This year we decided to go to the Bull and Spectacles near Rugeley and a good idea it was too. So, thanks for organising it Jean!
The food was good and the prices were very reasonable. The only downside was that Jill and Mick couldn't make it. Jill because she was away and Mick because he'd got a horrible cold.
Oh well, Daphne, Pete, Margaret, Jean, Peter D and Bob still managed to be there, Bob turning up last again lol.
Another nice touch was the landlady who used Margaret's camera so that we could all be on the photo, how nice was that! Oh and thanks for bringing the camera and sending me the photos Margaret.
The Bull & Spectacles, Rugeley.
AUGUST 2014 - Summer get together meal - Barton
Well it was a lovely evening and we had a really nice meal and a good old natter while eating it. We even got a free coffee at the end of it, well i hope it was free because i can't remember paying for it lol. So well done on organising it Jill, we'll have to fix you're bike brakes next month as a thank you!
Shame we had to walk past a couple of ranger signs we put up last year for the Barton re-route. The reason being is that Bob noticed they had been damaged by someone putting up their own sign on the lampost. It wouldn't have been so bad if they'd just covered up our signs but instead they'd decided to pull our 'no more nails' signs off and place them lower down the post held on by a bit of wire. Being lower down and being held on by a bit of wire isn't conducive to keep them in place and of course, one has gone missing!
Living in Barton, Jill is going to take some proper photos of the lampost and get in touch with the name of the place on the offending sign.
The Three Horseshoes - Barton under Needwood.
One sign being held on by a bit of wire
And one sign not being held on by anything, cause it's gone missing!
You can see where it used to be
And the same thing on the other side of the road - both signs are missing
JUNE 2014 - Volunteer Day - Birmingham:
For once i (Bob) don't have much to say, except it was an interesting day and nice to meet up with Ed, Henry and Lisa etc for some useful tip and chats. Oh the tea and biscuits weren't bad either lol.
MAY 2014 - Fun Ride - Sutton Park:
Jill, Margaret, Mick and Pete meet up at Lichfield station and caught the train to Sutton Coldfield then cycled to Town Gate in Sutton Park. Not being 100% fit Jean and Bob decided to meet everyone at Town Gate.
At the Town Gate, the first thing we noticed was a bit of rain in the air, then even worse we noticed the cafe was closed, not a good start for us Lichfield Rangers, so, we set off for another cafe in the park. On the way we stopped at the Toby Carvery only to see them lock the doors while we were getting off our bikes, which wasn't very nice of them. Anyway we set off again in the rain and ended up at a brilliant cafe called the Blackroot Bistro. After our customary coffee and nibbles we set off again heading for Streetly Gate but by now it was tipping it down. On the way Jean had to turn back as she was getting very wet as did Bob at Streetly Gate. At this point Jill, Margaret, Mick and Pete could have decided to catch the train but being hardy people, continued on and cycled back home in the rain and for Jill that was Barton! Bob on the other hand headed home, in the rain but in the car. The annoying thing was that when Bob got back to Pelsall it stopped raining, would you believe it!
Arriving at the Bistro a little wet.
Leaving the Bistro still wet.
Arriving at Streetly Gate and guess what... now very wet lol
And a final photo in the pouring rain at Streetly Gate.
Well done Jill on organising our first fun ride of 2014 Jill. It was really good to have us all meet up again. Plus I thought Sutton Park was lovely even in the rain so we must do this again one of the days.
DECEMBER 2013 - Christmas Meal:
Pete, Daphne, Margaret, Mick, Jean, Jill and myself all met up at Jill's house for a short walk to our annual Christmas meal at the Middle Bell pub in Barton Under Needwood.
Jill kindly organised it all for us again. Not only did Jill organise the meal but she also had us around for coffee, tea, wine, beer and spirits before and after the meal, in fact just about everything you could want was available, how nice is that! Although the weather was a little on the dull side the atmosphere certainly wasn't.
It was great for us all to be together again and also nice to eat in a posh place. We do like our normal cafes but a posh meal made for nice for a change.
SEPTEMBER 2013 - The Cycle Show - NEC Birmingham:
Pete and Daphne along with their son David were all there, oh and Bob tagged along too! It was a nice day out with lots to see, including loads of high end racing and off road bikes plus some stunning BMX riders too. So much to see and do, sometimes a little too much but good all the same. Here a few photos of the event...
AUGUST 2013 - Sustrans Pedal On UK Event - Friday 30th August:
Being a gate marshall proved interesting, meeting lots of people and even David Moorecroft the runner!
I wasn't too taken with the lack of banners around the park which resulted in lot of local people telling me they didn't know the event was on. Also the banners and flags they used were a little obscure i.e. the PedalOnUk slogan, the Sustrans name being so small and the lack of a bike logo. All this didn't make it clear what the event was about and my personal view is it didn't advertise Sustrans or the NCN to it's full potential... Bob's little rant is now over lol.
All in all it was a good event though, the Sustrans staff and volunteers certainly worked really hard to put it on and no doubt a few more people are now aware of Sustrans and our NCN.
The long distance cyclists arriving.
The long distance cyclists at Bob's little stall
Then came along David Moorecroft (middle of photo) - Bob met someone famous at last!
JULY 2013 - Fun Ride - Monsal Trail:
Well our fun ride went ahead and was it nice, you bet it was. The weather was good and the company even better, that’s Jean, Jill, Margaret, Mick and Bob, oh OK perhaps not Bob lol. Unfortunately our leader Pete couldn’t make it on this occasion and was missed by us but as the saying goes “you can’t have everything”.
Anyway, we all met up in Bakewell as planned, well sort of, not at the Old Station as planned because Bob hadn’t figured on it being market day and the car parks being full. Not a problem though as Jean had found a nearby lane and bumped into Margaret and Mick there so phoned Bob to let him know about it.
Just before setting off on our bikes we realised that the organiser (that’s Bob lol) hadn’t thought about what we were going to do for breakfast. So, Jill produced some homemade cakes and the ever ready Jean got out her camping stove and made drinks for us all. Margaret also cycled into Bakewell to get their packed lunch. You see, like the scouts, we’re always prepared lol.
The ride out towards Buxton was brilliant even though it was overcast, as the views, bridges and tunnels were fantastic. At the far end, the café, while a little on the basic side, was still a welcome sight. After refreshments and a rest we made our way back to Bakewell, all downhill with a breeze behind us and the sun shining at last, what more could you wish for, another ride like that I hear you say… No problem, I’m sure we’ll be doing another one later this year.
We're off, Mick and Jean going up the ramp, the only bit that wasn't flat until we got to the cafe at the far end!
Jean, Mick, Margaret and Jill cycling past the old Station.
In the dark as usual!
Margaret, Mick and Bob thinking, shall we jump - Perhaps not, being a Sustrans ranger isn't that bad!
Bob by the board.
Margaret and Mick thinking almost there now.
Mick, Margaret, Jill and Bob having a nice cuppa and rest in the cafe at the far end of the route.
The group entering a black hole, sorry tunnel, on the way back.
Margaret, Mick, Jean and Jill almost back in Bakewell, so with the sun shining another cuppa and rest was in order.
MAY 2013 - Fun Ride - Barton:
The May fun ride went ahead as planned. However, the start time had to be delayed a little so as the weather wasn’t all that brilliant we decided to do a local ride instead of trekking all the way up to the Tissington Trail etc.
The Forestry Centre, Rosliston.
APRIL 2013 - Fun Ride - The Manifold Way:
Our group event in April along the Manifold Way went ahead and quite eventful it was too! Jean, Jill and Bob arrived in Waterhouses late morning and headed for the Riverside Café to have breakfast, of course. Starting from the old station car park, just a few hundred yards into the ride Bob decided to go the wrong way, well the sign looked like it said left to him! Then, in trying to find the start of the trail we went through private property with a man asking a few questions, not Bob’s fault this time lol. Finally on the trail we had fun climbing up 250 feet to check out Thor’s Cave. Nearing the top of the trail at Hulme End a dog came hurtling toward us and straight past at speed, a few hundred yards later a couple said have you seen our dog. We should have said no but being an honest trio we said yes. Then the man said to Bob, that’s our dog, “would you mind cycling back to catch him for us, here’s some biscuits, he won’t bite you”. Bob agreed and went off at full speed… drrrrrr! Bob eventually caught up with ‘Bertie’ the dog further down the trial but ‘Bertie’ was tanking back up the trail and he wouldn't stop, just straight past again. So, Bob turned around and met up with the couple who said thanks and put ‘Bertie’ on a lead saying he’s always doing this! At the end of the trail we met up with the couple at the Tea Rooms in Hulme End and Bob was hoping for a cake off them but no, they didn’t even say a word. Next time when someone says have you seen my dog, Bob's going to say “what dog” lol.
As for the wrong turns, in fairness the signage is… well, none existent really, if we go up there again we ought to take some signs with us. Yes, it’s part of NCN 54, not sure why though as I think it’s just a loop route from Derby, which perhaps ought to be numbered as a spur i.e. NCN549 or something? Maybe it’s worth us giving some feedback to the Sustrans White Peak Rangers on their blog http://whitepeakrangers.blogspot.co.uk. Actually I’ve just had a look at their site and it appears they are re-numbering some of the trails as NCN 54a, 547 and 548 so perhaps they’re already on the case. Maybe it’s worth asking what their re-numbering plans are and if they have any for the Manifold Trail?
DECEMBER 2012 - Christmas Meal:
The December workday was cancelled for our annual Christmas dinner. We had a lovely meal at the Middle Bell in Barton Under Needwood thanks to Jill who kindly organised it all for us. Actually, it wasn't just the meal that was lovely, it was the company too. Pete, Daphne, Jean, Jill and myself were all there. Margaret and Mick would have been there too but unfortunately were unable to make it this year, we did miss you both! Anyway, it was great to eat in style for a change, not that the cafes we normally use are bad but a posh meal was nice for a change.
The Middle Bell
We also made use of the time by going through our trusty 'action list' and noted that we had got through a lot of work in 2012.
Oh well, onwards and upwards, we can't wait to get our teeth into the various planned tasks for 2013!
SEPTEMBER 2011 - The Sustrans East Midlands Groups Rally held at Conkers and so called Camp Conkers 2011.
JULY 2011 - Sustrans FestiVol - Green and Away - Worcester:
I was there but as you can see, i'm not on the group photo, the reason being i was late again! It was a green venue with green people which resulted in a very different and somewhat hippy sort of rally, perfect!
TWO TUNNELS GREENWAY PROJECT - BATH
This new walking and cycling path will run through Linear Park to the disused Devonshire tunnel (at Bloomfield), onto Combe Down tunnel, and then over the renovated Tucking Mill viaduct. At over one mile long, the Combe Down tunnel will be the longest cycling tunnel in Britain, and will feature an interactive light and sound installation.
Two Tunnels - You Tube Vieo - The Project
Two Tunnels - You Tube Video - Laying the tarmac
Two Tunnels Greenway Project - Bath - Website
Two Tunnels Greenway Project - Bath - Blog
Two Tunnels Greenway Project - Bath - Route
Two Tunnels Greenway Project - Bath - Grand Opening
FROME'S MISSING LINKS - FROME
Just two miles outside of Frome town centre lies the start of a virtually traffic free cycle route that takes cyclists and pedestrians to Radstock and then on to Bath. For a long time plans have been in place to continue this route alongside the existing railway line, onto the riverside footpath and into Frome. 1711 people have now signed the petition to show support. A summer camp has been suggested so that volunteers can help with the project. See links below for more details.
Frome's Missing Links - Frome - Website
Frome's Missing Links - Frome - Volunteer
Frome's Missing Links - Frome - Facebook