To TA East members and friends
From Ferg Muir

I have just returned hotfoot from the postbox, having sent off my entries for the
TA INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE RACES at Fowlmead near Deal, Kent, on Sunday June 2 

The closing date had crept up on me…ENTRIES ARE DUE TO CLOSE TOMORROW (27th April) and Geoff and Liz Booker are hoping to hear from you. There are details on p48 of the Spring TA Gazette – note there is a clubrun for non-racers. I will try and attach an entry form & details to this email.

Deal sounds like a very attractive small town and the prospect of visiting has set me re-reading “The Boy with no Shoes” by William Horwood.
Deal is the background to most of the book and is very vividly portrayed.
Horwood became the author of the Duncton Wood series of anthropomorphic stories set in the South Downs and went on to write “sequels” to The Wind in the Willows.

“The Boy…..” is an almost completely autobiographical account of his somewhat dysfunctional upbringing in Deal – which is lightly disguised as “Stoning”.
This page www.williamhorwood.co.uk/writer-information.html will help clarify what’s what. The book is a powerful read.

My plan for the International weekend is to stay at the independent hostel at Doddington, just south of Faversham as a staging post on the way from the Tilbury – Gravesend Ferry to Fowlmead.

The Chairman and I used this hostel the night before the Bill Finch Memorial 25 earlier this month and it proved to be very good. Details at www.palacefarm.com/

The only threat to this plan is that the TA East have just one marshalling commitment to the East District Cycling Association this year – and is in Norfolk on the day of the International,Sunday 2nd June. With many of our racing members planning to be at Fowlmead that day….
The event is the EDCA 10 mile Championship, starting at 8am on the Tottenhill- Bexwell course near Downham Market. Should be all over by 11am.
Anyone who thinks they could help, please contact Martin, our Chairman/Time Trial Sec, on
01603 897738 or martin.badham@talktalk.net

Another reason to contact Martin is to enter or promise help with the
TA EAST “100” – Saturday May 11th based at FAKENHAM with the North Norfolk Whs 100.
Entries close on Tuesday (30th April)
This event was very successful last year and is on the same course of three 33 mile laps.
Start 12 Noon £9.00. M Badham, 9 St Pauls Close, Horsford, Norwich NR10 3HG Tel 01603 897738
Course B100/9 Three laps of circuit Fakenham-Hillington-Gayton-Fakenham
Suggested campsite: Fakenham Campsite, Burnham Market Road, Sculthorpe, NR21 9SA Grid Ref TF908310 Tel 01328 856614.
But this year note different Event HQ – Hempton Village Hall Grid ref TF914292

With a 12 Noon start it is well worth considering staying at the excellent Wells-next-the-Sea YHA hostel which is just 10 miles away in this very attractive coastal town.

Trying to learn from last year, when support for the associated social meet was small, there is no fixed plan for Sunday but impromptu arrangements are of course possible.

Instead the next TA EAST MEET is four days later – should be enough time to recover – An EVENING MEET on Wednesday 15th May at the PUNCH BOWL Battisford Tye which is central and accessible to all the northern part of our region and to Stowmarket Station.. This is a community-run country pub with good food and beer. It is about 4 miles SSW of Stowmarket, IP14 2LQ Grid Ref TM 024 54. 7pm onwards, I suggest.

It was a bit of a shock to get a phone call from our Loddon member ADRIAN PERKIN saying he has had a heart attack. The very thin and fit Adrian was fortunately in bed rather than rock-climbing when pains across the arms and chest told him something was wrong and he was able to summon help. A paramedic came within half an hour. The upshot was three days in the Norfolk & Norwich. Adrian sounded bright enough on the phone, but quite only time will tell what the future holds.

Several of our members went on the Veteran-Cycle Club Easter Trudge including Chairman Martin who gave his probably Edwardian Swift trike its first substantial run since being rescued from the bottom of a Cambridgeshire river, and Andrew Pattle and his wife who were on their tandem trike. There are several pictures on the On3wheels forum :

The route took riders past the St Peters Brewery in South Elmham and the Pattles took the opportunity to pop in the Brewery Shop and load up with a case of 16 bottles of beer which sat nicely on the back of the tandem trike. Shortly afterwards Martin reported coming up behind them and noticing that their rear wheels – always somewhat wayward on this machine – were leaning inwards at an angle never seen before. The axle had given up under the weight of its precious load.
And a trudge it became, quite literally, until TA member Bill Ives got to his car and drove back to pick them up.

Martin, meanwhile, was enjoying rolling across High Suffolk on his stately mount with its bottom bracket 10 inches off the road and a very upright Martin far above that. However, as you probably know, these claylands are intersected by rivers flowing in quite distinct valleys, often with villages strung along the valley bottom – Wissett being the case in point. The Swift and a well-fed Martin weigh quite a lot together and started to sweep downhill towards Wissett with a vengeance, the only discouragement being applied by a very crude front brake and a hundred year-old fixed transmission that reacted unfavourably to back pedalling.

Normally our Chairman would be unfazed – on reaching the Give Way sign at the valley road he would hang out to the left like a true crit-racing man, shoot round to the left and meld with any passing traffic.
However, on trying to do this, he realised that with sit-up-and-beg handlebars sweeping almost as far back as his waist, that there was not enough room for his body between the bars and a fast rotating knobbly back tyre……

Quite what our hero did with his “one leap” I am not entirely clear – but he lived to tell the tale.

And somewhere on the internet I have seen a picture of the Pattle’s back axle, now all straight and in pristine new white paint, waiting to be re-attached to their tandem frame.

{a bit later in the thread mentioned above}

Best wishes to you all
Ferg Muir 01603 615000 fergusmuir@btinternet.com


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