Maurice, Andrew, Martin, Graham, Sandra, Bruce, Roger, Lawrence and both Brians – ten Windmillers in all – turned out on a chilly Thursday morning to cycle from Braughing to Stanstead Abbotts and back.
Twelve miles in to this hilly 30 mile circuit, we pulled in for refreshments at the Ware Café. Locals looked askance as we commandeered and rearranged tables, stripped off our outer layers and generally got the place all steamed up – but the coffee was good and the mince pies were a real treat.
Back on the bikes we continued south along the Lee towpath, pausing to admire the famous 18th century Gazebos on the far side.
Further along the river we stopped again to take in the view at Amwell Nature Reserve.
Leaving the river at Stanstead Abbotts, we headed northwards through Hunsdon and Widford before stopping off at St Thomas’ Church, Perry Green, where we visited the grave of Maurice’s grandparents. Reflecting quietly at this peaceful spot, Maurice reminisced about Annie and Harold. Harold – who used to drive a steam traction engine – passed away in 1993, aged 101.
Setting off on the final leg, Maurice led the way through Hadham Cross, Barwick and Puckeridge, before returning at last to Braughing and The Golden Fleece. Standing around the bar, we teased Landlord Peter – who has ridden with us in the past – about not seeing him on a bike for nigh on two years. But he took it well and served us up an excellent lunch at the long table.
As ever the conversation was wide ranging; we were particularly impressed with Yorkie Brian’s knowledge of 1960s Formula 1 racing drivers.
Thanks, Maurice and Andrew, for planning and organising things, and for generally looking after us so well.