The thunderstorms had passed but a combination of overcast skies, holidays, sick notes (Maurice and Martin) and dodgy excuses (Keith was having a haircut) meant that just four Windmillers turned out for our regular Thursday morning ride.
So it was that Andrew, Rick, Alan and Brian set off on a 33 mile tour of the villages to the south of Great Chishill. Andrew led the way and, this being his home patch, guided us around some of the hidden charms of the Essex / Herts border country . . .
- Shortgrove Hall, where we stopped off inside the gates to admire the Capability Brown landscape, the beautiful bridge over the Cam and, er, Andrew’s paddocks.
- Kell’s house in Newport, where we knocked and asked his missus could Kell come out to play? Indeed he could – so then we were five.
- The Cricketer’s Arms, Rickling Green, where we stopped for coffee.
- St George’s Church, Anstey, where we viewed the beautiful stained glass window commemorating the US airmen based who were based there in WW2.
- Anstey being Keith’s village we also took the opportunity to check out the haircut story. He did indeed appear freshly shorn so we gave him the benefit of the doubt. He even promised to join us at The Pheasant.
- Brent Pelham, where Kell tried to convince us that there was a giant buried in St Mary’s churchyard. Another of his tall tales, we thought. But sure enough there is such a legend.
- The Royal Observer Corps bunker near Brent Pelham, a relic from the Cold War.
- Nuthampstead, where we pulled up outside John Tarrington’s place. We tried all the doors and windows but, sadly, failed to gain entry; neither was there any sign of John.
Returning to The Pheasant for lunch we were joined by Maurice, Martin, Keith and Ken.
Many thanks to Andrew for the guided cultural tour.