30 July. Time flies, mind your business.17 miles.

‘Time flies, mind your business’ was the reminder once again as five Windmillers stopped outside St Mary the Virgin in Furneux Pelham to admire the church clock.

6.47pm on a summer’s evening in Furneux Pelham – how time flies when cycling

The starting point once again was The Tally Ho! in Barkway where we are always made to feel very welcome by Sally and the locals. Maurice, Andrew, John T, Keith and Martin were the five who set forth, hoping that Sally might one day be able to join us too as she has done in the past. Here is the route taken:

Barkway circuit 30 July 18

The lanes were empty as usual and the temperature bearable, having set forth at 6.00pm. Wouldn’t it be nice if time just stood still instead of flying by, then we could always set off at 6.00pm on a Monday evening? The route took us almost past Keith’s house in Anstey and almost past Roger’s house in Furneux Pelham and so Keith could easily have been blindfolded without losing the way.

The boys in blue (and Keith in yellow) outside St Mary the Virgin
Stocks in the churchyard for any errant Windmillers

Opposite the church in Furneux Pelham is a house with, for some unknown reason, a slightly different version of the inscription on the church tower, which says simply  ‘Mind Your Own Business’:

‘Mind your own business’ – can just be seen between the two upper windows

Local lore states that the Church version of the inscription apparently reminded farmers and landowners to get on with the harvest, as the church bell was rung at 6pm, during the harvest, to allow gleaners into the fields to scavenge spilled corn. So gleaning would have been in full swing many years ago at the time when we stopped at 6.47pm. If you believe that you’ll believe anything! More local lore also states, probably accurately, that all the Pelhams were once known just as Pelham and recorded as such in the Domesday Book of 1086. Here endeth today’s Hertfordshire history lesson.

On we went to Brent Pelham via the notorious Violet’s Lane (the longest ford in England [Correction: Europe. Ed.] according to Roger) except that we turned right before hitting any water or mud. Maurice recalled how his Range Rover had once been up to its bonnet in water (as a dare from some his pals).  A lane to perhaps avoid in the middle of winter on a bike.

Finally we met up with our outgoing route in Anstey and returned to The Tally Ho! ready to do justice to the Hophead on offer.

Thanks go to Maurice for planning the ride and to Andrew for getting us to the start line on time. Congratulations are also due to Maurice for raising the handsome sum of over £600 for the East Anglian Children’s Hospice through holding his annual classic / interesting car show on 29 July.





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