Charlie mentions visiting the Winwick Pig in the churchyard, but leaves us no wiser as to its attributes or history. But Jack Frost gets to work on them at teatime, complaints aplenty about the cold at teatime, but on finishing their meal they promptly go off on a long walk ! Cyclists !
Reading about Charlie’s abscess in his mouth, we tend to forget that in those days anti-biotics, specifically penicillin, had not yet been invented. I think most of us will have experienced gumboils and they are not pleasant. But the teatime singsong ‘put him right’ as he says, for which we must be grateful.
Charlie seems to be having little success with his tea pouring abilities, and by the sound of it not just today either. I am assuming that his reference to the ‘Wizard’ is the waterfall to which he has alluded in the past. I must confess that I have never visited the copper mines.
Charlie sounds like he almost lost one of his nine lives today. Obviously riding on a ‘fixed’ wheel, and with what must have become a rather slack chain he has a very lucky escape from serious harm. Riding a fixed gear in winter was very popular in my club riding days with many discussions about the size of the gear. Somewhere in the low sixties (inches) was very popular I recall.
Many years ago, riding downhill immediately behind two friends I suddenly found out the source of the clicking from the front wheel – it was the front wheel hub disintegrating. The first I knew about it was the hub collapsing, and I was catapulted over the handlebars at 20 miles per hour, and landed face down on my chest. I was so winded I couldn’t get my breath for at least 10 minutes.
Carrying my bike the two miles to Clitheroe railway station accompanied by my highly amused friends was embarrassment enough, but easily topped by the railway porter on the station platform, who paused long enough to look at the remnants of the wheel, still tightly held between the forks, glanced at me and on turning away declared “Its the weight what dunnit”.
This run was incredible ! Look at the time some of them arrived home. I am beginning to wonder what was in the beer at the Red Lion ? The whole lot of them must have either lost all sense of direction or just lost their senses ! At least we cannot blame Network Rail for the crossing gates – or the absence of crossing gate keepers.
Perhaps I should explain about the ‘ruined Castle’ you are about to read about. At Liverpool there is – or was in 1924 – a ruined Castle called Liverpool Castle. So Lord Leverhulme set out with his expensive tastes to replicate the ruins in Liverpool on the banks of the largest of the reservoirs. And you can be sure that he would have applied for planning permission first !
Again another example of Charlie getting lost ! At least he got to his destination in the end. In a roundabout way, the story does not end at this point. References to the Stuart Street Power Station may be of more than a passing interest to readers. Although the generating station was demolished in 1975 it still has its own website, sprinkled with pictures of other power stations around the world – if you are at all interested in industrial archaeology.
Why have I included all this non cycling rubbish about a demolished power station ? Because it has a link to cycling over and above Charlie’s friend Tom Idle living nearby. Wikipedia informs us that on the original power station site now stands the National Cycling Velodrome.
Now we really get an insight into what makes Charlie tick. And also why he was so admired and looked up to, because he was born with the words to describe his cycling experiences, and we are all the better for reading about his many travels and the cycling scene as he saw it. Baring his Soul indeed.