I had arranged by post to meet Tom at Warrington this morning, at 9.30. On the road before 8am, I made a good pace against a stiff wind, via Lowton and Winwick to Warrington, and reached the rendezvous just on time. Tom was not there, and as he did not make an appearance as time went on, I began to think that something had gone wrong. At last, at 10.30, I decided to carry on alone. The main road took me to Daresbury, Sutton Weaver, and then Frodsham, just beyond where, I turned towards Delamere, but branched off, uphill to Alvanley, a village of the type that its name suggests. After a little map studying, I turned along a rutty lane, that swooped me downhill, skidding all over the road. I regained the main road again just below Dunham-on-the-Hill, then carried on to the little farmhouse at Mickle Trafford for lunch at 12 noon. Whilst reading before the fire after my repast, Frank and Harry, two Boltonians rolled in. I waited for them, then the three of us made towards Chester, which we reached in due time, and found a storage place for the bikes, for we now intended exploring the ancient city.
We gained the top of the walls, and had a walk all round, by the various towers, Pheonix, King Charles, Bonewaldesthorne, Agricola etc. Agricola’s Tower is of Roman origin, and on the ground below it, are the remains of a Roman Station, the place being the Deva of the famous XX or 20th Legion. The castle is rarely open for visitors, as it is now used as a barracks, and retains little of its original character. Our road to the river lay via the park, in which stand the ruins of St John’s Church. Though little is now standing, what there is shows some fine windows and arches, but owing to the fact that it is entirely composed of soft sandstone, it is considerably weatherworn. The old Dee Bridge is very picturesque, but I am afraid that nothing remains of the old Dee Mills, which was subject to Royalties from William the Conqueror (1066 – 1119). The Dee Mills are still working, but now are entirely modern.
We walked the new suspension bridge, which last year superseded an old, dangerous structure, then went on to the Rows, a quaint survival of old feudal times. We traversed most of them – they seem to be a promenade, and constitute the shopping centre. Being Sunday, there was a service at the Cathedral (St. Werburgh’s Abbey), and consequently we could not get inside. At 4.15 we rescued the bikes, and with the wind behind, scudded along via Mickle Trafford to Dunham for tea. Then at 6pm, with lamps lit, we again joined the main road, and made a rare speed through Helsby to Frodsham, then Sutton Weaver and Daresbury to Warrington. The rough streets passed, we again increased speed through Culcheth etc, arriving home at 8.30pm. I learned afterwards that Tom had not received my card to meet up with him until the Monday, hence the reason for his absence. 85 miles