Not this Apache:
It was indeed a surprise to come across a low flying Apache helicopter circling around the same area between Elmdon and Strethall, sometimes just a few metres from the ground. We stopped to take a look and, spotting our hi-viz jackets, the pilot obligingly hovered close by and gave us a wave. It appeared to be a low level training routine rather than a police-style drug bust.
Our gang of four Windmillers led by Andrew and followed by Simon, Charles and Martin had set off at 3.00pm on this colourful Autumn afternoon from The Bull at Lower Langley on a circuit via Little Chishill, Great Chishill, Elmdon, Catmere End, Littlebury Green, Duddenhoe End and back to The Bull.
Getting ready for the off, Stripey Socks Charles, Andrew and Simon
Looking towards Great Chishill windmill
The second stop was a sad sight, the once glorious Pheasant in Great Chishill, and the first base of The Windmill Club, had shut up shop and is apparently looking for a buyer. Here’s Andrew paying his last respects:
and this is the sad message outside:
In Elmdon we admired the church in the autumn light and then said farewell to Charles who was feeling a little under the weather (get well soon Charles!).
The remaining three set off towards Ickleton but stopped almost immediately to admire the work of a flint wall craftsman rebuilding the church wall. His name was Shane Cahill. ‘Do you know a Sarah Cahill?’, asked Martin. ‘Yes’, Shane said, ‘I’m married to a Sarah, who are you?’ It turned out that his Sarah was the same Sarah who worked for Martin several years ago, the second Monday running that he has come across a relation of an ex-employee whilst on a Windmill ride. They live in Chrishall and so if you need a flint wall rebuilding you know who to contact. Will there be a hat trick on the 11th Martin wondered?
With the light already beginning to fade, we had to speed downhill towards Ickleton and turn right towards Catmere End only to come across the circling Apache, which needed inspecting at close hand whilst it also inspected us, luckily with no guns blazing. Here are some more pics of the evil looking machine:
On we whizzed with our own lights blazing, Apache style, Andrew achieving a creditable 34 mph downhill from Littlebury Green towards Duddenhoe End, and on to Langley Upper Green before finally arriving back at The Bull 10 minutes before opening time. But feeling sorry for the three dogs panting outside on the doorstep landlady Sarah let us in before 5.00pm so that our thirsts could be quenched.
Thanks to Andrew for planning the route and organising us. The 16 miles felt more like 20+.