As arranged, I had to meet Tom at Mrs Wade’s this afternoon at 5pm. It was a glorious summer day, and I divested my sweater and waistcoat, and rolled up my sleeves, making myself look more business-like, for it was 2.30 and I had well over 30 miles to go. I soon got clear of Atherton, but was stopped at Butts Bridge by a procession. Beyond here, the world seemed awheel. Reaching Warburton, I took the road through Broom Edge to High Legh, beyond where, that well known, well loved road seemed like a dream, so beautiful was the countryside. It brought back to mind those words… ‘In England, Now…’ Incomparable as an English village, Great Budworth came in sight, then speeding up via Comberbach, whose cottage gardens were ablaze with colour, Little Leigh, then a steep dip to Acton Bridge, a hard climb, and over the station to Mrs Wade’s where Tom was waiting.
We had tea in Mrs Wade’s beautiful garden under the shade of a large tree. At 7, after a walk round the garden, we started back. So much taken up were we with the charm of this route, that we decided to return the same way. At Comberbach we saw a rhododendron bush, the flowers of which were the deepest coloured I have ever seen – red. On Warburton Bridge we met a motorcyclist who turned out to be a real old-timer, and had an amazing knowledge of racing men. He told us – well, these were his own words: “Stick to it lads, it’s the grandest game in the world”. We assured him that we would, and after giving us some reminiscences and vehemently upholding the policy of “no rear lamps” he said “I am glad to shake hands with two real cyclists!”. The main road was now taken through Irlam, and I left Tom at Patricroft, arriving home at 10.45. This was the real kind of motorcyclist, and is quite a contrast to those we ‘spoke to’ last week. 70 miles