South Dartmoor CTC Album

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Monday 29 July 1985
Tour: South Wales
Day 8 Ystradfellte to Home
Wet
10 Participants: Simon Birtles, Steven Bowles, Daniel Coles, Brett Jamieson, Carl Jones, Michael Jones, Philip Mills, Adam Nice, Simon Warner, Tom Woodman
Next morning things went badly wrong. Tom, who has the reputation of being a bit of a disaster area, managed to hit a light bulb whilst attacking Spratt with a pillow. This would normally cause no problems but Tom, being Tom, managed not only to kill the light bulb but also to fuse all the lights in the building (an annexe opposite the hostel). He spent a long time wandering around with his knees shaking, pleading for sympathy and muttering various witty chants about the warden, but eventually he had to tell her.

She wasn’t at all pleased. Michael let Tom suffer a while, with the warden saying how difficult it was to get repairs done out there, and asking what she was going to that evening, and why couldn’t Tom behave like the sixteen-year-old he was. Then Michael explained that he was able to repair the fuse for her. This took a considerable time but eventually the job was done and the group were able to leave, late as usual, at 11am.

The rain was very unpleasant, as were the steep hills which Michael assured everyone were essential for the short cut he had in mind. After two right turns and thirty minutes’ ride they arrived at a junction. Michael looked at the map, then at the road. Everyone began to look around with that vague feeling that they’d been there before in some previous life. Then they saw the hostel through the rain …

Hirwaun was reached by lunchtime. Tom had a puncture so everyone bought something hot to eat int eh café while he repaired it in the rain. There followed a hard climb up the A4061 to Treherbert which nearly finished some of the younger riders off: only the thought of the train leaving without them got them to the top through the rain.

The long descent to Treherbert was negotiated with great caution by all, but there were still fifteen minutes to spare on arrival at the station. The station master, seeing everyone so wet and bedraggled, took pity immediately and invited everyone in for a hot wash and a change of clothes. That made everyone feel much better, although I’m not sure what people in the waiting room thought of all the partially-clothed bodies wandering through into the inner recesses of the station building.

Once again the trains were all on time and the journey was relaxing and uneventful. Everyone arrived home on time, ready for a hot bath and a good supper before settling down by the fire to tell parents all about the great adventure. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few went to bed early that night.

Everyone can feel proud of their achievement, for I have never had the pleasure to lead such a well-behaved and pleasant group on a cycle tour.

Here’s to Scotland 1986!



Friday 2 August 1985
Evening ride: Haytor
Sunny
8 Participants: John Iles, Michael Jones, Paul Palmer, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons, Roger Simmons, Paul Willard, Peter Willard
No-one took Michael seriously when he suggested Haytor as a destination for the first evening ride of the month. It wasn’t long, however, before Kevin Presland had been coaxed out of his Ilsington home and the letterbox had been extracted from the Rook Inn at Haytor Vale.

The evening was concluded with a ride through the strangely peaceful Dartmoor scenery as the sun set over the moorland hills.



Sunday 4 August 1985
Day ride: Dartmeet
Torrential rain
9 Participants: Michael Jones, Paul Palmer, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons, John Stuart, John 1 Unknown (Junior, Devon), Laurent Unknown (Junior, Devon), Paul Willard, Peter Willard
The above-mentioned nine had certainly not turned up at the start with the intention of carrying out the ride, so the Redmount 'hotel' was once again opened up for videos and light refreshments.



Tuesday 6 August 1985
Social: Map-reading

8 Participants: Jeremy Ford, Mark Hunt, Michael Jones, Paul Palmer, Luke Rake, Unknown Rider 1, Andrew Simmons, Peter Willard
Everyone enjoyed deciphering the cryptic clues on the question sheet, but it was Luke's team who finally won by a short margin.



Sunday 11 August 1985
Afternoon ride: Treasure Hunt
Wet start
9 Participants: Jeremy Ford, Mark Hunt, John Iles, Michael Jones, Kevin Presland, Unknown Rider 1, Andrew Simmons, Roger Simmons, Peter Willard
A disappointing turnout (eight Dart Valley, one Torbay and zero Dawlish) caused the postponement of the Treasure Hunt to a later date. However, those who bothered to turn up decided that they were not going to be deprived of a ride by their fair-weather colleagues and duly set off towards New Bridge via Hembury Woods.

The River Dart was running very high and fast following several days (months?) of torrential rain, and we had ample opportunity to witness this whilst cycling the riverside path to Spitchwick. The long, long climb to Buckland-in-the-Moor was followed by another long, long climb to Cold East Cross where Kevin left us. The Dart Valley group enjoyed the long descent to the Grasshopper Inn and a couple of stony, muddy tracks on the way home.



Friday 16 August 1985
Evening ride: Venford Reservoir
Sunny
4 Participants: Michael Jones, Luke Rake, Roger Simmons, Peter Willard
The track from Venford to Combestone was enchanting, surrounded as it was with woodland glades, streams and rabbits. To conclude a superb evening the clear, late evening skies allowed unhindered views of the Teignmouth and Torbay lights from the top of Combestone Tor.



Sunday 18 August 1985
Day ride: Gara Mill
Showers
9 Participants: Simon Birtles, Steph Crutchley-Iles, Grace Dovell, Richard Dovell, John Iles, Michael Jones, Kevin Presland, Luke Rake, John Stuart
This was another joint ride with Torbay section. Heavy and prolonged showers made the journey to East Allington somewhat miserable, but Michael’s aunt came to the rescue once more by allowing us to eat lunch in the garage of her farm at Higher Poole.

The afternoon was considerably brighter, enabling completion of the planned ride before Torbay and Dart Valley members separated at Totnes.



Tuesday 20 August 1985
Evening ride: Rattery
Sunny
6 Participants: Grace Dovell, Dayle Guy, Michael Jones, Luke Rake, Paul Willard, Peter Willard
An interesting route through Rattery and Elwell brought the club to the old railway station at Avonwick, now a private dwelling but still retaining its platform and the name ‘Ham Mill Halt’. Return was via South Brent and the Old Brent Road, giving Luke ample opportunity to try out his new lights.



Thursday 22 August 1985
Tour: Snowdonia National Park
Day 1 Home to Rowen

10 miles
9 Participants: Andrew Billington (Junior, Bovey Tracey), Chris Hall (12, Preston), Jonathan Israel (14, London), Michael Jones, David Parry (14, Wellesbourne), Stephen Parry (11, Wellesbourne), Jeremy Paul (15, London), Rebecca Small (15, London), Paul Williams (14, Wellesbourne)
This was Michael's first national cycle tour, advertised in the CTC's national magazine last December. This tour was unique in that it was run separately to the group's own tours, but co-leader was Andrew Billington from Torbay Section and some of the participants went on to take part in our 1986 tours.

Sadly no report was ever written for this tour, but we are able to write a few details about what happened from documents that have been retained from the time.

The Newton Abbot starters caught the 10.05 train to Exeter, then changed for Birmingham, then changed again for Crewe and finally changed again for our destination, Colwyn Bay station, where we arrived at 17.00. The London participants took a train from Euston and met us at Birmingham along with the Wellesbourne crew who had taken a train from Stratford. Finally Chris took a train from Preston and met us at Crewe.

The ride from Colwyn Bay to Rowen youth hostel was around 10 miles.



Friday 23 August 1985
Tour: Snowdonia National Park
Day2 Rowen to Idwal Cottage

23 miles
9 Participants: Andrew Billington, Chris Hall, Jonathan Israel, Michael Jones, David Parry, Stephen Parry, Jeremy Paul, Rebecca Small, Paul Williams
Our route today took us southwards along the Conwy vallwey to Betws-y-Coed, then east past the Swallow falls to Capel Curig. We then rode up to Llyn Ogwen and then down the valley to the hostel at Idwal Cottage.
Image missing
The group at Rowen youth hostel. L to R: Rebecca, David, Andrew, Paul, Jonathan, Jeremy, Chris and Stephen .. with the warden behind
Image missing
View of the Conwy valley from Rowen youth hostel



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