In the initial absence of Maurice, who had an appointment with his dentist, eight Windmillers set forth from the Fleur de Lys in Widdington at 9.30am on a slightly chilly morning for a tour of Essex lanes, including what was soon to become known as the Dunmow walnut. Under the guidance of Andrew, ably assisted by John B who brought an Ordnance Survey map with him, the others comprised Keith, Vernon, Ken, Lawrence, Alan and Martin. Here is the route taken:
Zooming down to Elsenham we soon came to a halt down a dead end but retraced our steps and carried on zig zagging our way around Stansted Airport before trying out new lanes taking in Molehill Green, Brick End and Little Easton before embarking on a scenic circuit of Dunmow to create the now famous walnut as shown on the above painful looking map, but better than a grapefruit any day. Then we experienced Dunmow at its most draughty as most of us sat outside Flitch Coffee and shivered whilst John B sensibly sat inside the pub next door.
Having completed the walnut by continuing down the High Street, we left John still warming up and started our return journey back the way we came via Little Easton and then Tilty, under the Stansted flightpath and through Broxted to Henham, except that by the time we got there we had lost Lawrence and Vernon. A few phone calls established that they wanted to see Elsenham again but eventually we all met up and proceeded on a detour via Little Henham to clock up another mile or so (and another walnut). But we could only manage 29.5 miles in total and so the landlord of the Fleur de Lys was surprised to see us arrive back before 12.30pm. However we soon settled down at our round table whilst the fire was lit and were joined firstly by Glenis Ryan, then John B and finally Maurice who had cycled from his home to be with us. Having been to the dentist, we expected him to have a wonky smile but he looked his usual smiling and happy self:
We were soon tucking into an excellent lunch washed down with excellent ales, and tea.
Thanks, Andrew, for reminding us of the importance of walnuts.