Sunday, April 22 – Hill Climb Handicap

The great day dawned – ahem. At 8.45 I started, but on reaching the town I punctured. It should have been Belmont, 9.30am, but it was 10am when I arrived, accompanied by Mr Grey on a tricycle. From Belmont seven of us started. Gee, it did blow, we could hardly move. At Hoghton we turned down via Roach Mill Bridge to Samlesbury and then along a ‘ploughed field’. We passed the scene of the new water undertaking – Thirlmere to Manchester aqueduct. I did not realise before what a tremendous construction job it is.  Higher up we got an excellent view of a horseshoe bend on the River Ribble. Now the ‘trike’ punctured, and it was only after two attempts that it was repaired. Our leader took us into a farmyard from where we had to retrace our steps for a couple of miles.

Reaching Mellor Brook we pressed on to Whalley and Mitton, later turning downhill to where the crowd had been stationed on the bank of the River Hodder, but they were moving on when we arrived. After lunch I went to the starting point. I had missed my handicap but I did not mind, I wasn’t on form. I rode the hill afterwards and it was as hard a rideable one and a half miles as is possible. There was a huge crowd at the finishing point, in fact we numbered 57 in all, a record.  It was rather unfortunate that the two cup winners tied. (A. Bullough and F.W. Wright tied for the Yate Cup. Handicap winner F. Parr).  [I imagine that the location of this hill climb was a hill known locally as Kemple End.  The Blackburn CTC used this hill also, for their hill climbs.  I once competed but never shone]  DW.

Heather way

Continuing up to Jeffrey Hill – a part of Longridge Fell, we stopped at the summit for a wonderful view of the Vale of Chipping. Everyone remarked on the good visibility we were able to enjoy. Dropping swiftly, we reached the Vale of Chipping, and after a beautiful potter we all came to Inglewhite, the tea place. A wash, tea, and a game of football and at 7pm we started back. Through the bylanes we sped until Broughton was reached, the main road giving way to Fulwood park and soon we had left Preston behind and were waiting at Walton le Dale for the rest.

Taking the uphill road we came to Hoghton then Abbey Village, a walk up the steep hill beyond being inevitable. Here we saw a steam lorry on the point of toppling over a steep bank. At Belmont we tasted the famous peppermints in which they specialise for the Club.  Tonight we had an hour’s extra light, and as it was 9.10pm we decided to light up. Arrived home after a glorious day awheel. The Hill Climb has been a great success, and judging by the attendance there is a bright future in store for the other planned events – indeed for the Club itself.

80 miles, 13 hours