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.
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]
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.
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 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!
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!
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.
During 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!”
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.
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.
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!).
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!
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.
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!
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!)
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: email@example.com and Twitter: @HighamLiane.
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
|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: