Quite a rough stuff sort of day, admirable in every respect and full of the enthusiasm I used to have ! Plenty of escapades today, and this all happened in the first part of today’s Journal entry. So absorbing is the story, and its length, I have split the narrative into two parts. (Patience is still a Virtue!)
I may have mentioned before that Charlie has a habit of referring to Moel Fammou (but always spelt with two m’s) whereas Moel Famou with just the one ‘m’ occurs on current maps Please allow both spellings.
Today – talk about early starts ! Late home is one thing Charlie, but really really early starts, surely they are only for the racing fraternity, and Charlie never did join their ranks. Some of everything today, and a great ride. 155 miles. These guys were fit.
Planning a long cycle trip, seated in a grassy field would seem to be the normal thing to do when Charlie and Tom Idle get together. Come to think of it, July is into the haymaking months, so perhaps it has something to do with that delicious sweet aroma of new mown hay. I cannot say that I have ever sat in a field with maps to plan a cycling excursion!
This afternoon run to Alderley makes it sound a though the whole district is very interesting. An area I have never visited. From the Copper Mines, originally exploited by the Romans we are told, to the mysterious wishing well with an enchanting inscription, it all sounds of intrigue.
After tea he returns by way of Goostrey, home to what I understand was the original Radio Telescope (and largest of its day), still doing much science, all designed and built by Sir Bernard Lovell and utilising redundant Naval gun mountings from retired warships.
There are some historical facts in this days ride, in particular the comments relating to those ‘gentlemen of the road’, so rarely, if ever, seen these days.What a different world we live in, compared even to my youth. We had a tramp in the Blackburn – Darwen areas known to all the kids as ‘Itchy Coo’, definitely an eccentric. Charlie’s story ‘The Gates’ has more information.
So here we are, a week away and Charlie is anxious to meet up with Tom Idle again. A ride out into the incomparable Cheshire countryside at the height of summer is just what they needed. I do like the story of going for the doctor with a half baked story, but that is the enthusiasm of youth, is it not ?
A long grinding ride almost directly into the wind for most of the day does affect one’s outlook, and apart from his father who was riding a small 2 stroke motorbike, who annoyed Charlie considerably, Charlie does claim to have thoroughly enjoyed the ride. The two cyclists he fell in with, one at a time, were his main relief, and gave him an insight into how others live. And the two handloom weavers in Halifax, well they were very special indeed!
Another extremely scenic day with much to admire. The grounds of Castle Howard are worth a visit, (often used in films), but I cannot remember what the inside of the House is like. Helmsley is also full of interest, from the stream down the middle to the Castle behind its walls. Its a wet end to the day, and unfortunately, his new cape comes in for a bit of damage.
This reads like a fantastic day out, which it was I am sure. A day full of superlatives. But isn’t it interesting the comments he lets slip about his younger brother Norman. It is as though Norman is not blessed with brotherly love, but just tolerated. As an only child I cannot imagine family life either.
A mixed day including meeting three cyclists from Nelson who have taken long distance cycling to new heights. Today also included a visit to Flamborough Head, about which Charlie says little apart from the heavy rain and the incoming tide. Cycling the Yorkshire Wolds the ‘wrong way’ ie by going up and over them instead of following the valley routes, but he puts in a creditable performance of 70 miles before returning late to his parents ‘digs’ in the Town.