A couple of thank you: first to all those who gave me their £5 Xmas Lunch deposit, bringing the total number of diners to eighteen. Secondly to Jim who led today’s ride back in March, but in the opposite direction. As the pub then was such an excellent choice, it just had to be revisited: more of that later. I simply copied most of his route onto a very high-tech page from a 3”: 1 mile road atlas.
It was good to see both Mike M & Dave M at the cafe, even if it was only for coffee. A new rider from Utkinton “Tish” also joined us for the first 10 miles to Malpas, where she had to turn off; after having read the CER Blogs over recent weeks, she decided to give us a try. Hopefully we’ll see her again.
George (finally recovered from his SECOND End2End ride), Lizzie, Paul, Ray, Roy, Dave R, Steve and I set off on what promised to be a warm & sunny autumnal day in an anti-clockwise direction through Clutton, Malpas and The two Wyches. These two villages are said to be named after medieval “wych-elms”, while their larger Roman neighbour “Whitchurch” had a white stone church. Lunch at The Black Bear, Church Street (01948 663800) opposite the big parish church, again lived up to expectations. On the plus side, drinks and food were both served quickly but a minus point was given to the all-time rip-off £3 for a lime and soda. £3 was much better spent on a pint of Shroppie Gold, which really was the VERY best pint all year.
Photograph by Brian MacDonald
Shortly after re-starting, we passed the town cemetery that displayed a plaque for “The Commonwealth War Graves Commission”. I thought that these peaceful places only existed where battles had raged, but here were buried WWll airmen who had died at a Polish hospital to the west of the town. Continuing NE through Wrenbury, we paused & posed for a photo-stop in front of an unusual mill at Acton. After 16 miles we adjourned for afternoon tea & cake for the princely sum of 80p at the Metropolitan Knitting Centre Café at Aston-juxta-Mondrum. Continuing NW through Wettenhall and Eaton, we dropped Lizzie back at Utkinton after 46 miles, George and I stopped at Duddon, while the rest continued to Chester. All in all, the usual high standard CER day, with sun, gentle wind, good company, fine food and excellent beer. What more could you ask for?