South Dartmoor CTC


Saturday 18 September 1993Weekend ride: Steps Bridge Youth Hostel
2 present: Neil Ault, Michael Jones
This hostel weekend was cancelled as no bookings had been received by the latest booking date.

Friday 24 September 1993Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): West BuckfastleighOvercast with showers
5 present: Neil Ault, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Michael Jones, Paul Oakley, Phillip Oakley
Michael had great plans for the last evening ride of the season - and so, it seems, did the other riders, although their plans had more to do with an early return to Crofters than riding to an interesting destination!

When we got to the lanes behind Buckfast the weather was looking more promising, so Michael suggested the climb to Cross Furzes. He was totally outvoted by Matthew, Paul, Philip and Neil, and since Matthew had no lights Michael decided to give in and cut the ride short.

Sunday 26 September 1993Day ride: Tinners' HutSunny, 15ºC
10 present: Neil Ault, Tao Burgess, Dave Humphreys, Michael Jones, Sebastian Lessware, Paul Oakley, Eliot Thomas-Wright, Andrew Walker, Charlie Walker, Robert Walker
Paul Oakley
Tao Burgess at Cornwood
Tao & Eliot enjoying lunch by the river Erme
The start of the track from Torr to Tinners' Hut
Seb carrying his bike across the river after lunch
Robert Walker and Eliot Wright enjoying the river
Starting the final descent to Owley
The Erme valley, overlooking our lunch spot
Paul and Neil on the track to Owley
Video clips from today's ride
We last attempted this ride several years ago, so we were looking forward to the action with enthusiasm. The ride to Cornwood was scenic but uneventful. When we reached Torr, Charlie and Dave decided to take the road route home via Harford while the rest of us set off for the stony track to the Tinners' Hut.

We were intercepted at the start of the track by a local resident who seemed to feel it was his duty to interrogate everyone who was headed for the moor: I don't think he fully understands the purpose of national parks! After trying to put us off for ten minutes he eventually realised that we were determined to go, and wished us well.

The track was excellent, our progress being impeded only by the occasional moorland pony that crossed the path. We lunched in a delightful sheltered glade beside the river, and then continued slowly in search of a suitable crossing point. We soon found a place with plenty of big boulders, and eventually we were across with only a few wet feet.

The climb to the track on the ridge was much harder, especially for the younger riders, so the fit ones came back and helped them with their bikes. When we eventually found Tao (who had veered a little too far to the left during the climb) we followed the track for a few miles and then took the track descent to Owley. Here again there was room for error, when the leading riders veered too far left and found themselves surrounded by waste-high bracken! They persevered along their selected route, even though they could see the rest of us making much better progress on the path!

We had hoped to meet Charlie and Dave at the Copper Kettle at 4pm, but in fact it was closed for the day and Dave and Charlie were nowhere to be seen. We made our separate ways home at the end of another excellent adventure.

Sunday 3 October 1993Afternoon ride: TorbryanDry start, drizzle later
8 present: Neil Ault, Mark Barber (Junior, Devon), Michael Jones, Unknown Rider 1, David Robinson, Eliot Thomas-Wright, Andrew Walker, Charlie Walker
Dave Robinson informed us at Torbryan that the previous owners of the Primrose cafe at Lustleigh had taken over an old pub near Ogwell and converted it to tearooms. We saw a pub marked on the map near Ogwell and agreed that we should investigate.

On arrival at Denbury, the sky became overcast and Dave remembered something else about the place: it was near Caton! Michael immediately thought of the Rising Sun Inn near Woodland, and decided to investigate it on the way home.

As we approached we noticed the old Rising Sun signs now showed Rising Sun Tearooms, so we felt sure we were on the right track. Sure enough, there was Roger Olver himself serving teas and cakes from his new premises. It was packed, as you might expect, and very tastefully designed inside. The prices haven't gone down, but neither has our discount: I'm sure we'll be returning again!

Friday 8 October 1993
Social: Annual General Meeting
9 present: Neil Ault, Richard Burge, Michael Jones, Sebastian Lessware, Chris Platt, Andrew Walker, Charlie Walker, Lorraine Walker, Robert Walker
The meeting this year was a fairly quiet affair. The only changes to the Section Committee were that Neil Ault became the treasurer and Seb Lessware became Publicity Officer and Section Delegate.

Publicity representatives were elected as follows:

Two motions were considered, all proposed by the Section Secretary:

A: That the Section should return to Leusdon Lodge for the 1993 Christmas Lunch to see if the new owners will provide a satisfactory service.

There was general agreement that the Moorland Hotel had offered large portions of good food at a reasonable price, but that lack of a private room was a disadvantage. The motion was carried.

B: That a new publicity position be introduced to cover villages such as Ipplepen, Staverton, Broadhempston and Landscove.

The motion was amended as follows: That the Publicity Officer should ensure that posters are presented in all villages in the area as far as possible, either by making personal visits, requesting existing publicity officer to make visits, or posting leaflets and posters to known locations in the villages.

The amended motion was carried. Michael agreed to make a few initial contacts. Additional villages discussed included Denbury, Ogwell, Kingskerswell, Bovey Tracey, Kingsteignton, Bickington and Chudleigh.

Other Business

1. Lorraine Walker offered a pre-Christmas social at Paignton on 10 December.

2. It was agreed that the pick-up time for Avonwick starts should be changed from 11.00 to 11.15 to allow more time for the Paignton and Totnes contingents to arrive.

3. It was agreed that the survival blanket need not now be purchased and that Dave Robinson's £2 donation should therefore be returned with thanks.

4. South area decided that it was sensible to put destinations on local rides, and Charlie agreed to send Michael a list of destinations for use in subsequent newsletters.

5. South Area prefer morning rides to afternoon rides, so all South Area afternoon rides that do not meet up with North Area afternoon rides will be converted to morning rides with immediate effect.

6. The drop in attendances were a cause for concern, and it was therefore agreed that every effort should be made by all members to recruit additional children and adults to the club as quickly as possible.

7. Dave Humphreys agreed by telephone to lead one ride per month, and Dave Robinson and Charlie agreed that their names could be used on posters in their area.

Sunday 10 October 1993Day ride: Ten TorsDry & sunny
13 present: Neil Ault, Richard Burge, Tao Burgess, Michael Jones, Alex Lessware, Sebastian Lessware, Paul Oakley, David Robinson, Andrew Walker, Charlie Walker, Robert Walker, Ben Widger, Tom Widger
Richard Burge
Alex Lessware at Haytor
Cousins Tom Widger and Alex Lessware
The youngsters on Top Tor
Michael Jones
Michael Jones
Climbing to Bell Tor
Tao Burgess and Paul Oakley
Ben Widger
Admiring the Widecombe valley from Bell Tor
Tao shows how to ride the slippery ford at Ponsworthy Splash
Richard Burge
Dr Blackall's Drive
Admiring the magnificent view to the Dart valley from Dr Blackall's Drive
Paul Oakley and Tao Burgess try out a rock seat
Video clips from today's ride
We followed our usual route again this year, taking in Haytor, Saddle Tor, Rippon Tor, Top Tor, Pill Tor, Binehill Rocks, Bell Tor, Chinkwell Tor, Honeybag Tor and Mel Tor. The cycling distance was only 25 miles for Buckfastleigh starters, but the walking made the event quite tiring.

Ten members completed all the tors, and they will all receive their certificates at the Christmas lunch. Names as follows:

Tao Burgess
Paul Oakley
Richard Burge
Neil Ault
Alex Lessware
Seb Lessware
Ben Widger
Tom Widger
Michael Jones
Andy Walker

Sunday 17 October 1993Morning ride: Spitchwickcold, sunny and calm
9 present: Neil Ault, Mark Barber, Michael Jones, Alex Lessware, Martin Luke, Paul Oakley, Eliot Thomas-Wright, Jeremy Unknown (10, Devon), Tom Widger
Martin Luke selected this perfect autumn morning to make a tentative comeback to club life. We took in the best of the autumnal scenery by riding the track through Hembury Woods to Gallant Le Bower and New Bridge, and then riding (and pushing) the riverside path to Spitchwick. It really is surprising how a path can seem totally different when traversed in the opposite direction!

When everyone had just begun to enjoy Spitchwick, Michael urged us onwards through the woodlands and up the steep climb to Buckland in the Moor. There was a general desire to stop for refreshments, so we made our inaugural visit to the Round House cafe. Paul had no money and Tom, confident that there would be no cafe stop today, had spent all his at the start of the ride.

Jeremy, who performed excellently on his first ride, reckoned the bakewell tart was excellent!

Friday 22 October 1993
Social: Board Games
5 present: Neil Ault, Richard Burge, Chris Giles, Michael Jones, Chris Platt
Risk was the selected board game this evening. The winner was ... Budgie!

Sunday 24 October 1993Day ride: Hansel MillCold, grey but dry
11 present: Neil Ault, Michael Jones, Alex Lessware, Sebastian Lessware, Mark Moxham, Paul Oakley, Chris Platt, Andrew Walker, Charlie Walker, Robert Walker, Tom Widger
Totnes pick-up. Out via Tuckenhay for a change, joined with Strete road then turned off for Hansel Mill. Took a wrong turning during the descent and ended up in an overgrown glade infested with midges. As we were too hungry to climb back up the hill before lunch we made the most of it as a lunch spot first. Returned through Diptford.

Sunday 31 October 1993Day ride: North BoveyAnticyclonic gloom
11 present: Neil Ault, Tao Burgess, Michael Jones, Sebastian Lessware, Mark Moxham, Paul Oakley, John Stuart, Andrew Walker, Charlie Walker, Ben Widger, Tom Widger
This was an "autumnal ride".

Friday 5 November 1993
Social: Computer Games
3 present: Neil Ault, Chris Giles, Michael Jones
The date being what it was, attendance was somewhat low this evening. Chris Giles made full use of the computer games, however.

Saturday 6 November 1993Weekend ride: Maypoool Youth Hostel Day 1Grey / cold
5 present: Neil Ault, Tao Burgess, Michael Jones, Paul Oakley, Eliot Thomas-Wright
Maypool was good fun as always, although the wardens were a little stingy with the food and a little sharp with the youngsters. The firework display looked spectacular against the backdrop of the river Dart and the Dartmouth lights.

The younger members, who had been pressing Michael for months to tell them a really good ghost story at a hostel, didn’t get too good a reception for the one he told tonight - it had a rather disappointing ending!

Sunday 7 November 1993Weekend ride: Maypoool Youth Hostel Day 2Grey / cold
5 present: Neil Ault, Tao Burgess, Michael Jones, Paul Oakley, Eliot Thomas-Wright
On Sunday morning, when chores had been completed, we rode at high speed to Marldon to lead the local morning ride …

Sunday 7 November 1993Morning ride (Paignton): Stover Country ParkGrey / cold
7 present: Neil Ault, Tao Burgess, Michael Jones, Sebastian Lessware, Paul Oakley, Philip Robinson, Eliot Thomas-Wright
Seb and Phillip Robinson were waiting for us. The ride took us through Compton, East Ogwell and Highweek to the fascinating paths and tracks of Stover Lake Country Park. We enjoyed lunch by the lake and then sped off towards Buckfastleigh for the local afternoon ride …

Sunday 7 November 1993Afternoon ride (Buckfastleigh): Skerraton DownGrey / cold
9 present: Neil Ault, Tao Burgess, Chris Giles, Michael Jones, Sebastian Lessware, Martin Luke, Paul Oakley, Eliot Thomas-Wright, Tom Widger
Another excellent ride across the moor.

Sunday 14 November 1993Day ride: Exeter Ship CanalCold, windy, sunny spells
5 present: Tao Burgess, Michael Jones, Sebastian Lessware, Ken Twydell, Paul Williams II (11, Staverton)
Nobody except Michael felt much like pressing on to the Ship Canal, so we opted for a shorter route that took us through some new lanes to Haldon, where we enjoyed lunch in a woodland glade. Ken kept us entertained by talking continuously about bikes, but it was too cold to listen for long.

Doddiscombsleigh was the next stop - Seb quickly found the parish noticeboard and pinned up a club poster. We concluded the ride with drinks at the nearby nursery, which gave Tao and Paul an opportunity to fix Paul’s puncture. There then followed a brisk ride to Chudleigh and home.

Sunday 21 November 1993Morning ride (Buckfastleigh): North HuishCold & frosty
7 present: Neil Ault, Tao Burgess, Michael Jones, Sebastian Lessware, Chris Platt, Ben Widger, Tom Widger
Weather conditions today were distinctly wintry rather than autumnal. The ride took us through Rattery and Diptford and up a steep hill to a gateway which overlooked the village of North Huish. Tom commented that it looked cosy - and so it did!

We returned through Avonwick, taking in as many attractive lanes as we could find.

Sunday 28 November 1993Day ride: RingmoreCold, dull
4 present: Tao Burgess, Michael Jones, Andrew Walker, Charlie Walker
Only Tao and Michael appeared at the Buckfastleigh start, so Michael had the bright idea of driving to the Avonwick pick-up in his car (the weather wasn’t really too pleasant). When they had ridden up to Crofters, Michael realised his house was locked with the keys inside, so he couldn’t get the car keys out until his mother got home! They set off for Avonwick on their bikes, and after taking a wrong turning eventually arrived at about 11.15. Charlie and Andy were there in their car (without bikes), and while they were talking Michael discovered his car keys in his coat pocket! Tao was not impressed.

Michael and Tao decided to cut the ride short and returned to Buckfastleigh.

Sunday 5 December 1993Afternoon ride: Rising Sun Tea-roomsCool, sunny spells
12 present: Richard Burge, Tao Burgess, Michael Jones, Alex Lessware, Sebastian Lessware, Paul Oakley, Chris Platt, Ken Twydell, Andrew Walker, Charlie Walker, Ben Widger, Tom Widger
The new tea-rooms at Woodland made an excellent destination for today’s ride. Ken, Charlie and Andy arrived in advance of the Buckfastleigh contingent and had already started on their refreshments by the time the others arrived.

The food was excellent as usual, and the 20% discount brought prices down to an acceptable level.

Sunday 12 December 1993Day ride: BridfordVery wet
1 present: Michael Jones
The torrential rain ensured that nobody ventured out for today’s ride.

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