17 May 2018: Ireland – the one in Bedfordshire

No hard border here

With Maurice and Andrew indisposed, it fell to Brian to find a route for Thursday’s outing. Starting from The Cock at Broom he led the gang around a 26 mile circuit south east of Bedford. It took us through the little village of Ireland; we didn’t see any leprechauns though there were some garden gnomes.

We were particularly pleased to see Rod, in fine fettle and back on two wheels after a long absence. He was joined by Keith, Ken, Lawrence, Martin, Ric, Roger, Sandra and two Brians; ten Windmillers in all.

Nice bike, Sandra

Sandra – on a shiny new road bike – was somewhat dismayed that the route included an off road section, notably a rough footpath across a meadow and over a ditch. But it was dry so her new machine sustained nothing more than a light dusting. Others complained about  stinging nettles, which brought out a fine rash on bare legs.

Highlights along the way included:

  • The Shuttleworth Collection of historic aircraft. We pedalled around the estate admiring the House and even managed to get into one of the hangers
  • The fifteenth century bridge over the Ouse at Great Barford
  • Willington Dovecote and Stables, built in 1543 – but the pigeons are new. It’s owned by the National Trust
  • The Cardington Sheds; two massive airship hangers dating back to 1916.
  • And, of course, the aforementioned village of Ireland, which is tiny. Blink and you’ll miss it.
Shuttleworth House
Do you think they’d mind if we looked around?
Sopwith Camel
Bristol F.2B
A Hucks Starter based on a Ford Model T truck, built in 1920 by de Havilland
Willington Dovecote and Stables, 1543
Coffee stop at The Barn Cardington
There’s no escaping the Royal Wedding

Returning to Broom, we were joined by John B and enjoyed lunch in the garden of The Cock. This is a new venue for Windmill Club outings, a quirky place where there’s no bar and the beer is served directly from barrels in the cellar. John went exploring its various rooms and original fittings, returning visibly moved. “It’s a proper pub,” he declared, wiping a tear from his eye. There is no higher accolade.

The Cock at Broom provides a warm welcome for beer loving cyclists
26 miles anticlockwise from Broom
26 miles anticlockwise from Broom

Finally, we all wish Maurice – who is in hospital having some worn out parts replaced – a very speedy recovery. We hope to see him joining us for a good lunch – and eventually getting back on the bike – very soon.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.