A Ride for Max Scott – Some Photographs

Max's brother-in-law says a few words

Max’s brother-in-law says a few words

Elevenses at Waterloo Farm Café

Elevenses at Waterloo Farm Café

Chatting in the queue at elevenses

Chatting in the queue at elevenses

Gathering along the lane south of Arthingworth

Gathering along the lane south of Arthingworth

Max's sister scatters his ashes

Max’s sister scatters his ashes

An affectionate marker

An affectionate marker

Some flowers from Max's garden

Some flowers from Max’s garden

A ride for Max Scott – Thursday 16th April

Everyone is invited to join this ride which will be a special occasion.  Thursday would have been Max’s 79th Birthday and his family are coming up from Suffolk to scatter his ashes along a quiet local lane.

Max Scott

             Max Scott

We will meet from 10.30 a.m. at Waterloo Farm Café, Great Oxendon, LE16 8NB. [Grid Ref SP 740 843]

The Ride will proceed to Great Oxendon turning right up the hill then left to Clipston, through the village to turn towards Kelmarsh, cross over A508 towards Harrington to turn left down the hill towards Arthingworth.  Here we will meet up towards the bottom of the hill by the last clump of trees at noon [Grid Ref SP 754 806].  The family will then conduct the scattering of Max’s ashes. Afterwards we shall proceed through Arthingworth up the hill to Desborough for lunch at the Tapas Grill and Wine Bar.  This is attached to “The Ritz” in Station Road, NN14 2RL. [Grid Ref SP 803 833]

Map of ride route

                       Map of ride route

Richard Daniells has circulated these details as there may be quite a few cyclists who are not regular attendees at Thursday Club rides but who may like to come to pay their last respects to Max in a local quiet spot of the kind that Max enjoyed.

As the Tapas Bar only holds approx 30 people, if a large number turn up there are other eating places locally: “The Bulls Head” Arthingworth and “The Tollmache Arms” at Harrington.

We look forward to seeing you on this special occasion and our last link with one of most loyal supporters of and workers for our pastime.

Max Scott – “Cycling is my life!”

I am very sorry to post on here sad news of the death of Max Scott.  He died on Tuesday (6th January) in Cransley Hospice, Kettering, after an illness which he fought with patience and good humour.Hallaton+Max+048

Max was a stalwart – the stalwart – of the Northamptonshire cycling scene.  He was secretary of CTC Northamptonshire & Milton Keynes (formerly the Northants & North Bucks CTC District Association); he officiated at its final AGM just two months ago.  He organised Kettering CTC; he played a major rôle in the Northampton & District Cycling Association; he publicised the Thursday Club.  And he did all those things over decades!Hallaton+Max+006

Max took to “new media” with aplomb, setting up and maintaining Kettering CTC’s website with photos, videos and downloadable calendars.  It was always a pleasure to receive one of his regular e-mails with details of rides and events.  The tourist trials!  The hilly 100ks!Trivelo

And he was a grand cycle tourist.  He’d been bitten by that bug when he was a young teenager.  His first adventure was to cycle with his sister from the family home near Ipswich in Suffolk to visit relatives in Kingston-upon-Thames.  On the journey there and back the young Scotts stayed in youth hostels.  Cycling and youth-hosteling became the loves of his life.

Beaumaonor+Weekend+068During his final illness friends rallied round offering to take on part of what they saw as the burden of the many organisational roles Max worked at.  He didn’t see them as a burden.  “Don’t take them away from me,” he said.  “Cycling is my life!”

Ride Report – Harrington Thor Missile Site

Ian M went on this ride, organised by Alex and guided on site by Steve, and writes:

Last night’s ride was from our Brampton Valley Way meeting point out to the old airfield at Harrington. There were seven of us on the ride and others also made their way to Harrington so that ten of us met with Alex’s friend Steve for a guided walk over the remains of the airfield with particular reference to the part it played in the Cold War. Most people associate Harrington with American bombing raids over Germany from 1943 (and also perhaps with the dropping of SOE parachutists into occupied Europe) but few perhaps realise the part the airfield played fifteen years later in the Cold War.

Between 1958 and 1963 (that’s from the launch of Sputnik to the Cuban Missile Crisis – the height of Soviet-American tension), Harrington was the home of one of the UK’s Thor Missile installations. It housed three intermediate range ballistic missiles (with a range capable of reaching Moscow) all tipped with nuclear warheads!

Steve met us at the roadside closest to the main WWII runway. He gave us a short introduction, handed out a site plan of the airfield (which he had drawn himself) together with a collection of contemporary photographs, a map of all the other Thor sites, and cutaway drawings of the southernmost launch site and of a Thor missile.

Paying attention to Steve's description - and to his hand-out

Paying attention to Steve’s description – and to his hand-out

Then, having locked our bikes together out of view of the road, we went on a thorough walk (and a thoroughly entertaining walk) of the site. The southernmost of the three missile launch pads is the one that has crumbled away least and it was here that we spent most time. With a guide like Steve, and with his drawings and photos, it was not at all difficult to imagine the buildings and operations as they were over fifty years ago – albeit now there are just a few ruins of buildings and oddly unremarkable marks of the nuclear front line.

Posts and wire from the security fencing

Posts and wire from the security fencing

But, with our guide, we were able to make out very clearly everything from rusting wire (that had been part of the security fencing) to the erecting and launching pad for a missile (shades of Dr Strangelove!).

At the erecting-launching pad

At the erecting-launching pad

There were the scarely visible paint marks which guided the personnel and the marks of the surveys which were used to aim the nuclear weapons.

We walked past the middle and northernmost launch pads towards the part of the site that had been the US compound – and there, looking for all the world like a prefab garage for a minibus, was the warhead store – a building which for a few years had held three nuclear warheads!

Nuclear warhead store

Nuclear warhead store

We met one or two birdwatchers – and a family from Rothwell who had always lived in the area and who remembered what their parents and grandparents had told them about the site. Then, after a good one-a-half hours at the site, it was time to pedal back to Northampton with the opportunity to carry on our discussions with Steve at The Brampton Halt.

Truly a very memorable evening!

Some of Steve’s work can be seen on the Facebook page of the Harrington Thor Preservation Society which is another treat!

Our route is here on RideWithGPS.

Social evening – “The Armstrong Lie” – Tuesday 8 April

Ian Macsporran has arranged a social evening and writes:

Next Tuesday is a social evening!

The Forum Cinema is showing “The Armstrong Lie” :

In 2009 Alex Gibney was hired to make a film about Lance Armstrong’s comeback to cycling. The project was shelved when the doping scandal erupted, and re-opened after Armstrong’s confession. This film picks up in 2013 and presents a riveting, insider’s view of the unravelling of one of the most extraordinary stories in the history of sports. As Lance Armstrong himself says: “I didn’t live a lot of lies, but I lived one big one.”
The cinema is off the Billing Brook Road at NN3 8JR. May I suggest we meet in the foyer at 7.15 p.m.? If coming by bike, folding bikes can be kept in their office; for full-size bikes there is a locked cage at the rear. If you want to use the cage, please let me know by Monday and I will visit the cinema again to make sure we have access.

The running time is 2 hrs 04 mins. Afterwards, we could enjoy a drink at “The Bold Dragoon” in Weston Favell Village (48 High Street, NN3 3JW) where bikes can be left at the rear. It’s the nearest pub with good ales (e.g. Timothy Taylor’s) to the cinema.

Any questions? Want to let me know you’re coming? I’m on 07960 302095!

Ian M

Group Bike Rides – Led by Women for Women

Northampton Breeze Rides

Easy led circular routes for novices on cycle paths and trails to local coffee shops.

Liane Higham loves making bikes rides a breeze for women who aren’t confident on their bike.  Liane’s rides take place in and around Northampton along lovely circular routes along designated cycle paths and trails and finishing in the nicest possible way – with coffee, cake and a chat! (The evening rides in the summer have been known to start and finish at a pub!)

Breeze Northampton

The short , traffic-free rides are ideal for busy mums and anyone who hasn’t been on a bike for a while and would like to go for a casual bike ride with a small group of women from their area.  So, if you fancy an easy-going bike ride and a chance to meet new people and get some gentle exercise, contact Liane e-mail: breezenorthampton@yahoo.co.uk and Twitter: @HighamLiane.

Midweek Rides in Northamptonshire – Nov/Dec 2012

As promised at the AGM, I have compiled a short list of the organised
midweek rides which I know about that are available in Northamptonshire.

Midweek Rides in Northamptonshire – Nov/Dec 2012

Date Day Event Start Elevenses Lunch Organization Contact Phone No
Nov 1 Thu Elevenses to Lunch   Geddington Geddington Thursday Club Tony Page  
Nov 6 Tue Day ride Rothwell Rockingham Gretton Kettering CTC Max Scott 01536 712507
Nov 7 Wed Lunch meet     Irchester 40+ CC Roy Presland 01933 314831
Nov 8 Thu Elevenses to Lunch   Gt Oxenden Gt Oxenden Thursday Club Mick McAteer  
Nov 13 Tue Morning ride Rothwell Hallaton   Kettering CTC Max Scott 01536 712507
Nov 14 Wed Lunch meet     Tilbrook 40+ CC Roy Presland 01933 314831
Nov 15 Thu Elevenses to Lunch   Broughton Broughton Thursday Club Shirley Hockridge  
Nov 20 Tue Morning ride Rothwell Brixworth   Kettering CTC Max Scott 01536 712507
Nov 21 Wed Lunch meet     Odell 40+ CC Roy Presland 01933 314831
Nov 22 Thu Elevenses to Lunch   Oundle Oundle Thursday Club Robert Holmes  
Nov 27 Tue Morning ride Rothwell Gt Oxenden   Kettering CTC Max Scott 01536 712507
Nov 28 Wed Lunch meet     Wollaston 40+ CC Roy Presland 01933 314831
Dec 4 Tue Day ride Rothwell Rockingham Gretton Kettering CTC Max Scott 01536 712507
Dec 5 Wed Lunch meet     Sharnbrook 40+ CC Roy Presland 01933 314831
Dec 11 Tue Morning ride Rothwell Medbourne   Kettering CTC Max Scott 01536 712507
Dec 12 Wed Lunch meet     Grendon 40+ CC Roy Presland 01933 314831
Dec 13 Thu Elevenses to Lunch   Cottingham Cottingham Thursday Club Sue Etheridge  
Dec 18 Tue Morning ride Rothwell Brixworth   Kettering CTC Max Scott 01536 712507
Dec 19 Wed Lunch meet     Yelden 40+ CC Roy Presland 01933 314831


Highlighted rides are ones that strike me as rideable – comfortably – from Northampton.

For further details of elevenses and lunch stops, see:

Midweek rides – any thoughts?

Our rides secretary, Iain Dawson, has had a request for the next rides planning meeting to consider offering mid-week rides.  Brian, our secretary,  and Philip, our chair, certainly remember the mid-week evening rides – to a pub venue for a social – which happened a few years ago.  When Iain mentioned the request, I had the following thoughts:

First, I’m probably in the “target group” that would enjoy mid-week rides and I should therefore put myself forward for leading one or two.

It seems to me that there could be several models of ride:

  • Copy the Sunday rides – meet at 9.30 a.m., ride through the day with stops for elevenses and lunch.
  • Copy the Saturday rides – meet at 9.30 a.m. or 2.00 p.m. for just a morning or afternoon ride
  • Copy Kettering’s Thursday Club rides – meet at the elevenses stop, ride together to the lunch stop, then ride separately home
  • Copy the 40+ Club rides – ride separately to and from a lunch stop social meeting
  • And the evening rides that Brian remembers – meet at 7.00 p.m. and ride to a pub to ride home in the dark (more a summer than winter activity for most, I should think)

Now Philip has suggested that the AGM (on Wednesday 24th October, 7.30 p.m., Park Avenue church Rooms) would be the place to gauge interest.  Iain is presenting his report as rides secretary (Item 3d) and there’s another chance to put forward ideas for the coming year’s programme at Item 9.  So here are some questions to think about – if you too are in the “target group”:

  • Should we stick to one model of ride?
  • Or mix and match?
  • Stick to a set day of the week?

I’d be happy to offer to lead one or two rides on the Thursday Club model, just sorting out a route between elevenses and lunch.

What do you think? I’m hoping for a short but interested discussion at the AGM.