly seen flying just above our heads in a figure of eight pattern!
Although it was difficult to see bats once night had fallen, the bat detectors told us the bats were still actively flying around. Peter told us most of the bats we detected were probably the Common Pipistrelle apart from one bat we detected with a distinctly different call. Peter thought that could be an example of Daubenton’s bat. A type of bat likes to hunt for small insects that gather over water so was probably commuting between hunting areas.
Many thanks to Peter Etheridge for a great evening on Centurion Way.
Discover these fantastic flying mammals on Centurion Way
Join us for a very special talk with Bat expert Peter Etheridge to find out about the bats that live and thrive on Centurion Way. To include a short walk at dusk for bat spotting. Places on the event are limited so please contact us at email@example.com to make sure it is not fully booked.August 18, 2018 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
‘Cycling Legends’ Justin Bulpett & Malcolm Meaby are making a charity bike ride to raise money for Stone Pillow which is charity for local homeless people. They will depart from John O’Groats Tuesday 21st August, arriving Chichester Friday 31th August.
On Friday the 31st August they plan to complete a final stage ‘Gala’ Ride!
However this plan has changed slightly and the will now begin on Centurion Way where its bridge crosses Newland’s Lane. The ride will proceed down to the bottom of Centurion Way then along Westgate & West St to the Council House.. Previously the plan was to begin the ‘Gala Ride’ at west dean West Dean.
The ‘procession’ of riders would arrive at the Council House at approx. 2pm to be greeted by the Mayor & others, with a buffet lunch for all inside afterwards.
The Friends of Centurion Way firmly support their fund raising efforts in support of Stone Pillow and would particularly like to encourage participation in their final stage ‘Gala’ Ride as an opportunity to help draw attention to the importance of CW and the lack of a safe cycle route into the City Centre itself.
Please feel free to circulate their leaflet and to to sponsor Justin and Malcolm, visit
or call the Oxmarket
Gallery on 01243 779103
Although provisions are outlined in the 89 documents for facilities targeting pedestrians and cyclists, many of these seem aimed only at being either short circular walks or excursions for dog walking/exercise.
In the top half of this drawing is a strip labelled…
“Green Corridor – Central Green Link, This green linear link connects the site as a whole. Board-walks will provide pedestrian links between residential pockets as well as a continuous hogging footpath running alongside the stream linking the southern and northern country parks.”
Although there is an appealing aspect to this green corridor, it is sadly impractical for sustainable transport because once it reaches the southern park all of the planed routes become curved, twisted and convoluted. The paths do not navigate along the desire lines walkers, mobility scooter users and cyclists would naturally chose to follow in order to directly get into the city centre or to the railway station.
A closer look at the absence of easy to use sustainable transport links into our existing footpaths/cycleways can also be made by studying the following two drawings;
Many people moving into the newly proposed dwellings will wish to avoid creating unnecessary pollution and avoid the dangers/expense associated with motor vehicle use. New residents may also wish to enjoy the measurable health benefits associated with walking or cycling as part of their daily commute. However, unless direct, safe and easy to use routes can be provided, sustainable transport will be impracticable for new residents. Better links between the new development and onto Centurion Way would provide the best opportunity for walkers, mobility scooter users and cyclists from the new development to integrate with the existing community. John Grimshaw, the original architect of Centurion Way also highlights these points which are published here in his workbook of plans for Centurion Way.
Promoting sustainable transport links with the new development is also advantageous for existing residents, even if they have no interest in using the cities footpaths and cycleways. Every extra person who is be encouraged to use sustainable transport relieves a little bit of congestion from the city and this makes everybody else’s journey faster and slightly more pleasant.
Friends of Centurion Way are committed to making Chichester just as accessible for pedestrians, mobility scooter users & cyclists as it is for motorists.
Please consider contacting Chichester District Council with constructive comments and suggestions regarding these plans and the access link issues for new residents wishing to use Centurion Way?
You’ll need to follow this link then go to the “comments tab” and then follow the link to “register” with the council to register to leave a comment electronically (presumably an alternative would be to send a traditional paper letter).
Southern water are building a 10km sewer pipeline that will run from the White House Farm development west of Chichester, across the north of the city and through to Tangmere, where it will connect to the Tangmere Wastewater Treatment Works.
Southern water are publicising the project details on this link.
There is a whole lot of archaeological digging doing on in the field just south of Newland’s Lane and this is presumably ahead of the pipeline installation.
It is the understanding of FoCW that the pipeline will be machine tunnelled under Centurion Way without the need to excavate .
There is also work being conducted in the field just east of Bishop Luffa. In this field there is is a significant amount of temporary reptile barrier fence. Presumably this is to allow capture of reptiles so that they can be relocated during the pipeline installation work.