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16 March, Pillars of Society ride, 33 miles

A large gathering of 10 Windmillers assembled at the Fleur de Lys in Widdington on a fine Spring morning to tour the lanes of Essex. Those present were our leader Maurice, whose back was a lot better than it has been of late, Andrew (Dawg), John T (fully recovered from his wrist injury), Vernon and his grandson Fergus, Keith, Ken, Sandra, Rod and Moley Martin. Here is the route taken, clockwise via Sewards End, Ashdon, Hempstead, Thaxted and Henham:

16 March 2017

There was a fair breeze but as usual Maurice had allowed for this resulting in a fast downwind start to the ride and a good choice of hedgerow bordered lanes to minimize the headwind on the way back. Substantial portions of cake, for some, during coffee in Thaxted no doubt also helped on the return leg.

Spring flowers were in evidence everywhere with a particularly attractive churchyard in Hempstead full of daffodils, and yellow and pink primroses:

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There was rather a long wait for Maurice in Thaxted whilst he stopped to take phone calls (not wishing to get 6 points) which provided an opportunity to assemble in front of the magnificent Guildhall in Thaxted, built by the Guild of Cutlers in the 1390s:

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Then our leader arrived which ensured that the Pillars of Society were all present:

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The Pillars of Society, excluding the man with the box
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Windmillers enjoying coffee outside in Thaxted, but not assisting another customer with his crossword

Was it the cake, the need for a pee or the thought of lunch and a pint at the Fleur de Lys but a veritable race took place on the return leg, including a charge up the final hill to Widdington won by Keith, hotly pursued by Ken. The Pillars of Society then transformed into Knights and Knightesses of the Round Table as they squeezed around the table for lunch, where it was lovely to be joined by Glenys Ryan:

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Knights and Knightesses (Knighties?) at lunch

Finally, although this was a fine warm day, only one Windmiller had the courage to display his knobbly knees throughout the ride:

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Guess whose they are!

Thanks, Maurice and Andrew for organising a very enjoyable ride.

Moley Martin

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