Suffolk Tour 2003

North Road Suffolk Tour 2003

Day One - June 2nd

Twelve Go Mad in Suffolk by Martin

After gathering from all corners of Hertfordshire, Essex, Cambridgeshire the twelve arrived at the Blaxhall Youth Hostel near Snape on Monday June 2. It was good to see old friends and renew the banter which had taken place last year. Having unpacked and sorted out room mates we set off for a meal at Snape Maltings.
Fortunately the heavens opened just as we went inside. Indeed the whole first day seemed to be dodging showers, drinking tea and discussing the virtues for and against mudguards. Having finished with Snape we pushed on down to Aldeburgh where we visited the Lifeboat Station along with another tea room called 'Munchies'. The open road was now beckoning and we headed off for Orford. Here the tea room was shut!
Back to the hostel, during which the Captain was forced to show yellow cards to several riders who followed Eric in a prime to be first into the shower. Dinner pub and bed, Brilliant.
Day Two - June 3rd

Peaceful and Gentle by Graham Thompson

Casting my mind back I had not been on a tour, discounting weekends away with the club for some 45 years, but I can still recall the memorable words of the late president of the Tricycle Association at Glasgow Central Station. As the sleepy party stepped from the overnight train we were greeted loudly and clearly with the words that he was there to meet "the premier road cycling club of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". Thus the club had assembled at Blaxhall Youth Hostel for a few days cycling in the peaceful and gentle county of Suffolk.

The assembly was the finest of the club, all active cyclists divided into officials, past officials and members of some years standing.

The officials were the chairman, captain, vice-captain and editor and the past officials included the senior ex-president, junior ex-president, former vice-captain plus members such as the Mardley Eagle, the heating engineer, the Chelmsfordian and the former rugby player. There was a plan behind the days spent in each others' company as the captain had made the arrangements and the vice-captain was to lead the party through the maze of lanes. In this part of East Anglia 'B' roads are regarded as roads to be avoided by the discerning cyclist so one had to pay attention to record the exact details and such was the skill of the vice-captain that we kept to the lanes. The editor near the end of the day asked me to do the write up and as I had been enjoying the sunshine and gentle breezes whilst admiring the countryside plus keeping a fatherly eye on things from the back of the bunch I in a l honesty cannot recall exactly the roads we rode.

I can say that the banker in the party decided he required some money, that the bank in Saxmundham was not up tot the mark and near the end of the day he had to make do with a cash point in Framlingham. I can positively confirm that we called in at the Weavers Tea Rooms at Peasenhall for morning coffee and home made cakes and scones (some had two cakes) served by a very fragrant lady who had the measure of us straightaway. She also recommended the Queens Head at Dennington for lunch which was but a mere ten miles westward. . here I enjoyed a pint of Bitburger beer from Germany, Annabel and I having passed through Bitburg last summer on our continental wanderings. The whitebait was very good too!.

After lunch we headed for Framlingham where I had expected to view the castle but our approach was from the wrong direction so I had to make do with the public school buildings and the town centre. The next stop was at Easton where a halt was requested for a group photograph where the admirable state manageress was persuaded by our charm to take the camera. This is a delightful part of the world. I obtained her card for she is in charge of cottage lettings on the estate with a view to Annabel and I spending a few days meandering through the lanes a a later date. Wick ham Market seemed a god place for tea and cake, which we took outside a café overlooking the town centre square. Being a reformed smoker I had to admonish the serving lady for smoking but a comforting arm soon calmed her.

After the railway experts in the party wished to view the station which is a couple of miles from the town. Not much to see except the trains do still pass through here from time tot time but one of the party did spot an unusual shrub growing on the bridge embankment, which he later visited to get some cuttings. 

A very pleasant ride through Tunstall forest in the late afternoon to round off the day brought the party to Blaxhall. Fifty-six miles was recorded on my computer but this seemed largely irrelevant when all had spent a memorable day together.

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