It really was a potter, a lady member was so slow the whole club run became annoyed with her. But their spirits were restored during the usual teatime sing song. Whatever, it was 10pm before Charlie returned home, so it couldn’t have been such a poor day in the end.
I have just received details from David of the articles that will be released over the next couple of months and I wanted to share these with you now.
- October 27 – 5 January 1924, Millington
- November 3 – 29 January 1924, Potato Pie Supper
- November 10 – 2 March 1924, CTC ride Ribchester
- November 17 – 4 March 1924, Thelwall Brook
- November 24 – 17 February 1924, The Cloud
- December 1 – 23 February 1924, Millington
- December 8 – 23 March 1924, Ribchester
- December 15 – 30 March 1924, Wildboarclough
- December 22 – 25 March 1924, Castle Mill
I haven’t had a chance to look through this list yet to see if there is an underlying theme. Maybe you can spot one, or maybe David will let us in on it in due course.
Today was carnival time in Northenden (suburb of Manchester) and Charlie and his clubrun friends became entangled in all the jollifications. Then moving to the banks of the River Mersey, they were scandalised at the high prices to go rowing for an hour. And that B17 narrow – well !
How Charlie could keep a straight face when he wrote of his financial extravagances I will never know. To spend one penny here to look at some rock formations, then more investment on picture postcards – he didn’t have a camera at this time in his life – after a rip off lunch costing three shillings each, and not worth it either, he is going downhill fast. But all is forgotten as he gets in amongst the rock formations of Dovedale and the myriad shapes that have been created over millions of years. Getting lost on their escape from the valley was their final indignity.
Nothing quite so serious as riding a ’12’ for our touring hero, but a spot of marshalling, for without such marshalls, events like this could not take place. But nothing so straightforward as standing in one place to direct the competitors, no, for Charlie it was a moving feast, chasing about from one place to another – including the very extremities of the course – the better for the organisers to get their value from Charlie’s efforts. And a good job he made of the day as well. It is interesting to read the finishing sheet as well. As your Editor, it takes me back quite a while as I look at the finishing sheet and see a name I know – Cliff Baxter. Anyone of a touring frame of mind normally does not allow themselves the limelight or exertion of a 12 hour event, so we must all praise the 15 riders who earned their stripes. Look at the roads in those days, the equipment and tyres on the bikes – not easy !
Charlie is determined to get the best out of his new bike, an F H Grubb, but soon finds that a five week layoff does not help the fitness thing ! To make matters worse he somewhat extended himself last weekend, his first trial run on the new bike, when excitement was at a high level. This week, demanding a very early start of his friend Tom Idle today was not the most restful start, and the choice of hilly Derbyshire made matters worse. But on they went, our intrepid pair, determined to put the miles in, as indeed they did. So we have it all today, an uncomfortable new saddle, indigestion of a sort, lacklustre fitness, hills in abundance, tired before the off – and they still covered 122 miles.
This clubrun is different in that whilst they had a good day, with plenty of views, no mention is made of the weather. Considering it was early January, the reader could be forgiven for imagining that it would likely be blowing, or raining, or both. And what of the temperature – was it hot, freezing or somewhere in between ? We all know that a change of weather, be it good or bad can make or break any clubrun.
I must say that a lot of the tea places they visited often harboured a piano which practically cried out for playing by those with the necessary skills. In fact I would say that a piano, which many people had been encouraged to learn to play in their youth was the main musical activity, because don’t forget the humble radio was in its infancy in the 1920’s. So we see the clubrun engaged in a singsong at lunchtime, which is great and I regret that they had quite disappeared by the time my bike hit the streets in the early 1950’s.
This is an interesting story of a cycling run with extra’s, like having a Paperchase IN THE SNOW ! I cannot think of any other cycling activity least suited to snowy conditions than a Paperchase, but we must remember that in 1924 there were no distractions like television to lure cyclists off their bikes and into warm houses in the winter.
In any event Charlie records that he was well satisfied with the day, although he must have been irritated by being last to arrive at the cafe. I must say that knowing Charlie as I did, he would be quite likely to say to himself, hang the Paperchase, I am enjoying this run in the snow, I do not have to rush around and find the ‘hares’. Why not relax in these snowfilled lanes and let the world go by ? That was always his mindset.
Our new website editor – no less than David Warner – is in the process of taking over this website for posterity. At the tender age of 74, David is being groomed to manage the site, previously under the control of his son, Alistair Warner, who was the motivation for the website in the first place. But unfortunately Alistair has undergone a change of employment in the last 12 months which involves much longer hours and staying away in hotels for much of his working week, leaving little time for our website.
David not being technically ‘savvy’ at all, there may be a few creaks and groans from the computer along the way, but we will endeavour to hold your interest, dear visitor.
So we shall be resuming our original intention to release entries from Charlie’s Diaries on at least a weekly basis, with the occasional full blown article from his later life as a taster for your delight. We will also have some good news shortly for those who enjoyed reading Charlie’s stories in his book published in 2011 under the auspices of the Veteran Cycle Club.