Sunday, 11 August 2013

9 Aug: Ride on the Marriott Way (car-assisted)

Adrian writes: Ten members, Mick C. Averil, Steve G. David S. Jacob, Roger and Lesley B. Vic S. John T. and myself, arrived at Malcolm Fry (an old Cambridge CTC member) and Barbara's bungalow at Hellesdon on the outskirts of Norwich where we were leaving our cars for our day out on the track of an old railway line, now called the Marriott Way, stopping at Drayton for coffee and then going to Reepham station for lunch and then back by roads to Hellesdon.

It was raining on the drive up to Norwich but stopped soon after arriving and stayed mostly dry for the rest of the day.

On leaving Hellesdon we headed south to pick up the Marriott Way trail an old train track east of New Costessey where we headed north west to Drayton, here we turned off the track into Drayton village for our early morning coffee stop in the café at the bakers shop. All the food and drinks were o/k for most of us, but Jacob had ordered scrambled egg on toast and when we were about to leave it had still not arrived so he cancelled it and of cause did not pay for it, which seemed to cause the staff some problems but not us.

After coffee we returned back onto the old railway track and carried on till we got just past Whitwell station, here there was a notice and a barrier across the track to stop people and horse going the next half mile or so as badgers had undermined the bank and made it unsafe, (as with all cyclist it did not mean us), so we carried our bikes over the barrier and carried on up the trail, we had not gone far when we were confronted by a friendly workman working at the sit who would not let us through as he said it was to dangerous to proceed and we had to use the signed diversion route via the road. All of us did except Jacob who found an off road route and so we did not see him again until we got to lunch. The route by the road diversion was about a mile or two before we rejoined the track again, we carried on and round the Themelthorpe Curve (which was know as the sharpest curve in the entire British rail network when the line was in use) and onto Reepham station where we rejoined Jacob again, for lunch.

Booton Church

Booton Church

After lunch we all headed south east out of Reepham, (on road) to Booton and the unusual Booton church which I am informed was built by the poor of the area, then on to Brandiston, past the west side of a wartime airfield to Swannington. In Swannington village we turned left by the church down a tarmac no through road, at the end of which was a farm with a farm shop selling meat produced on the farm, Steve and John went inside and bought some meat produce, probably to cook when they got home. There was a bridleway that carried on at the end of the farm road and we followed this for nearly a mile to a lane which went to Felthorpe, from there some more lanes before getting back onto the Marriott Way railway track again.

As Steve, Jacob and David wanted to get home by 6.00 pm, they left us and carried on at a faster pace straight back to there car and then home. While the rest of us went back to Drayton village (where we had had coffee in the morning but were not intending to stop this afternoon), to turn onto roads north to the Norwich Aviation Museum which is situated on the north side of Norwich airport just south of Horsham St Faith and not far from where we were. There are a number of static planes on show, including a Valcon, a Nimrod some fighter jets, a Westland helicopter, a Harrier and other well know planes. Four of us went in and looked around the aircraft and display huts while the others went for a drink in the café.

We left the museum about 5.00pm and went back to Malcolm and Barbara's where a wonderful tea was awaiting us with rolls, Salad, cakes including a delicious home-made carrot cake and tea. After eating and chatting for some time we put the bikes in/on the cars, thanked Malcolm and Barbara very much for there hospitality and headed home.

I was home at 9.20pm having really enjoyed the day and company, which all the others said they did as well.

Thanks to all who came and to Malcolm and Barbara for the glorious food and letting us park there, looking forward to see you all at the next one! Adrian Lee

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