A Day out on the Bikes with Brian and the Heathers
Despite a rather dubious weather forecast, Heather and I loaded the bikes onto the car and headed off to meet up with Brian and heather at Thornton crossing on the Spa Trail just outside Horncastle. The Spa Trail is now a cycling and walking trail but started out life as a branch line from Woodhall Junction to Horncastle and was opened in 1855.
Initially we had a couple of drizzly showers but the weather soon settled into a fine and warm afternoon. We rode along the trail until we could leave it to divert via Welsyke Lane and Kirkby Lane, haunts from my boyhood. Negotiating Woodhall by the backways, we soon arrived at the old station of Woodhall junction on the old Lincolnshire Loop Line from Lincoln to Boston, now the Water Rail Way. Like the Spa Trail this is now a cycling and walking trail, but as a child and teenager I regularly travelled to Lincoln on this line, initially on steam hailed services. In fact in my brief few years of train spotting I saw both the Mallard and the Flying Scotsman pass through and remember well the weekly fishermen's trains from Sheffield.
From the old station we rode to Stixwould station and onto to Southrey before returning to Stixwould where we left the trail for the road. We followed byways to return to the Spa trail, passing the Wellington monument, erected in 1844 to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo. A wood was also planted with acorns at the time and this now sets off the memorial. We soon arrived back at the cars when it was time to light the stove and brew a pot of tea. An excellent day.