Two castles today and not a warrior in sight. And not many stones about either, even allowing for the foundations being under more modern brickwork. When you think about it there are many more castle ruins knocking about than you imagined, but as they are generally very small with little (if any) history they have all been forgotten about and local people have had the use of the stones for hundreds of years.
How effective can an alarm clock be, when one wishes to arise early in a morning ? We get the answer on this linked page. We also get to read about collecting blackberries in used sugar bags, which presumably do not grow on trees, so some forward planning went into that move! The old oak tree sounds interesting, I didn’t know oak trees could do that.
But what I do know is that Charlie’s expertise exceeds mine in ever so many ways. And that shortcut to access Derbyshire (through the south-eastern suburbs of Manchester) went on for years, before they collectively unravelled the mystery of the route, having failed time and again to follow its many twists and turns.
We read that Charlie gets out of bed on a Saturday morning, gets a letter that very day to meet his friend Tom Idle outside Warrington at 12 noon and is able to make the appointment only five minutes late. Now that is what I call a postal service!
They go on to have an idyllic day, but regrettably our hero ends the day in a large puddle after skidding on some tram lines.
With my privileged knowledge of Charlie’s activities in the future to come, I can say with confidence that gathering blackberries as opposed to collecting them, was an essential Autumnal activity for Charlie and his pals. Perhaps blackberries supplied a need for fresh fruit in those post World War One years.
Punctures were a different kettle of fish altogether. To this day I am staggered at the number of punctures these cyclists of yesteryear experienced. I can only conclude that tyre technology lagged behind the development of bikes and our cycling ancestors paid the price with many many puncture repair kits.
Bit of a wet start today, but as their early start enabled them to qualify for an extra lunch, one before lunchtime and another some time in the afternoon, and the rain disappearing as well, then that was OK. It is interesting to read Charlie’s comments about the Crown Inn at Llandegla being ‘frequented and immortalised’ by the revered cycling author under the pen name of ‘Wayfarer’.
Many years later, in the late 1950’s, Charlie had become the first Chairman of the newly formed Rough Stuff Fellowship. One of the tasks he set himself was to bring about a memorial stone high in the Berwyn Hills, the said stone to be dedicated to the memory of ‘Wayfarer’ on his favourite rough stuff route recorded in his story ‘Over the Top’. After a lot of work getting the funds together and permissions, the project was duly completed and the memorial stone was finally unveiled. Fame for everyone involved, it is marked on Ordnance Survey Maps.
Finally, some more good news from your Web Editor. We are currently getting towards the end of Charlie’s 1923, and because we were still running 1922 and starting 1923 to run concurrently when 1923 was commenced, the Prologue Charlie penned on the 1st of January 1923 has never made it to the web. It is my pleasure to play catch-up and the link from here will bring all his hopes and aspirations for 1923 into focus, so that when his Epilogue duly appears at the end of 1923 you will be able to assess what he did with his year compared to his hopes of 12 months earlier. But just for a little more suspense, the Prologue will only arrive on our Website after 10am tomorrow, the 18th. Job done !
Old Churches and the visiting of them were major interests of Charlie when he was out and about. And for sure this Church he visited today had much history to write about with many dates to remember. But Charlie failed to spot any interesting gravestones.
Warburton Old Church is near the Warburton High Level Bridge he is forever crossing on his travels. The Church is named St Werburgh’s, named after a 7th Century Nun, who was the Anglo Saxon daughter of Wulfhere, the first Christian King of Mercia. Werburgh died around AD 700, then Abbess of Ely.
I am indebted to Wikipedia for this information, which Charlie would no doubt have liked to access. Progress.
I have just spotted that today’s release has been duplicated with the text of Charlie’s last trip to the Wirral and published just a few weeks ago already.
My sincere apologies. The correct text for today will be put up on the website later today, as I am dashing off to Preston Hospital to visit a former RSF member who lives alone and is currently hospitalised. Again apologies for letting the standards slip.
Paddling in the sea is a quintessential British habit going back many years and they did well to keep up the tradition. The back end of September is reducing the opportunities to paddle unless you are an Eskimo or a Superman. And our hero’s final escapade into the hedge is all that is needed to complete a wonderful month.
When I was a schoolchild we were taken on a school trip to Ribchester Roman Museum, shown the granary – or what was left of it - and encouraged to poke out burnt grains of wheat from the low foundations of what was left of the granary. Those burnt grains had survived for near 2000 years !
The Whalley Abbey West Gatehouse mentioned today is massive – as gatehouses go – and completely covers the road, making an ideal place for cyclists to congregate in the dry. Which is why, away from any houses it was the Blackburn CTC meeting place for the majority of runs in my youth, with bags of room to play football as well. Now they gather before runs at the Whalley bus station, not quite the same I fear.
A Landlady in a nearby Inn tells Tom and Charlie that their chosen route – the Roman Road – is impossible with bicycles. Now that is a challenge to our hero, and no mistake. No matter that it was raining heavily (and got even worse) they just pressed on and on until they ran out of road, Roman or any other sort.