Report – 10th CTC East Midlands Camping Rally, Beaumanor Hall

David went to this camping rally from Friday 24th to Monday 27th May in Leicestershire and writes:

We started on Friday around 10.30 a.m. from Chapel Brampton. Three of us set off just as the rain started to come down as a light shower on and off, with an ever increasing wind.  As we approached the Leicestershire border we had the worst of it for the day with rain, hail and gale force winds attacking us as we climbed the hill to Theddingworth. The roads were littered with twigs and foliage.
Ian phones for a lift home

Ian phones for a lift home

At The Queen’s Head in Saddington Ian phoned for a lift home as he was wet and miserable – see his account here.  So that left two!  John and I continued north then east, cycling around Leicester City, stopping at Mr Pick’s Farm Café for an hour or so to dry out a bit and let the Friday rush-hour traffic go by.  We had tea and cake in a newly built wooden café. Hens were in the fields and a farm shop opposite.
Cafeé in hailstorm

Café in hailstorm

Before reaching Beaumanor there was one more patch of hail and heavy wind but when we arrived at 8.00 p.m. the weather had settled.  In fact there was no more rain or severe wind for the rest of the weekend.
The CTC Milton Keynes group used Route 6 and said they came across two fallen trees on the paths and had to lift their bicycles over to continue.
I took part in the 30 mile ride led by John Catt (Notts CTC Webmaster) which took us south to a nursery café and then on to a pub for lunch by a canal.

Start of Saturday's ride

Start of Saturday’s ride

A happy cyclist at the Plough Inn

A happy cyclist at the Plough Inn

The evening slideshow was presented by Jeff Burton (Notts CTC) on his two-week tour of the Hebrides in Scotland.

John and I went on Max Scott’s 30-mile led ride which went north towards Nottingham stopping at the Six Acre Garden Centre. Max turned right instead of left at Costock, going up the A60 until he realised his mistake and had to return up a steep hill.  Some of the local riders had stopped and informed me that Max had gone the wrong way.  We returned to the café.  Ten minutes later Max and John joined us for bacon buttes and tea.  The two families in the group were glad not to have descended then ascended  the same hill.  We then headed to Old Dolby Brewery for lunch and a pint.

Max leads the Sunday ride

Max leads the Sunday ride

John enjoys a pint of Old Dolby bitter

John enjoys a pint of Old Dolby bitter

The evening entertainment was a selection of four films on cycling. The first was a B&W film taken in 1903, of racing championships held at the time.  The second was a 1967 film on the French courier service, a humorous ten-minute film in which a cycle-courier gets into difficulty delivering his regular round.  The third showed the First Bicycle Carnival held in Manchester Football Stadium in 1900. People were dressed up as clowns, roundheads and cavaliers as they walked passed the camera.
Then we had two power cuts and a search for the fuse box. The hot water had just boiled so tea and coffee was served. The power came back and the last film was on the 1965 TDF with  a car horn blowing sound track as the riders were shown enduring the heat and tension of the race with crashes, injuries, crowds and the media following in cars and motorbikes.
We returned home stopping at The Old Greyhound in Great Glen for dinner.  The sun shone all weekend, Saturday night’s temperature fell to -2 degrees but otherwise it was well worth going.

The Old Greyhound at Great Glen

The Old Greyhound at Great Glen

John struggles up a hill on the way home

John struggles up a hill on the way home

2 thoughts on “Report – 10th CTC East Midlands Camping Rally, Beaumanor Hall

  1. John replied:

    Some good pictures, David!

    The one entitled “John struggles up a hill on the way home”, I would like to point out, was taken as I attacked the north face of the Hothorpe Hills just beyond Sibbertoft. OS have helpfully placed a black arrow here and the Meteorological Office provided a gale force headwind on that day. Even you were down to 3 m.p.h. and only just made it.

  2. John also thanked Ray Clay, the Rally organiser:

    Your new idea of having the sunny weather on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday was a real winner. The conditions on Friday did cause some psychological damage and post-traumatic stress to those of us cycling up from the south. But it actually enhanced the enjoyment of perfect cycling weather on the following days.

    Perhaps next year, however, you could refrain from turning the wind around for our journey home. Forty-five miles into a southerly gale can be a health and safety issue for a frail elderly person such as myself. I survived only by taking shelter for two hours in the Old Greyhound at Great Glen.

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