This is a typical 20 years old Charlie Chadwick ‘in haste’ day – the CTC Section in Bolton never seemed to programme their leaders sufficiently far in advance, or Charlie never gave the Club noticeboard much attention. Time and again he seems to discover at the last minute he has to lead a run somewhere, and in those days that involved arranging for the lunch and tea stop venues to be forewarned and forearmed !
So here is our hero scouting the route and reserving suitable cafe venues for the forthcoming weeks run. That he had to fight his way through deep snow in places just made the job much more challenging.
This is a nice cycle ride in the early part of 1924.
After viewing the family seat of the Devonshire family, namely Eaton Hall, from the wrong side of the gates, our friends press on until in the distance can be seen Beeston Castle. Yet again our hero Charlie falls under the spell of Beeston Castle, and yes it is impressive and ever so old.
Like Charlie I also find Beeston Castle such a magnetic attraction, tucked away in the beautiful Cheshire countryside.
Imagine getting a twisted crank today – no taking that into a corner shop for a quick fix. Not many riders today would entrust their expensive steeds to the tender charms of the local blacksmith !
And what an interesting reference to taking tea at a café at Ringway – now the site of the UK’s second largest airport, and so important that the name Ringway is now history, in favour of just Manchester. Charlie never envisaged two runways, each two miles long in his day.
Calamity Day Today !
Exploring new byways and places afresh today, Charlie was just arriving at his chosen tea place when his saddle broke – properly. How many of us, without being able to fix it would have contemplated another 30 odd miles to get back home. Well Charlie did, perhaps because he was out on his own, for one, or perhaps because due generally to his shortage of funds, he often only had loose change in his pocket, sometimes not much more than sixpence !
Charlie is well into it here, a lovely afternoon we are given to understand, and he goes on to visit and collect the names of the villages he passed through until it read like a shopping list.
Living as I do in the middle of this very scenic area I in particular appreciate his sentiments. Incidentally, elsewhere, Charlie writes in particular about the tiny hamlet of Clayton Green, where it is reputed that the highwayman Dick Turpin used to frequently visit a particular cottage, for unspecified purposes. Well what do you think ?