To TA East Members & Friends

This is the weekend for PICNICS BY THE GRASS TRACKS – on Saturday 3rd Bredfield near Woodbridge and on Sunday 4th at the Boadicea Way Sports Complex, Colchester, CO2 9BG, both from 1pm.

Grass track racing usually takes the form of a quick-fire series on races on a temporary oval track marked out on a playing field. Trikes events fit quite well between the bike races because it gives the bike riders a chance to recover.

For spectators this can be a sociable afternoon that costs nothing at all, though there will be food and drink available to buy if you prefer. Bring something to sit on – bike cape or picnic chair or whatever, and with the warm weather which is forecast, the atmosphere is one akin to a village cricket match, with something more clear-cut and exciting to watch.

FOR THE COMPETITIVE, trike entry IS still possible at both events, (though in this case there will be entry and day racing licence fees to pay)
Greta Spiers is down to ride, so newcomers are unlikely to be left miles behind. At the other end of the competitive spectrum, anyone with serious ambitions in the TA Criterium League won’t want to let Geoff Booker have it all his own way.

Other social opportunities over the weekend include :
EARLY ELEVENSES AT THE QUAY CAFE, WOODRIDGE on Saturday morning – 10.30 ish.

The evening meal on Saturday is planned for HASKETON TURKS HEAD. If you have difficulty finding us, I will carry my mobile phone 07906 321132. (Beware – at other times I rarely look at my mobile).

BREDFIELD has a pleasant feel about it – the village Community Shop – right by the track will be opening specially and has a lovely relaxed atmosphere and speciality food.
This is the homeland of Edward FitzGerald – the translator of Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. He was squire of Boulge, a mile away by footpath.

COLCHESTER is a new venue for trike grass-track racing. However the town does have an appropriate history – a Roman chariot racing track has recently been unearthed there. If you don’t believe me see:
I’m afraid there isn’t anything to see of this at the moment. If you want one memory of Roman Colchester, then the still standing Balkerne Gate at TL994252 is probably the best bet.

I will put the practical details for finding the trike venues at the end of this email

We had a good day at Thorpe-le-Soken and Frinton. There are photos on the East Gallery of the TA Website and the Chairman’s account on the East News page.
Landermere Quay, which we vsited in the afternoon, is quite unspoilt and little changed from this paragraph in Arthur Ransome’s 1939 children’s novel “Secret Water” – the first full-length book I ever read.
“They rowed on through a bit of open water, with patches of mud still showing here and there. On one side of it was an old quay, with some native boats pulled up beside it. Behind the quay were cottages and a field in which horses wee grazing, flicking flies with their tails. Under the quay, some men in shirt sleeves and trousers… were painting a boat. The explorers landed on a bit of gravel beside the quay, and climbed up it to have a look round from above over the islands and the channels through which they had come”

Unluckily, we did not quite meet up with Len and Eva Robinson from Brentwood who rode their tandem trike from Holland Haven through Frinton to Walton and back without actually encountering us, but clearly had an interesting day.

At the end of the same day the Chairman & I had AN ENCOUNTER IN KING STREET

We were riding along King Street in Norwich in deep dusk last Friday evening.
King Street is about the oldest street in the city, now re-cobbled and almost traffic-free. Martin and I had just got off the train after the Frinton Meet and were heading for our respective homes.

I took a few moments to take in what I was seeing ahead, trundling through the film-set street scene before saying “What ARE we catching up?”

Swaying along side by side were two beautiful vehicles which looked from behind like a cross between Alan Nye’s Austin Ruby (see the TA East Gallery) and a very small horse-drawn carriage – only more rounded.

At the traffic lights we came alongside. The machines turned out to be German-built pedal tricycle rickshaws. Their riders were as surprised to see us as we had been to see them.
City cruisers or pedal taxis are other descriptions I have subsequently seen.
There is more about them at www.3wheelads.co.uk/

(PS My latest idea on how these addresses work is this :- put the cursor over the address, hold down “ctrl” and left click).

A message from his wife Angela tells me that sadly our member Roger Palmer died as a result of prostate cancer in Australia on June 9th.
In the 1990’s and beyond Roger and Angela were living in Ixworth and were regular attenders at TA social meets. Roger had one of the last HR Morris trikes built but back trouble resulting from his service in the police meant that he rode it less and less in the later years.
He originated from Norwich and maintained his membership of the Norwich Amateur Bicycle Club, of which he was a Vice-President.
Mike Johnson of the NABC writes of these earlier days:
I first knew Roger in the early 50s, probably 54/55, when he joined the Amateurs & was a regular on club runs in those days. I, & Jan, have many,many happy memories of riding with him every Sunday, summer & winter, whatever the weather. I don’t think he ever raced during that period………….. He & Angela, were regulars at the Sunday midday Annual Dinners which I (MJ) organised at the Loddon “Swan” back in the 90s, travelling up from Ixworth.

We send our sincere condolences to Angela

Looking at the Start Sheet of the Icknield 12 Hour it’s interesting to see that tricyclist Ralph Dadswell has a bigger Previous Best mileage than any of the bike entrants. However the field placing and forum comment suggests that there are bicyclists on the card who have not previously ridden a “Twelve” but are expected to go further than Ralph.
Not something I recall happening before, though.

Interesting that Ebay currently has a TA Medal for sale (only until tomorrow) which was originally awarded to Cliff Cawkwell in 1948.
Cliff will have been in Sheffield then, I think, but later he lived near King’s Lynn, attended some of our meets and marshalled the East 100s on the Swaffham –Hardwick- Mundford circuit.
A lively and interesting companion who was in particular a mine of information on river matters – having worked for the river authority.

There was a fast evening on the Wymondham by-pass on Wednesday for the CC Breckland 10. Martin Badham & Ray Legg did a remarkable 26:30 –way faster than their solo rides would lead you to expect. Ferg Muir and powerhouse Mark Ready did 25:04.
See mphotography website at

to see the two pairs approaching the turn, Ferg & Mark having just caught Martin & Ray

Practical details for this weekend:
FERRY QUAY CAFE (Sat 10.30 ish) Woodbridge waterfront is at TM 275488
This is very near Woodbridge railway station, where there is a car park.
The railway cuts off Woodbridge town from the river. Access to the Ferry Quay Cafe is via the rather odd double footbridge at the station. DO NOT GO IN THE STATION, but choose the parallel footbridge one end of which is between the station and the Riverside Cafe (not for us) and cinema. CROSS THE RAILWAY. You will find the wonderful Deben estuary spread out before you, and the Ferry Quay Cafe – a bit like a Portacabin with tables outside – near the footbridge.

BREDFIELD Village Hall is TM269532.
It will be possible to camp by the track, which is a recreation ground

HASKETON TURKS HEAD is at Grid Ref TM 247506 IP13 6JG

Boadicea Way is about 2 miles from Colchester town centre. It is a left turn off the B1022, or a right turn off the B1026. These two B roads both lead out of Colchester southwestwards towards MALDON

Hope to see many of you during the weekend!

Ferg Muir 15 Calvert Street, Norwich NR3 1BY 01603 615000 fergusmuir@btinternet.com


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