We seemed to escape the worst of the weather at Astley where the TA celebrated the Bank Holiday with our traditional 50 mile time Championship for the Bruce Kingsford Memorial Trophy. Ferg Muir and Martin Badham arrived on Friday afternoon and pitched their tents before going in search of the Village Hall keyholder. With arrangements made for access to the washing facilities we set off for the ‘Dog in the Lane’ and our evening meal. We had only walked a short way when Paul Potter arrived, so we gave him final directions and he set off to pitch his tent before joining us for a pint or two.

Next morning, we were joined by John and Carol Pardoe and Jim Hopper and, while Ferg set off to explore Mid Wales, the rest of us rode to Wem, picking Martin and Alison Purser up en-route. At Wem we were welcomed by Edwin and Shelagh Hargraves together with Peter Martin then Edwin led us through the intricate lanes around Whixall and over the lifting bridge over the canal until we eventually arrived at the Moat Shed where a table had been booked for elevenses. After the requisite photo opportunities we pressed on with the Pursers returning to their digs, to the Black Birches garden centre for lunch before Martin B and Paul sprinted off to the NEC meeting while Jim and the rest enjoyed their afters.

Later, with many new arrivals at the Village Hall, we enjoyed Celia Elliott’s excellent meals and much discussion. With the 50 in the morning it was a fairly early night for all, and we were present around the course by 8am as the drizzle began. Marshalling at Espley Island it didn’t last too long but the rain was very patchy so I cannot speak for the rest of the course. The new course went up to Prees Heath and back to Espley before returning to Prees Heath before going back to Espley and, shortly, the finish. This cuts out the bad road surface on the Telford leg of bitter memory. Barry Charlton was a welcome returner to the trike testing scene and he finished just outside 2 hours with Carl Saint a close second and new trikie Andy Newham not far behind. Results on the 2015 Results page.

Back at the headquarters, Celia and her assistants had laid out a welcoming buffet for feeding the troops and we congratulated the prize winners before heading for tea at the neighbouring Oakgate Garden Centre. Celia’s culinary delights awaited us soon after our return to HQ then some , including Carl, turned in before an even earlier start in the Anfield 100 next day and some drifted down to the Dog for a nightcap.

A warm thankyou to all involved in running a successful weekend.


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