So it was that some fifteen Windmillers were seen milling about the car park of the Cock Inn at Henham, Andrew doing his best to bring a semblance of order and making a vain attempt to group us into three equal teams. But Maurice was already off and heading for Debden Green, a gaggle of Windmillers in his wake. It’s as good a way as any to start a ride.
It wasn’t such a good start, however, for Jenni who, within five minutes, had pulled up with a puncture. Standing aside, she let Andrew and Mike do their manly thing of upending the bike to wrestle with wheels, levers, tubes and pumps and effect a repair. Jenni very sensibly left them to it and, some 20 minutes later, was back on the road chasing to catch up with Maurice.
We were on a 29 mile, figure of eight route taking in Thaxted, Finchingfield, Waltham’s Cross, the Bardfields and Broxted – and a lovely, scenic route it was too. Finchingfield being the half-way point, we pulled in for refreshments at Winners Tea Rooms, where Martin told the proprietor she had won the Windmillers’ Café of the Year Award. She waited expectantly, thinking he might pull out a trophy, maybe a framed certificate or suchlike.
“Er, that’s it, we thought we’d just let you know,” he explained.
“Righto, thanks,” she said, nonplussed, and returned to the kitchen.
Back at the pub, we enjoyed a well earned pint and a good lunch while Maurice listed the various charities the club was supporting this year. Totalling just over £7000, the monies were distributed to:
- Macmillan Nurses, at the behest of the model boat donor, £1,000
- Arthur Rank Hospice, in memory of Vernon, at the behest of Moira, £500
- Great Chishill Windmill, where it all started some 10 years ago, £250
- Breast Cancer / Moon Walk, sponsoring Jess at the Golden Fleece, £200
- Addenbrookes Charitable Trust, at the behest of Lawrence and Simon, £1,000
- Marie Curie Cancer, in memory of Rose, Victor’s wife, £500
- East Anglian Children’s Hospice, £1,000
- The Eve Appeal for gynaecological cancer research, £1,000
- Samaritans, at the behest of Deborah, £500
- Pets as Therapy, at the behest of Charles, £250
- Breast Cancer UK, at the behest of Penny Woodhead, £750
For the record the turnout was: Alan, Andrew, Brian, Deborah, Geoff, Graham, Jenni, Jeremy, Martin, Maurice, Mike, Rod, Roger, Sandra and Simon.
Our thanks, as ever, are due to Maurice and Andrew, for planning and organising everything.