To TA East members & friends

From Ferg Muir

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In just over a week from now – on SATURDAY 15TH FEBRUARY we will be gathering at one of the most attractive coffee venues in our region the

LOCK TEA ROOMS, HEYBRIDGE BASIN, NEAR MALDON  – overlooking the Blackwater estuary from the point where the Chelmer & Blackwater Canal meets the tideway.

From there our captain (south) Ian Mackenzie will lead the way to the lunch venue

The Chequers, Goldhanger, a pub of considerable character.

So to sum up the details:

Saturday  February 15th 2020:

Coffee: Lock Tea Rooms, Heybridge Basin CM9 4RS – Meet 10:30am;

Lunch at The Chequers, Goldhanger CM9 4AS;

Leader Ian Mackenzie 01702 204550


Also announced earlier today are the details of the:


Lea Valley/Comet Hut at Burton End, by the Ash pub.

Friday 27 March to Sunday 29 March

I’m planning a Run on Saturday and Sunday, writes Michael Keen

The Hut will be open from Friday lunch time

Breakfasts, and dinner on Saturday will e provided

Friday will be a takeaway.

Contact Michael on 07498 297373, Ring or Text.



By Ferg Muir

I was distinctly conscious as rode my Higgins out of Stowmarket that the weather forecast prophesied that there would be a crosswind until about 11am, when the wind was expected to swing west and could make the rest of my ride to Bradfield Combust very hard indeed.

I’d be reasonably sheltered from the crosswind by banks and hedges, but I needed to get through Cockfield Green, where my route turned quite sharply to the North, before that wind change – or it might get very hard indeed for a generously dressed old chap on a three-wheeler.

So, when the siren-voices of the Laleside Café, opposite the Shepherd & Dog at Onehouse called…. I tightened my toe-straps to bind me to the Higgins and pedaled on ……..

A sideways glace revealed a smart new wooden building and plenty of activity – all apparently supported by keen fishermen who caravan by the lake.

I am not very cycling fit at the moment, but one thing about going slowly on familiar roads is that you notice things that your younger, fitter self never did.

For instance climbing over the last rise before the golf club, there is a very fine cedar tree by some neglected gates that were loosely chained so there was just room for users of a public footpath to squeeze between them, but not enough for anything else.

Later on looking at the OS one-inch first edition map I saw  that  Gt Finborough Park once extended  this far, and this was a back entrance. 

Trees are at their barest about now and I was soon struck by how many large balls of mistletoe weighed down the branches of some roadside trees. There is more, I know, on the track that leads to the church. Onehouse really seems to be Mistletoe-land.

There’s along uphill trend to the road as it heads towards Felsham (Grid Ref TL947570) and here my age and unfitness really caught up with me and I crawled past the village pump, into the village.

I was hoping the Community Shop would be open. Exactly a year ago on the way to the 2019 East Lunch I had found it was their very first weekend open after the Village had got together to keep the business going.

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 It was open.  In the small add-on to an old cottage was a small grocery stores and Post Office.  With Coca-Cola and crisps – not very healthy , I know, but sure  to get my legs going  again.

The volunteer staff were welcoming and I looked around for useful groceries to buy, just to show support. There were even  2019 Cycling Plus magazines for10p each

This is several days ago now, and I’ve eaten several of these food item – they really seem better suited to ordinary people’s tastes than usual stuff from such a shop.

Perhaps locals choose what to order into stock better than, say, NISA executives.

Star buy was the apple juice – Cox’s Orange Pippin from Maynards Orchards, Bradfield Combust.  I’m drinking some right now, and it is good. Only possible downside was the heavy glass bottle – But I was confident my lift was no more than six miles away in the carpark of our lunch venue.

The shop closed at eleven, but there was a seat outside and I sat down to for my refueling.  It was a classic scene: churchyard and medieval church next door. Rooks in big trees to my right.

P1070129 (Copy).JPG

Revived, I pressed on, rolling across Cockfield Green – that vital bend – with the wind only just beginning to make itself felt.

Then I passed Bradfield St Clare water tower. Not particularly attractive, but this is East Anglia – that water tower is on the highest spot around.

I had finished climbing near the Rattlesden River – which flows SE into the Gipping, and then the  Orwell to meet the sea near Harwich.  Now the drift was down to the River Lark, whose waters drain to the Great Ouse and through the Fens to. King’s Lynn.

Yes, the site is only 97 metres above sea level – don’t laugh, you members of hillier Regions – but I had crossed the watershed.

I swept downhill, then up the final little climb, past great beds of snowdrops into Bradfield Combust village.

To lunch with the TA President and members and friends of the TA East.

That must be another story.


Attached is the latest version of the Spring Programme .

Please  remember that Martin Badham needs volunteers to make it happen while Pete Martin is having his hip replacement)

(Please ring Martin on 01603 897738)


Best Wishes to You All

Ferg Muir 01603 615000, fergusmuir@btinternet.com


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