We know that Charlie does not mind rain at all, but here he is complaining about a heatwave! Although it is not clear from the narrative, he is still accompanied by another Bolton CTC member, and they had a fine old time with a newly tar-sprayed road, using a grassy verge to divest themselves of all the little tarry stones with which they must have been smothered.
They had the good sense in the hot weather to take the ‘back’ road to Corwen, no cars and truly lovely scenery, all the way through Llandrillo to Corwen. They managed to ride all of thirteen miles between lunch and tea, so spaced out they were! The day being rounded off with boating on the canal, with unspecified adventures.
Discovered recently amongst the many papers Charlie left for us to peruse, is this enchanting story titled ‘The Dream’. He gives no indication of where they were at the time, but you can be sure the idea for his story would have come to him whilst traversing a remote part of Wales or Scotland. Charlie had a wonderfully romantic view of life and this sort of story falls neatly into place amongst his many wanderings. His output of fiction articles was quite modest, but well written nevertheless, and all for our enjoyment. Margaret of course was his wife’s proper Christian name, setting aside all the nicknames he used for her.
This day the three split up, as Charlie has to be back home by Saturday. Charlie is quite entranced by the scenery, and I can confirm that the road up to the Tal-y-Llyn Pass is one of the most impressive you will see in the UK, the flank of Cader Idris mountain on one’s left hand side is quite something. Certainly impressive enough to illustrate with another picture.
Charlie’s return from Scarborough was anything but uneventful, mainly because of the headwind which blew the whole day long, but also the characters he meets along the way. Here he comes across a racing cyclist from Newcastle who had ridden overnight in order to get to the start (4.30pm) of the Yorkshire Road Club ’50’ mile time trial at Wetherby. Then the Bradford cyclist who had so many gadgets and extra’s on his bike he could hardly turn the pedals. Charlie appears to have put him right as well! And lets not forget Charlie’s Dad and his motorbike, so prone to breaking down that it beggar’s belief he didn’t abandon it in a roadside hedge!
This is the furthest south Charlie has ever been, and he found the area quite agreeable. And if this picture of Aberdovey is anything to go by then you have to agree.
The description ‘ferry’ hardly describes the difficulties in using the ‘service’. You would have to like sand and walking slowly to get enthusiastic about their day. They managed to find even more parents on holiday in Aberystwyth!!
This was to be a memorable day touring around some of the prettiest Yorkshire villages one could find. The time of year meant that all the hedgerows and gardens were ablaze with colour, absolutely everything was at its height, and in profusion. His visit to Castle Howard was far different from a similar visit that would be made today. In those days the Castle was not a tourist attraction, was not open to the public, and no films were being made there. I doubt they even had the peacocks you will see there now. Missing out on Reivaulx Abbey due to time constraints could also be seen as a mistake on Charlie’s part, for it is set in such a beautiful vale, in such peaceful surroundings that it demands attention from everyone who ventures within 20 miles of it.
They start this day by being inadvertently marooned on the mainland across the estuary from Barmouth. After being rescued by a rowing boat (in a downpour) they reach land again in Barmouth before visiting the picture palace (it was still raining).
The evening was marked by a journey across the viaduct and an attempt to visit the Waterfall at Arthog without paying the admission charge, which also ended in failure.
Of all the circular routes one could take in Britain, this 75 mile round trip today must take pride of place, especially at this time of year, with the hedgerows in their full glory. Bizarrely accompanied today by his younger brother Norman riding Dad’s motorbike, the pair of them venture to Whitby, up to the Abbey and then later down the coast to Robin Hood’s Bay. One couldn’t wish for a more attractive route, and Charlie, who was seeing it all for the very first time was obviously mightily impressed. And who do you think turned up at Whitby Abbey when Charlie arrived – yes, his parents, accompanied by their friends.
We get a good flavour today of the beauties of North Wales, even the railway line enters a tunnel at Pont Aberglaslyn, not that one thinks that was to avoid spoiling the topography.
This day is a classic for Charlie, they all end up in Barmouth where his parents are on holiday! So even though they had reached Barmouth by 3pm they decided to stay the night – and subsequently the night after, so one must be driven to the fact that his parents eased the cost of overnight accommodation!