|The Story of John Jones - Drover|
|The Drovers may well have been a law unto themselves. They could travel at any time, and wherever they liked. In a group they presented a formidable force, and the "locals" would not want their livestock to be caught up in a drove, for fear of losing them. The call of the drovers says it all; "Haiptrw Ho", get your animals in we are coming through.|
By the end of the century, some 65 years after John Jone's death, the drove roads had fallen silent, and many had reverted to grass tracks, for the long distance drovers had disappeared, leaving just the local drovers. Increasing restrictions on their freedom of movement, the spread of the railway net-work, and the changes in agriculture meant the Welsh drover was redundant.
The "Welches" may have gone, but the legacy of wonderful drove roads in the form of green lanes like Epping Long Green still survive, as do the chalk crosses cut in the hillside of Whiteleaf and Bledlow in the Chilterns as way-signs, along with the trees which they cultivated as sign-posts, and the place names which derive from their time like Cow Cross or Piccadilly Hill, and of course Little London. Should you find yourself on one of these old track-ways, or passing through a Little London, spare a thought for the Welsh drover and their group. Imagine the colourful procession with the shouts of a Welsh voice, the noise of the whips, the dogs and cattle, with their metal shoes, and the dust from the road; what a sight it must have been! Life was very quiet in the countryside in those days, and the sounds would have travelled for miles.
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