First of all, a big thank you to all those volunteers who helped to set-up and man our own Checkpoint throughout the day at Henstridge Golf and Leisure: Chris Smith, Marie McGladdery, Rachel Gray, Grace and Peter Batton, Sue Allen, Philippa Wirdnam and Ann Wells.
As there was no organised route, I can only write about the experiences of our small group of five: Phil Allen, Kevin Eddols, Dave Bramley, Ken Druce and myself. We assembled at Henstridge at 9am to help set-up and decided that from there we would travel up to the Somerset Section Checkpoint at Burecott Mill, near Wells. Then travel across country to the Stonehenge Section Checkpoint at Old Sarum Airfield, near Salisbury and finally down to the Wessex V&V Checkpoint at the Shillingstone Railway Trust.
Dorset Section Checkpoint
Somerset Section Checkpoint
Back at Henstridge, Ken had casually mentioned his clutch was slipping slightly, probably as a result of over filling his gearbox the day before. Anyway, we set off with me leading for this section of the route, and it certainly didn’t seem to affect him on our journey up to Wells where we checked-in and partook in some tea and Somerset Apple Cake, which, by the way, is nowhere near as good as Dorset Apple Cake.
But things were clearly not right with his Sunbeam. Some roadside adjustments were needed, so let’s drain that excess primary chaincase oil into an old cottage pie tray (still with some pie in it 🙂 ).
Stonehenge Section Checkpoint
After leaving Wells, things only got worse for Ken’s poor Sunbeam and a few miles west of Frome, we stopped on the A361 to take stock. It quickly became apparent that his clutch corks had burnt out and no amount of adjusting the clutch springs made any difference. A local farmer kindly took the poorly Sunbeam in and we continued on our way with Ken hitching a lift with Kevin. The Sunbeam was recovered later that evening with car and trailer.
Kevin led the way on the first part of this route, but once past Warminster, Dave took over and led us along a fabulous route from Longbridge Deverill to Old Sarum via Sutton Veny, Tytherington, Byton, Sherrington, Stockton, Wylye and Wilton.
It was very hot at Old Sarum, so ice creams all round!
Wessex V&V Section Checkpoint
Having rested at Old Sarum, time was matching on, so a fast run from Old Sarum to Shillingstone Railway Trust to check-in at the Wessex V&V Section before they closed at 4pm. Got there just in time and even found time for more refreshment in the platform Café.
Some familiar faces here: Peter Miller on his Humber with those magnificent headlamp “wings”, and Ian Clarke and Bette Barber packing their stand up into the Morgan:
Despite the Sunbeam breakdown, our small group had a great time and covered about 130 miles between the hours of 9:00am and 4:30pm, so quite a long day and I’m glad I had Bank Holiday Monday to recover.
On our own Checkpoint, we had:
- 17 Riders Signing-On (Henstridge was their first Checkpoint)
- 33 Riders visiting (Signed on at a previous Checkpoint)