This is one of those days where even Charlie and his companion are stuck as to where they should visit next – seemingly having finished Cheshire ! Cheshire has been done ! Eventually, in the afternoon they reach Havannah, which Charlie tells us was the home of the cigars of that name. Interesting. Later they take a walk up the Cloud – a real one for once – but all they got were misty views !
After tea, Charlie was able to gain an advantage over those who rely on petrol power to get about. He was always keen to put one over on the petrol brigade, as he would call them, and this evening was his opportunity to smile all the way home. To rejoice even.
An uneventful ride, still snowbound everywhere, and again an afternoon start. It being a very cold day, Charlie opts for a level route and by a roundabout journey finds himself in the Warrington area, Thelwall in particular.
We learn that the Pickering Arms at Thelwall, just outside Warrington, has carved into beams on the outside that in 923 King Edward the Elder founded here a ‘cyty’, just 1001 years ago ! No sign remains of the ‘cyty’ though. Life was simple in those days, was it not, just jog along on your horse with a few followers, have a good drink and meal indoors, maybe accommodation as well, and be so impressed, one could found a city. Ah well !!
Here is what the Pickering Arms looks like now.
I was just looking for suitable images to illustrate the last page from Charlie’s journal and came across this stunning shot of Whalley viaduct in the snow.
I know that Charlie doesn’t mention Whalley that day – though he was near enough at Ribchester – but this shot is simply too good to pass up.
Yes, our Hero failed us today, he didn’t like the look of the weather and shirked it. Having planned to meet Tom Idle at Sudden, just outside Rochdale, he found that the heavy overnight snowfall was just too intimidating. But finding that slopping about at home was also irksome, by the afternoon, and no doubt after some sort of thaw had begun, he decided to risk venturing forth. He then notices a large gash in his rear tyre, and even though he knows that no cycle repair shops would be open, he opts to continue. Brave man.
So off he goes to meet up with the clubrun at the tea place in Ribchester, nursing his torn tyre. But all ends well, the tyre made it.
This is club cycling for you in the Northwest, particularly in Winter. Such gatherings, for lunch or supper were always favourites, and in this case it was a good cause, to raise funds for the recently formed Lancashire Road Club. The LRC was an off-shoot of the Bolton section of the Cyclists Touring Club, because the CTC didn’t ‘do’ racing, so any CTC section members wanting to race had to join a properly regulated racing club, or form a breakaway section with a separate set of rules and officials and funds, and that is what the LRC became, a racing offshoot. It was a success, because they are a very active club to this day, Charlie flirted with joining, but the prospect of actually racing against the clock never appealed to him, and he continued to ride with mudguards and saddlebags!