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MERSEYSIDE WHEELERS PRESENTATION & BUFFET EVENING

Friday 6th November 2015. 7.00pm

The Stanley Arms, Gillars Lane, Eccleston, St Helens, M'side. WA105PT
Thanks toTom Mustard and Desi Bradburn for
organising another good night  

Doug Haslam        (14th January 1932 – 29th January 2015)

It was a dry, bright but cold crisp afternoon on Thursday the 5th February as relatives, friends, ex-works and cycling club colleagues gathered at the Greenacres Woodland Burial Park, Blindfoot Lane, Rainford, to await the funeral cortege carrying Doug Haslam.

As scheduled the cortege arrived at 1.30pm. The wicker coffin was escorted into the hall by Mo and Doug’s grandchildren with Mo and her family following. Those who had gathered followed behind.  Once everyone had been seated in the hall, a humanist service was carried out by the Lady Officiant who gave a short history of Doug’s life and several readings were given by Doug’s Children and Grandchildren.

With the view through the very large plate glass windows showing the surrounding woodlands bathed in sunshine, it seemed to be a very appropriate final resting place for Doug to be buried, as he was a great lover of the outdoors.

Following the service the coffin was then slowly transported in the funeral car up and along a winding path towards the woodland with the funeral party and the rest of the gathering walking behind.

The wicker coffin was then laid upon the grave with the Humanist Officiant saying a few words before the coffin was lowered into the grave by Doug’s grandchildren.

After the family and close relatives had scattered flower petals onto the coffin, other graveside attendees were given the opportunity to do likewise.

After this was done everyone retraced their steps back to the gathering Hall and were invited to partake of the refreshments and to reminisce and share their memories of Doug.

Our Club, the Merseyside Wheelers, were well represented by a number of club members and hopefully our presence went some way to providing comfort and support to Mo Haslam and the members of her family. 

 

John Clarke

Chairman       

Merseyside Wheelers

 

 

 

Bob Memery ( Merseyside Wheelers) - Bob’s Last Wish.

Saturday the 20th December saw a group of friends of Bob Memery (President of the Merseyside Wheelers) gathered at the side of Hatchmere Lake (Delamere Forest), to carry out Bob’s Last Wish.

He had said many years ago to close friends Willi Moore and Jim Clarke during one of his many visits to the Isle of Man Cycling Week, that when he died and was cremated, that he wanted his ashes to be scattered in the lake at Hatchmere, near to the spot where the Merseyside Wheelers Invitation Hilly Time Trial started and finished.

This was an event that Bob promoted for 21 years and which the last event was held in the year 2000.

His very close friend and fellow weight trainer, Bill Jones had taken responsibility for collecting Bob’s ashes following Bob’s funeral service and cremation which took place on Thursday the 6th November 2014.

Several appropriate poems were recited and a short service was given which were then followed by Bob’s ashes being scattered into the water.

R.I.P. Bob, your last Wish has been carried out.


BOB MEMERY

1929-2014

 

Bob Memery joined the Merseyside Wheelers in 1947, sixty-seven years ago, that was before I was born!

 

He won the Club Championship for the first time in 1951 – with, as he would sometimes remind me, a Club record time at 100 miles, then repeated his Championship win in 1952.

 

It will come as no surprise to many of you to learn that when in 1958 the Merseyside Wheelers ran its very first Ladies open promotion, Bob Memery was the organiser.

Bob was a life-long supporter of Ladies’ cycling –  for which the Merseyside Ladies Cycling Association have had cause to be grateful.

 

Much has been made of the years when Bob’s competitive instincts were directed towards his weightlifting career …… well, not entirely!

Anyone who saw him on the table tennis table at the Merseyside Wheelers clubroom knows otherwise, and throughout his weightlifting successes Bob never forgot his cycling roots, whether attending the Isle of Man Cycling Week, or offering help whenever needed, officiating as a timekeeper, or performing legendary pushing-off duties in time trials, a push from ‘Muscles Memery’ was said to be worth at least five seconds.

 

Bob received the Merseyside Wheelers’ Club Person of the Year trophy four times, the first person to win the award three years in succession, and when the Club presidency became vacant in 1974 Bob was the unanimous choice, remaining President for forty years, until his death.

 

Bob Memery will forever be associated with the Merseyside Wheelers Invitation Hilly Time Trial, held at Delamere, which he organised twenty-one times, from 1980 to 2000.

For this event Bob brought to Merseyside a succession of top riders, national,  international and Olympic champions – male and female - whom we may not otherwise have seen.

Each October a galaxy of cycling stars came to Delamere – Bob’s charisma securing generous sponsorship from among his friends, and his own willingness to fund the event ensuring its legendary success – Bob’s telephone bill must have been awesome!

No fewer than three Tour de France yellow jersey wearers rode the Invitation Hilly, Chris Boardman, Sean Yates and David Millar – no-one other than Bob could have attracted such riders, he knew everybody, and I always joked Bob needed to be a weightlifter in order to carry his address book around.

 

The man was unique, inimitable and irreplaceable, when he stood down as Invitation Organiser no-one felt able to take on the role, and likewise there have been no more Life Members created in the Merseyside Wheelers since the honour was conferred on Bob in 1982.

 

We will all have our own memories of this man but those October mornings at Delamere are unforgettable, thank you Bob, and, no pun intended, thanks for the memory.

 

Paul Olson

A note from Brian French (you oldies will know who he is)

 Hello All

In October 2013 I was finally diagnosed with a Chondro Sarcoma ( Bone Cancer ) in my left femur. For quite a few years doctors had put down the pain as being knee pain and all the doctors including the NHS specialist,. who x rayed knees and Hips but not the thigh. I persevered and went privately to another specialist , who diagnosed the problem and referred me to The Birmingham Orthopaedic Hospital.

They arranged for me to be operated on in February 2104. Took out the Femur and Tumour and replaced the bone it with the titanium prosthesis ( X ray picture attached)

I am now riding my bike again and do around 20 to 25 miles about twice a week. 

My object of writing this tale is to encourage any cyclist who does have pains in knees and thighs to ensure that these are not fobbed off as muscular or old age and to insist on X rays, especially of the painful area.

I am not though thinking of resuming racing- even the Paralympics, as at 82 nearly 83, I could be over the qualifying age limit next time.

Regards to all

Brian French

 


 

MERSEYSIDE WHEELERS PRESENTATION & BUFFET EVENING

Friday 7th November 2014. 7.00pm

The Stanley Arms, Gillars Lane, Eccleston, St Helens, M'side. WA105PT

Tom Mustard Club Person of the Year 2014

 

 

MERSEYSIDE WHEELERS BUFFET EVENING

Friday -15th November 2013 - Stanley Arms, Gillar's Lane, St Helens, WA 10 5PT

Thanks again to Desi & Tommy for organising what was a change of venue, format & a good night out plus an exceptional buffet

Desi Braburn Club Person of the Year 2013


 

Thank’s again to Dessi’ & Tommy for organising the Merseyside Wheelers 80th Birthday celebration

 

 

Come on you oldies - a blast from the past

I am John Croxford, I was in the Merseyside Wheelers between 1957 and 1963 when I biked to Australia with Tom Richards.

I have just had my 70th birthday and this photo shows two of them (unfortunately on my back doorstep). Firstly, a brand new road bike,

but more importantly, my brand new Merseyside Wheelers shirt which my son got printed specially for me. It was a special run for the printer,

so it might be the only one in New Zealand!.

Cheers John

MERSEYSIDE WHEELERS CABARET & AWARDS NIGHT

CHRIST THE KING, FRIDAY 2nd NOVEMBER 2012

 Another great night out - with thanks to Dessi & Tommy

All for the "love" of a Cooked Breakfast!!. ASSOCIATIONS 12hr Event 12th August 2012.

Once again the Merseyside Wheelers had responded to organiser Ruth William’s request to help with the running of the Associations 12hr event which was being held on Sunday the 12th August in the Whitchurch/Prees area.

As in previous years we were being asked to provide a marshal and a time checker person to be based at Espley Island which is between the Ternhill and Shawbirch Islands on the A442.

As well as this requirement the Club were also to provide a timekeeper and a timekeeper’s assistant to man the T2 point on the 12hr finishing circuit.

At the club night the Monday before, it was confirmed by some of those members present, as to who would be going out to fulfil the Club’s duties.

Kit Carson and Jimmy Hassan would be the timekeeper and his assistant. John Clarke would be the Time Check person with John Hodginson providing the "back-up". Lil Clarke, Tommy Mustard and Desi Bradburn would be acting as the marshals on Espley Island.

Kit and Jimmy would only need to be "on location" just before the finishing circuit opened at 3pm whereas the rest of us had calculated that we would need to be in position by 09.15am.

The "marshals" agreed to meet up at the race headquarters, The Raven Cafe by Prees Island, at about 08.00am and then to set off to arrive at Espley Island by 09.15am.

Tommy Mustard would be driving Desi Bradburn out there, whereas Lil and I would be picking up John Hodginson at Mather Avenue/Queens Drive at 06.45am on our way out over the Widnes/Runcorn Bridge via Whitchurch to Prees Island.

I do not know what time the others had to get up but the thought did occur to me, (as I was setting our alarm to 05.00am) that we used to do this sort of thing quite regularly when I was racing but you soon get out of the habit! Perhaps that is why the Manchester Saturday afternoon "25" mile time trials are so popular with the vets - you do not have get up so early!!

Sunday morning dawned dry and fairly bright but with a bit of a wind blowing as we set off to pick up John "en route". We had only just arrived at our agreed pick-up point when John H. arrived from the opposite direction having been driven there by his wife, Judy.

We then set off over the Bridge, out to the A49 and then turned right to follow the A49 through Acton Bridge, Weaverham, past Oulton Park, past Tarporley (using the bypass), Beeston Brook and onwards through Whitchurch to arrive at The Raven Cafe at 07.55am – having made a good run. When we walked into the Cafe Tommy and Desi were already seated and sated, having already eaten their Full English cooked breakfast. John H. and I ordered the same whilst Lil had the poached eggs on toast. Having now set ourselves up to last out the day we then left the cafe and drove the 10 miles or so to our marshalling point at Espley Island arriving at 09.15am. Like the well-drilled team that we are, we set about affixing the "cycle event" signs and direction arrows to the appropriate lamp posts/direction signposts to warn other road traffic that there was a cycle event taking place and to assist the riders to follow the correct course route. We then affixed a sign to inform riders where we had stored the rider’s "own" food/drink supplies, as not all riders had helpers out on the course. It only now remained for us to proceed to our various marshalling/checking points around the Island to await the arrival of the first rider. This was rider number 6 who arrived at 09.40am with the next riders arriving at 09.48am and so on. It was a pleasant surprise when Paul Olson another club member arrived to assist us with our marshalling duties.

My designated job was to act as a Time Checker at 77.58mls, which was the distance that would have been covered, had riders completed all of the various course legs before arriving at our marshalling point for the first time. There were three time checks to be undertaken in total (77.58mls; 123.04mls and 168.50mls) before the riders returned from the Shawbirch turn and were then sent back via Ternhill and Prees Islands before they entered the finishing circuit.

Whilst most of the riders on approaching Espley Island from Ternhill Island were sent down the road to the Shawbirch turn, some of the "slower" riders were directed to encircle Espley Island to be sent back down to Ternhill Island. This was to try to keep the riders in as compact a group as possible and this decision was made by the Course Marshal. The job of actually directing the riders was provided by firstly my wife Lil and then this directive was reinforced by both Tommy and Desi pointing with their arms.

As there were only 44 riders in this event we at least had a chance of having a reasonable break from our marshalling duties when all the riders had passed our marshalling point, which enabled all and sundry to partake of some refreshment and to have a "comfort break" as well as to enable us to do something other than sit or stand in the one spot.

The weather was fairly dry except for one rainy spell during which I had to try and balance my time checking sheet, write up the rider’s numbers and times as well as holding an umbrella over me to try to avoid the checking cards getting wet. My club mates had their own problems to cope with but everyone seemed to be alright. Once the rain had stopped the roads soon dried up.

As Espley Island is approximately at the halfway point between the two far points of the course i.e. Prees Island and Shawbirch, it is a popular place for the helpers supporting vehicles to congregate and to hand up their rider’s feeding needs. Some of the faster riders seem to "get by" on apparently nothing whereas some riders take a more "leisurely" approach, treating it as a "day out" and spending large chunks of time stopped at their feeding station.

As it is our Club’s cycle event signs that are used around Espley we have to await the "last rider" car to arrive before we can then collect them in and get ready to pack up to leave. This year we were able to leave around 3pm grateful that everything had gone off without a hitch and that there had been no "incidents". We then made our own way back to the race HQ at The Raven Cafe to see how the race was progressing. After having a drink of coffee and also in my case a bowl of Apple Crumble with rice pudding, Lil, John H. and I drove across to Tilstock and from there went around the finishing circuit a short distance until we came upon Kit Carson and Jimmy Hassan who were in the middle of timing the riders passing their time check. As we needed to drop off John H. by Chester Railway station by 06.45pm, we left Kit and Jimmy to their duties and drove off along the A41 to Chester, getting there in plenty of time. Tommy and Desi had earlier already left for home, as had Paul Olson.

So once again another very good job done by the Merseyside club members in support of the local 12hr Association event. Well Done to everyone – and thanks to The Raven for another enjoyable FULL ENGLISH BREAKFAST!! An enjoyable if a tiring day.

HOPE TO SEE YOU AGAIN NEXT YEAR?? (and the breakfast as well!!)

John Clarke

MERSEYSIDE WHEELERS ANNUAL CLUB DINNER (BUFFET)

FRIDAY 4TH NOVEMBER 2011.

ANOTHER GOOD NIGHT - THANKS TO TOMMY & DESSI'

 

Patty Callaghan’s “In aid of Alzheimer’s Disease” Charity Ride

Hello Kit,                                         

I wanted to thank you and the other Wheelers who’ve been in touch to donate to my ride and to reminisce about my dad.  I’ve really been genuinely touched by the response I’ve had, especially from friends who remember Dad from his days with the club.  It’s lovely to feel a connection with a time that was so important in his life and to hear from the people who shared it with him.  My ride in the Manchester 100 went well.  I managed to finish it in just over 7 and a half hours.  Hardly up to Dad’s standards but respectable for a middle-aged twiddler like myself (I won’t mention the very many ‘veterans’ who kept passing me on the way …).  I’m still collecting the money in but I’m hoping the total will be around £300 or so.  Please feel free to circulate this e-mail along with my very big thanks.  I’m attaching a picture of me at the finish – tired but happy!

Thanks again, Patty

 

GEORGE'S WALK - Rudolph & Holly - Saturday 31st March 2012

Inglenook Farm on the Rainford by Pass was the meeting place of the "George's Walkers". After feeding the farm pony, ten of us set off on one of "Our Leader's Mystery Walks" (in case you don't know George Corfe is our leader).

Leaving Inglenook we crossed the Rainford-by Pass and passing through Rainford  Village via Rainford Junction we came to start of a trail that followed an old railway track to follow a series mosaic and tile plaques set in the ground to guide you along your way. At the end of the path (picture  below/left) is a information board explaining a local folk-lore (i/e the WHITE RABBIT) which if seen - one way or the other your day was going to be spoilt, or so "Our Leader" tells us.  I don't know if he was attempting to scare us or does he really believe it?

I must admit, as I said a "Mystery Walk" - I didn't know where the hell I was, but I had faith in our "Leader".

After coming again (February's walk) to the site of the old coal mine  & the pond/lake which (allegedly)  has a plug at the bottom, that had to be unplugged, to flood the mine in case of fire (or is this another one of our Leaders folk-lore's?)  We all wondered what would have happened to the miners in the pit if the plug was pulled.

We all arrived at the start point all present & accounted for with a count of ten, an estimated walk distance of 6 to 7 miles & an enjoyable few hours spent in good company on a mild & pleasant day.

The day was rounded off with a meal at Inglenook Cafe , (in my case, eyes bigger than my belly)

Thanks George.

Kit 

                   The sign of the WHITE RABBIT, beware!!

'Baggin' break by 't'pit' site

 

Club Walk Saturday 25th February 2012.

Mines (and Molehills)  Weather was chilly to begin with but dry throughout.

A new meeting place, the INGLENOOK Cafe had been organised for this Club Walk and the suggested time was arrive at 9am for a 9.30am start.

For those who have ridden the Rainford “10” course or have ridden along the Rainford Bypass in recent years, you may have noticed a farm on your left just after encircling the Mossborough (formerly named Rainford) Island.

It had been a lavender farm coupled with a teashop which had earned itself a reputation for “expensive”  tea/coffee. The teashop/cafe has since changed hands and we had seen the menu and the prices seemed quite reasonable, hence its choice as a meeting/finish point for our walk.

Lil and I arrived in the car at just after 9am and other club members/guests started to arrive so that by 9.30am there were (13) of us – (12) going on the walk and one, Barry Warriner, going out on his bike, to meet up with us at the end of our walk. Club Members were organiser George Corfe and Sandra, Jean Pierce, Kit Carson, Frank Levy, Paul and June Olson and Lil and John Clarke. The other walkers were friends and neighbours of Sandra and George.

After checking that everyone was ready George led us off down the entrance road to the farm and back onto the Rainford Bypass where we crossed over the dual carriageway and made our way via footpaths into the centre of Rainford. Leaving here by way of the Linear Path we walked along this reclaimed ex-railway line that had artwork in coloured pebbles, showing some of the local history. There was an information board which included the story about the “White Rabbit”. Apparently anyone who saw this white rabbit was “doomed“to die soon!!

Carrying on along this Linear Path we branched off left just before Rainford Junction Station and climbed up some steps to cross the Liverpool/Wigan railway line and then down some steps on the other side. Making our way across a field and then through a small  copse we came out on the Rainford Bypass but this time opposite Sidings Lane Park. After crossing the dual carriageway we entered the Sidings Lane Picnic Area/Nature Reserve. Having been walking for over an hour this was a suitable place to stop, especially as it had a number of picnic tables and benches. Out came the flasks and “eats” and a rest of some15 mins was enjoyed. Before we left the area George explained some of the history of this former mining colliery and pointed out the former mine shafts (now capped) and the large pond which although now used for fishing was likely to have been used in the mining process. He also pointed to the tall straight trees that were used in the “bobbin” making industry.

Suitable fortified our “dozen”  walked alongside the railway until we came to a crossing point which took us up and over the railway line by a series of steps up and then down. I asked George what was the large stone walled area was by the side of the railway track and he explained that that was where the ammunition trains were loaded up. Following the track we came out onto Dairy Farm Road where we turned right and kept walking until we reached the old “coach road” that used to run from Lord Derby’s Knowsley Home across to Lathom House and Ormskirk. Along the way we spotted a device in the far corner of one field that looked like two pigeons circling. Ian, one of George’s friends explained that the farmers had to cull the wood pigeons as they ruined their crops and that this device was a “lure” designed to attract the pigeons into the line of gun fire.

Turning off left we followed the old coach road until it was time to branch off left to get back to our starting point. This proved to be the muddiest part of the whole walk and care was needed to watch where you placed you feet. As we were negotiating this track a radio controlled model aeroplane was being expertly flown above our heads, looping the loop and spin turns. We eventually got back to the Rainford Bypass and after changing our muddy footwear we trooped into the teashop for some well deserved refreshments.

It only remained to thank George Corfe our organiser for an enjoyable walk and people then made their own way home. The walk was about 6.75 miles long.

John Clarke  (PS the reference to molehills was because they are “miners” and their “mounds” were everywhere!!)

 

Club Walk – Hills and Canals - Saturday 23rd July 2011.

Following it being mentioned at the July Monthly meeting Lil and I decided to go on this walk. Having got used to “retirement hours”, Lil and set the alarm, in case we overslept,.

The day dawned bright and sunny with the forecast being for a dry day. After filling up a flask with hot water and packing something to eat we set off in the car. I had already the previous evening packed the car with the required walking gear, boots, socks, sticks, rucksack etc.

It was only a quarter of an hour’s drive to the meeting point which was in the car park of the Prince William pub by Ashurst Beacon. George Corfe, the organiser, had obtained permission for us to use the pub car park and it was intended for our group to stay and have a meal when we had finished the walk.

Come 9.30am and thirteen of us had assembled ready for the off. Club members George and Sandra Corfe, John and Lil Clarke, Hughie and Sheila Binks, Kit Carson, Barry Warriner, Jean Pierce, Frank Levy, Gordon Bell and together with two friends of George and Sandra, Ian and Ralph.

George led us out of the car park, turning right, down a lane where we took a footpath off to the right. This led around the edges of fields planted with cereal crops. It was a good job that I had decided to wear long trousers instead of shorts as the undergrowth was knee high and interspersed with nettles and brambles. Keeping in single file we kept going downhill on a high hedged footpath until we came out onto Lees Lane. We then turned right to walk a short way along this tarmac surfaced road crossing over to its left hand side to take a series of steps that climbed upwards and over a stile. We had a brief drinks stop at the top of this rise before descending down to the Appley Bridge crossing over the Leeds – Liverpool canal. Turning onto the footpath we came upon a bench which the ladies in the group quickly claimed as theirs!

Our Leader

Four Pretty Maids are We (Mikado)

Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered

Here we stopped for our elevenses surrounded by quacking ducks all clamoring for a piece of our food. I took out my camera phone to take a photo and was walking backwards to compose the shot, when I was reminded that I had already had an unexpected “dip” in this canal when I had been riding my mountain bike a few years previously!

When everyone was ready, we set off to walk along the canal towpath in the direction of Parbold, turning left off this path about one mile later. This route took us back in the direction of Ashurst Beacon and was uphill nearly all of the way. At a road/footpath junction George advised some of the group that if they wished they could keep on the road which would lead them straight up to the starting point. This would avoid more hard climbing. A group of four took this option with the remaining nine walkers continuing along George’s route. This latter group eventually arrived at the top by Ashurst Beacon itself and due to the clear weather conditions the views were tremendous – you could literally “see for miles”.

After admiring the views we set off downhill along the short distance to arrive back at The Prince William car park.

Having worked up a suitable appetite the group availed itself of the catering facilities offered by The Prince William and so ended an excellent day’s walk and club social occasion.

Thanks go to George Corfe for organising this Club walk.

Report by John Clarke.

 

A"Mini" Lancashire Lanes??the October 27thMonthly Club Run.

At our Monday nightclub meeting the Monthly run scheduled for Wednesday 26thwas at the writer’s request transferred from meeting up at Ribchester to meeting at TheWheatsheaf on the Rainford Bypass. This was because my little white van had developed starting problems with a flat battery. The forecast for Wednesday was that it would be the best day of the week with a warm front coming in to raise the temperature but with the possibility of some showers.

Before leaving for the meeting point I stood out in the back garden of our house for several minutes to try to work out how few layers of clothing I could get away with, as I dislike being overdressed and am prone to overheating. Deciding that I would be warm enough wearing bib-tights and a windproof top, I dressed accordingly, making sure that I had my emergency bars and also had a full bottle of juice on board my bike. Thinking how mucky the lanes were going to be, I had chosen to ride my winter bike which was equipped with mudguards and I had put on a pair of overshoes. Thus ready I left the house at 9.20am to ride out to the meeting point at the Wheatsheaf, a distance of some 7 – 8 miles, arriving at 9.55am. Already there were Kit Carson and Chairman Frank Levy, with Paul Olson our leader arriving at the same time as myself. A surprising but welcome arrival was Jamie Carson who had driven down from his home in Abbey Village. Jamie had last raced many years ago and despite having ridden a mountain bike (mainly off-road) this was the first time that he had ventured to join our club-run.

As all of the prospective attendees had now arrived we set off across the roundabout and made off in the direction of Bickerstaffe Church, riding along Intake Lane past the church to turn right at the "T" junction to cross over by the Stanley Gate Pub. Dropping down we passed the Warbreck Garden Center and turned off right by the Plough to carry on along Spa Lane and to climb up Cobbs Brow eventually dropping down into Newburgh. This road section had been part of theClub’s"21"mile Hilly course and brought back memories to those of us who had ridden and suffered" on it. In Newburgh we turned left and then right at the mini island to make our way along the back road to Hoscar Moss, turning right and dropping down Deans Lane and under the very wet railway bridge which brought us out onto the Railway Tavern road. We then turned right and followed the road turning left at the next junction to ride along the Parbold/Rufford road crossing over the canal and the railway level crossing to turn left into Fettlers Wharf – our elevenses stop.

After parking up the bikes we went in to the teashop to find a crowd of sandgrounders (Southport CC members to me and you) firmly installed. We queued up at the counter and gave in our orders with large white coffees and cakes seeming to be the order of the day. One of the snags of stopping at a popular cyclist’s watering hole is that you seem to stay longer than intended due to you finding people to talk to!!

After consuming our refreshments and having a good chinwag we then set off for our lunch stop. Originally Paul had suggested the cafe at Hoole Island but as this would have added an extra 8 miles or so onto our journey we elected instead to make for " Twin Lakes". Leaving Fettlers we turned right at the Hesketh Arms and rode out past Holmeswood towards Mere Brow where we turned right and right again into Green Lane which would take us across to Sollom. As this road is a very bumpy, pothole strewn track with frequent evidence of subsidence, judging by the number of cracks and broken tarmac, we decided the best course of action was to ride in single file. This we did until we arrived at the main A59 road where we crossed into Sollom itself, turning right along a track which is a signed bike route. We followed this track up and over the Rufford branch of the Leeds&Liverpool canal via a very humped-backed bridge.

Just before this bridge I had said to Frank that I was stopping to retrieve my mobile phone from my jersey pocket as I wanted to take some photos of the group whilst they were riding. After transferring the phone to my hand we set off (Frank having kindly waited for me). After riding at what I thought was a fairly brisk pace for several minutes and not being able to see the rest of the group I said to Frank that Kit Carson must have got his second wind and was giving it some welly, it being a flat route and with the wind behind. Fortunately they must have realized that Frank&I were not with them and they slowed down, sufficiently for us to catch them up. It was a glorious day with the sun shining, wind behind at this point and the road taking us through wooded areas with their leaves in their autumn colours. The only thing that you had to watch out for was the puddles and wet leaves which had to be negotiated with care. It was just about here that Frank came out with statement "where are we?"– This was not as surprising as it sounded as we could have been in the middle of nowhere such had been the twisty circulatory route that we had been riding. We followed the lane until it came to the main Bretherton/Croston road, where we turned right and right again to continue along the lane to arrive at Twin Lakes.

The outside of the premises had quite a few bikes leaning against it but upon entering we were fortunate to find a vacant table that could seat the five of us. Three of us ordered the cheese&beans on toast; another had the baked potato and Paul our"leader had tuna mayonnaise. Having been served with our various drinks we then had a good "natter" whilst awaiting our food, which did not take too long to arrive. Its arrival prompted a discussion of the various eating hostelries that each of us had experienced over the years, places such as Bangor-on-Dee,  Nanson’s, Two Mills and others.

Having finished our meals we then set off to ride back to Rainford. The weather was still holding up with the wind having strengthened in force and was blustery at times. We decided to go back via Croston village and onto the Robin Hood road towards Mawdesley, turning left and immediately right to start climbing gradually up and around to School Lane, past the Cedar Art Gallery (formerly Miss Piggy’s) where we turned off right to come out on the Mawdesley road just past the cricket club. Turning right we then rode past The Old Barn teashop to turn left onto the Rufford/Parbold road and then right to ride across Hoscar Moss and past the RingO’Bells. From here we took a left and then a right to get onto Dark Lane. Despite the wind this route was quite sheltered by the hedges and trees and we then turned up Golf Links lane across to Castle lane to end up at the Halton Castle junction in Westhead. Turning left and then right into School Lane we climbed up to the top of Scarth Hill by the "mushroom" shaped Water Tower. Crossing the usually busy Ormskirk/Skelmersdale road we turned down Poppy Lane following this around until it met Long Lane at Pendella’s Dogtel. Here we turned left into Long Lane heading back towards Bickerstaffe. As we approached Quaker Lane I took my leave of the group to turn right back to wards Maghull, leaving the rest of the group to ride the short distance back to The Wheatsheaf.

It had been another very enjoyable day with the increased rider numbers making for varied conversation and riding companions. Jamie had in fact commented to me during the ride as to how much better it was riding with a group as much of his riding has been on his own. The terrain had not been too strenuous and the route had been relatively traffic free. The rain had stayed away, the sun had shone, and we had had no "incidents"–what more could a "cyclist" want?

John Clarke

 

October 6th Club Run.

This club run had been carried forward from its original September 29thdate as our “leader” Paul Olson realized that he would be on holiday. At the club night on Monday the 4thOctober we discussed thetravelling arrangements as to how we were going to get to the meeting point inDelamere Forest.

Come Tuesday evening I received a telephone call from Paul to say that he had been unwell and that he would have to “cry off” the ride planned for the next day. He asked if I could contact Kit Carson to let him know.

I managed to ring up Kit and explained the situation but suggested that as we had both looked forward to going out on a ride that we should still go out but to make it a “local” ride. We arranged that Kit would meet at my house in Mayhill for10am.

The next day dawned dry and sunny with not much wind but rain showers could be expected. Expecting Kit to arrive in his car at my house I was surprised when a knock came to our front door and there was Kit looking a bit like a “drowned rat", having been caught by the rain on the short ride from where he had parked by the Hen&Chickens over to our house. He dried himself off in our garage and had a warm drink. We then set off on our ride and fortunately for the rest of the day did not see any rain.

I undertook the role of “navigator” and led us through the lanes out of Maghull and Lydiate and along Green Lane over the Leeds and Liverpool canal and out to Scarisbrick via the water works on the Clieves Hill road race circuit. Crossing the main Ormskirk/Southport road at Pinfold Lane we rode past the new little industrial estate on the site of what used to be the “Black Velvet" beetroot farm complex with memories of the vinegar smell that use to emanate from the buildings as you rode past. We then turned left at the “T” junction to ride past the Heaton Bridge pub and bridge, turning right and right again to drop down slightly to rise up again as we rounded the sharp right-handed bend by the Martin Mere Inn, now sadly closed. Climbing up slightly past the wood yard we turned left to ride along the lane which at this point runs alongside a stretch of the Leeds and Liverpool canal. Taking the next left we went over the level crossing at New Lanes and followed the winding lane until we came to the Brandreth Barn “T” junction. Some club members may remember the occasions that we had our Club Xmas Meals at this establishment. Those were the days when we had quite a few active members and we had both cycling and car borne members attending these functions.

Passing the internationally renowned Martin Mere Wildfowl Centre, Kit and I kept riding to firstly pass the Windmill Farm Visitors Centre, next the restored windmill itself and then past the relatively “new” Lancashire Tea shop. I however had another “stop” in mind and after turning left at the next “T” junction we rode along through Holmes wood. This stretch of road forms part of theTarleton “25” course. Dropping down slightly through the wooded stretch of road we came to the sharp left hand bend at Mere Brow. It was the village store son the corner that was our elevenses stop. I have used this shop as a refreshment stopping point for several years and despite its lack of" sophistication” have never been disappointed. We bought our coffees and cake and sat outside in the sunshine at the patio table and chairs.

Suitably refreshed and having paid a “visit” we then set off by turning left and then immediately right to then take a left to cross the busy Tarleton/Southport dual carriageway feeling immediate relief when reaching the solitude of the lane opposite. We then rode past the riding stables and out along the exposed road across the marshy farmlands to arrive at the outskirts of Tarleton.

We passed the Scout Hut which racing members may remember was used as the race HQ for many of the events on the Tarleton course. Negotiating the mini roundabout inTarleton village we rode along the main road keeping to the right to end up atthe “new” traffic lights sited on the Preston side of the original TarletonLights. Here we turned left and dropped down to cross over the bridges over the River Douglas and the Rufford spur of the Leeds and Liverpool canal. Just after the bend following the bridges we turned right off the busy main Preston road to enter a lane which has a short stretch of cobbles – here you can imagine that you are riding the Paris-Roubaix!! This small lane brings you to a left hand bend near to Bank Hall which is being slowly and painstakingly restored by volunteers. The public are allowed to view the works on specified days. Continuing along this lane, which is very pleasantly shaded by lots of mature trees, we reached another lane, this one comes from Sollom and is another signed bike route. Keeping on going we took a right and followed this twisting, winding lane with its potholes and “mucky” puddles until it came out at on the Bretherton/Croston road. We turned right and then took the next right to follow this lane until we arrived at Twin Lakes”, our lunch stop. We had had sunny dry weather up to now and hoped that this would continue.

Over the years this teashop/cafe had seen changes and it is now a more pleasant place teat in, especially since the national smoking ban had been brought in. Ordering our food and drink we then chatted about several different subjects, wondering how Paul Olson, our absent ”leader” was getting on and hoping that he was now feeling better. Having finished our meals we then set off to ride back home through Croston village. I could not help noticing how many propertyForSale” signs were about, and wondering whether this was a result of the" recession”. Coming out of Croston on the Mawdesley road we rode past the mill that now produces animal feeds etc and approaching the Robin Hood Pub junction we took a left and an immediate right to climb up slightly around tieback of Mawdesley village, passing a church and then a village school before taking a right and then a left that took us past what was “Miss Piggy’s”and is now known as Cedar Farm Gallery. Riding the undulating lane we came out at Bispham Green where we crossed to take the road which leads you down to theRufford/Parbold road.

We were now on well known roads, passing the Railway Tavern and then the Ring O’Bells pub to climb over the bridge that crosses the Leeds and Liverpool canal. With firstly a left then a right at the min roundabout we then turned right into Hobcross Lane. This becomes Dark Lane and after passing the newly refurbished Blyth Hall we then turned left off into Golf Links lane. This is always wet and full of puddles after heavy rain and requires careful negotiation. Further on we came to the Halton Castle “T” junction where by turning left and then next right we climbed up School Lane to arrive at the top ofScarth Hill by the water tower. Crossing over this busy main road with care we turned left down Poppy Lane and wound our way along onto Catherine’s Lane to arrive at the “T” junction with Long Lane. Taking the left we rode some way along Long Lane until we turned right into Quaker Lane. This is so named because of the Quaker Cemetery that is sited on this lane. By following this lane we came out on Cunscough Lane to turn right and past the “Royal Oak” crossroads even though the pub is no longer there) finishing our ride by climbing up past the row of houses before descending to the junction and where Kit had parked his car. After giving him a hand to fasten his bike onto the roof rack I then setoff to ride the short distance back to Maghull with us having done probably about 40 odd miles without getting wet, even though the wind had got up and was in our faces all the way back!! But you can't have everything!!

John Clarke

 

 Broxton/Ellesmere/Overton/ErbistockFerry???

The August Mid-Month club run on Wednesday the     25thsaw me picking up Kit Carson from his house in Kensington at about 08.15am. Fortunately the traffic was not too bad at that time of the morning, probably because we were still in the school holiday period.

After safely stowing Kit’s bike and bag in the back of the Renault van we set off along Edge Lane to take the M62 and the expressway and over the Runcorn-WidnesBridge. After crossing the river Mersey we then took the M56 through to the Vicars Cross turnoff then followed the A41 Chester-Whitchurch road through to Broxton Island and the Broxton Picnic area.

We had only a short while to wait and then Paul Olson our “leader” arrived. Setting off at about 10am we turned left out of the car park area, climbing unto take the first left to ride through Carden and Tilston. Enjoying the quiet lanes and the sunny weather we made our way through the twisty and undulating lanes to arrive at our elevenses stop at the old Fire Station cafe in Malpas.Having fortified ourselves with coffee and tea cakes we set off again. After seeing how much progress we had been making Paul suggested that we aim to have our lunch stop in Ellesmere. This had been the intended lunch stop on one of our earlier rides but we had failed to reach it due to inclement weather.

Having the roads to ourselves was very pleasant and the absence of traffic noise enabled us to hear and appreciate the sounds of the countryside that we were passing through even though some of the accompanying smells were a bit" earthy”!!

Oneof the best things about a “car-assisted” ride like what we were doing wasthat it enables you to ride along roads and in areas that you might nototherwise travel and to do the whole trip by bike would mean that you would haveto go through much built up areas even before you arrived at your location.

Thelanes and roads around Cheshire must be amongst some of the best for cycling asthey contain a mixture of hills, descents, lanes and roads and a mixture ofarchitecture such as bridges, churches, cottages, houses and other examples.

Afterriding for about an hour and a half we dropped down into Ellesmere and rodealongside the Mere stopping at a pub/restaurant by the side of the lake. We wereable to bring our bikes around to the back of the pub that faced onto the Mereand we could keep our eyes on them for security.

Having eaten a satisfactory meal we then set off to ride back through the town leaving the direction of Overton. Even though we were riding on a main road it was so quiet and free of traffic that we were really enjoying the experience. We were bowling along on the mainly downhill roads with a following tailwind – cycling does not get much better than this!!

Erode through Overton and on the road out of this small town Paul suggested that as we were ahead of our schedule we could do a “diversion” to visit the site of Erbistock Ferry. Kit&I were both up for this and we then turned off left at the next junction and rode along a winding lane between high hedges with the road dropping down towards the River Dee. This led alongside the river where we stopped at the pub for a welcome refreshing drink. After finishing our drinks we then went outside and visited the original winding drum and handle that was used to pull the ferry boat backwards and forwards across the river. Of course having dropped down to the river we now had to retrace our route by climbing up back towards the main road!

Following the signs for Wrexham we rode a short way along the main rode to then turn off into the lanes heading towards Holt and Farndon, passing by Bangor-on-Dee along the way. These lanes brought back memories of Sunday Club Runs past when I was either in the Walton C.&A. C., the Molyneux R.C. or the MerseysideWheelers. We still had a favorable wind and up to now the threatened rain showers had held off. On previous club runs we had stopped off for coffee and cakes at a very nice establishment in Holt and with this in mind we were intending to stop there again.

Fortunately the said coffee/delicatessen shop was still open for business and after parking up the bikes within view of the seats inside; we went in and ordered our selection. Coffee and Millionaire's Shortcake seemed to be the popular choice!

Shortly after we had arrived and sat down at one of the inside tables a small group of cyclists arrived. We got talking to this group which consisted of a young man with four young ladies, aloof them about student age. It turned out that they were on a sponsored Lands End to John O’Groats ride, which they hoped to cover in 14 days. That day they headset off from Bridges Youth Hostel and were heading across to stop at Chester Youth Hostel that evening. They were booked into various Youth Hostels along the route and the next night’s lodging was in Slaidburn Youth Hostel. The most astonishing thing about their ride was that all but one of them hadnotridden the bike before this trip and the chap who had ridden before, had only done a couple of short rides. We wished them well for the rest of their trip and bade them farewell as we set off back towards Broxton Picnic Area.

Leaving Holt we crossed the River Dee into Farndon, climbing up out along the high street to cross over the main road to get back into the lanes again. Following the signs for Stretton Water Mill we went past the Mill and dropped down into Carden village, only to have to start riding gradually upwards past the golf course until we came back to the main road again. This meant that we only had a short stretch of main road to ride before we could turn right again back into Broxton Picnic Area, where we had left the cars in the morning.

 In all, we had done about 50 miles – not a great distance interims of miles but a great time out on the bikes in quiet, green lanes unpleasant company

 

PAULS WEDNESDAY CLUB RUNS ARE ON"EVENTS CALENDAR PAGE"

THE MERSEYSIDEWHEELERS CYCLO-CROSS -17TH OCTOBER 2009

ANOTHER SUCCESSFULCLUB PROMOTION   

A month earlierthan last year and a warmerday

Thanks to allclub members who answered the call and turned out.

MERSEYSIDEWHEELERSANNUALDINNERANDPRIZEPRESENTATION 2008

Thanks again to Desi and Tom for organizing another great night out

It's nice to hear from ex',present club members and friends of the Merseyside Wheelers as the following e-mails from Brian French (Life Member) and Colin Baldwin proves.

This is what this pageis for - so come on , don't be shy

 "Being just 12months older than the Club I am greatly looking forward to greeting oldfriends and all the members of what to me I regard as the greatest CyclingClub in the world .Its history of a remarkable social cycling club fromwhich developed all the various aspects ofracing,tricycling,camping,youth hostelling, bed and breakfast weekends, rough stuff fellowships etc is one of which everyone who has been a member canjustifiably be proud.

Congratulations to all those who have overthe years have put so much effort in the organization and running of"THEMERSEYSIDE WHEELERS"

 Brian French 

Hello all..
Thank you very much for a most enjoyable night on the 75th[doesn't seem like 2minutes since the 70th]
It was good to catch up with some other senior members from the past althoughI have now forgiven Jim Clark for beating me in a sprint finish in 1963 at theSOUTHPORT junior road race, I certainly haven't forgotten it!!!.
Once again thanks to Dessy and everyone else.
Colin Baldwin[southport cc]

MERSEYSIDEWHEELERS 75th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

Thanks again to Dessi Bradburn & Tom Mustard for organizing another good night out

I