Catching hold of a charabanc as it slowly ground past one was a favourite sport of Charlie’s as it enabled an easier progress ! Some drivers would stop and remonstrate with one (I am speaking from personal experience here), others didn’t seem to care. The gradual change to more powerful engines, particularly on lorries, led to the practice dying out.
Charlie loved to do a spot of rowing when he was out for the day, and by all accounts could write another book on rowing and hiring boats (and helping himself on occasion), as we have yet to learn.
By all accounts copper has been mined here since the Bronze Age 4,000 years ago, but production was seriously stepped up and exploited by the Romans. The entrance to the mine is high on the hill and the opening is impressive, leading to passages which go on for miles.
My having read about other visits Charlie has made over the years, leads me to think that they could be a tad dangerous in these days of Health and Safety rules. Which is why you can only access them under the guidance of a recognised caving club.
Punctures and Punctures. Punctures are the very devil, I think the frequency with which they occurred was due to the poor quality of tyres in those days. Riding up most of Parbold Hill on a fixed wheel without toeclips on a heavy bike with sit up handlebars would take a lot of doing.
And if you ever climb Parbold Hill do pause at the summit to admire the fantastic view behind you – it is time well spent gazing over the flat lands towards Southport.
Obviously, Charlie is experiencing superb weather today which always enhances a day awheel. He talks about the roadside Inns near Northwich, and in the case of ‘The Smoker’ I can add some information. It is a very popular eating place and just by the front door is a large panel which proclaims the age of the establishment (400 years) and adds words to the effect ‘that the Inn is pleased to serve the subjects of Queen Elizabeth the II as indeed it also served the subjects of Queen Elizabeth the I’.
In my life I have dined at the Smoker on many occasions and that sign at the front door never fails to create favourable comment. Four hundred years old, with a thatched roof, open fires, good ale and good food – what else is needed.