As he rose to call the company to order Thames Valley Region Chairman Bernard Lamb wore a T-shirt bearing the words “Old Guys Rule”, but in this respect he could not hold a candle to Richard Howard, sitting a little further along the table. Richard, the former Unity CC racing man (335 miles for a trike 24 hour, before WWII) is 101 – 102 next month – and was there with his son Peter.

Venue was the grand but welcoming Bridgewater Arms, almost opposite the gates of the Ashridge Estate where, on the way to the lunch I was able to explore the sunken road in a cutting lined with brick and flint walls that cuts across the southern end of this National Trust property.

Among those attending it was especially good to see former trike-builder Ken Rogers and his wife plus a trio of national officials – Treasurer Alison Purser, Secretary Richard Bailey and – proposing the Toast to the Region – President Geoff Booker.

The raffle was swiftly dispatched on a pound-in-an-envelope system, and I was lucky that my envelope was second one to be drawn. I was homing in on a splendid red Chris Hewett Cycles bonk-bag, when it was whipped off the prize table with a muffled “no, no, that’s not a prize”.

However, the company was wonderful and though the forecast rain had well truly arrived by the time we all left, it was downhill and downwind almost all the way to my temporary lodgings in Eaton Bray. What more could you ask?


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