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Henham

Only 9 more sleeps ‘til Christmas

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.

Thaxted

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.

Gibraltar Windmill

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.

Refreshments at Finchingfield

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
Nice halo, Andrew

For the record the turnout was: Alan, Andrew, Brian, Deborah, Geoff, Graham, Jenni, Jeremy, Martin, Maurice, Mike, Rod, Roger, Sandra and Simon.

A 29 mile figure of eight from Henham

Our thanks, as ever, are due to Maurice and Andrew, for planning and organising everything.

Brian

Categories
Henham

Sandra saves Christmas

Recent events have shown just how dependent we are on HGV drivers, those unsung heroes who, quite literally, keep the wheels of our world turning. So we were duly impressed to learn – over coffee at the Blue Egg on Thursday – that Sandra will shortly be undergoing HGV driver training herself. Is there no end to this woman’s talents?

Sandra in the driving seat

On a selfish note, we reckon this means we needn’t worry about our Christmas presents being stuck in containers at Felixstowe. A word to Sandra and things should get moving.

Thirteen Windmillers, a baker’s dozen, had set off from Henham for a 32 mile jaunt taking in Thaxted and Great Bardfield, where we pulled in at the aforementioned Blue Egg for refreshments.

Sipping coffee and munching cake, we caught up on news; everything from Sandra’s new found vocation to Simon’s exploits as a chimney sweep and Graham’s forthcoming big family wedding.

Graham and Victor

Back on the bikes we made short work of the return leg via Stebbing and Broxted to the Cock Inn, Henham, where lunch was waiting, not to mention a very welcome beer.

Jeremy
Roger and Brian

For the record the turnout was: Andrew, Brian, Charles, Graham, Howard, Jeremy, Lawrence, Ric, Rod, Roger, Sandra, Simon and Victor. Do shout if I’ve missed anyone.

32 miles clockwise: Henham – Debden Green – Thaxted – Little Sampford – Great Bardfield –
Stebbing – Great Dunmow – Great Easton – Broxted – Henham

Thanks as ever to Andrew for organising everything.

Finally, we send our very best wishes to Simon Oughton and Lawrence Wragg ahead of their long stays in Addenbrookes. We know they will be in good hands and we look forward to seeing them again soon, no doubt with tales to tell (but, please, no pictures!)

Brian

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Braughing Henham

Idling at Elsenham

Last Train to Clarksville . . . Midnight Train to Georgia . . . Chattanooga Choo-Choo . . . but alas, nobody sings about Elsenham and waiting for the barriers to open, even though there’s time aplenty, 15 minutes in our case, to draft a ditty.

So there we were exchanging banter with the crossing keeper, our party of ten Windmillers having just set out from The Cock at Henham, and barely 2 miles into a 30 mile tour of North Essex / North Herts. We had come close to being just nine Windmillers, Rod having forgotten his helmet and about to head home, when Landlady Mel, bless her, appeared with a spare one she keeps on the premises. Now that’s what we call a cycling friendly pub.

Brief Encounter

Some three trains later, the keeper opened the crossing and we were underway once more, heading for Ugley Green and all points west.

Maurice had promised us a flat ride but, e-bike convert that he is, maybe he no longer notices the hills. We certainly did and, as the morning wore on and the mercury headed upwards of 25C, our once-tight peloton became strung out over a mile or more. While some of us like it hot, others, most notably Simon, aren’t so keen and, by the time we pulled in for refreshment at Braughing, he was looking distinctly pink.

Simon wishing he’d brought his bathing costume

It was in Braughing that Maurice had arranged an out-of-hours visit to The Golden Fleece. Mid-way round and run by our good pals, Pete and Jess, where better to stop off and take on some much needed water, coffee and biscuits.

Cooling down at Braughing

Back on the bikes Maurice took the return leg at quite a lick, having promised Mel he would get us back in good time for lunch, so we were grateful when Henham and the The Cock finally hove into view. Sitting in the garden, we enjoyed a restorative pint while Mel’s team served up an excellent lunch.

Lunch at The Cock

For the record, our peloton comprised Alan, Andrew, Brian, Chris, Geoff, Graham, Maurice, Rod, Simon and Victor.

Thanks go to Maurice and Andrew for organising things, Jess and Peter for opening up The Fleece, and Mel for her hospitality (and helmet) at The Cock.

31 miles anticlockwise: Henham, Elsenham, Ugley Green, Little Hadham, Standon, Puckeridge, Braughing, Furneux Pelham, Stocking Pelham, Rickling, Henham

And finally, we wish our pal Lawrence, currently laid up in St George’s Hospital, a speedy recovery from his illness. We hope to see him back in the saddle soon.

Our very own St Lawrence; get well soon

Brian