Our final day was one of drying out from the deluge, some packing and pottering. We did venture out to Beetham Nursery for lunch and found the nursery to be excellent. We shall return.
Thursday 14 September 2023
Today we had friends from near Cartmel coming to visit. For his 90th birthday we had promised Gordon an all day Breakfast but for various reasons we decided to do it at the van. The forecast was not good for later in the day: thunderstorms! The morning, however, was still warm and sunny so we relaxed outside reading and watching the clouds build up from the south east thinking "Shall we, shan't we fire up the barbie??". I had planned to cook most of the breakfast on the BBQ but at the last minute decided it was too much of a risk. Just as Anna and Gordon arrived it started to rain. To begin we tried to sit in our small porch awning but the decision was to retreat to the van. It rained; it rained apocalyptically and the site quickly flooded. A wise decision not to light the BBQ and the breakfast was successfully cooked in the oven mostly. A smashing afternoon catching up with old friends, though.
Sunday 10 September 2023
Friday 8 September 2023
Monday 4 September 2023
"When I nod my head, you hit it!". Dick Cullen who I worked for on his smallholding as a student laughed uproariously at his joke as he always did. The farm is situated on the bank of the River Witham tucked in next to Metheringham Delph on Blankney Fen. When I was working in the fields on my own I used to be able to tell the time from the trains passing through Stixwould Station on the other side of the river. By my student days they were diesel powered DMUs but I remeber as a child travelling to Lincoln from Woodhall Junction steam hauled. I was reflecting on these memories as I waited with The Historian at Stixwould Station for the ladies to catch us up. The old railway line is now part of The Water Rail Way and it is possible to cycle off road all the way to Lincoln from Woodhall Junction at Kirkstead.
We had loaded up our bikes at The Rodney and driven the short distance to Southrey Station from where we biked along the trail to Kirkstead where we enjoyed tea and stickies in the Ragged Apron Cafe once the Railway Inn. Following the return ride it was time to load up the bikes again our short, but excellent break over for this year; some old rides revisited and a new one explored.
The Historian stood on the castle ramparts musing reflectively over the ruins. There is enough of Bolingbroke Castle left, with the help of the information boards to paint a mental picture of what it would have been like at the time HenryIV was born here.
Brian and I had set off that morning from The Admiral Rodney on a perfect early September morning; warmth in the sun yet a hint of Autumn in the air. Our route climbed steadily to Mareham-on-the-Hill before undulating across the top of the Wolds to Hameringham giving splendid views as we went. From Hammeringham it was a steady climb up to Winceby, the site of the Civil War battle in 1643, before the long swooping descent with fabulous views over the fen to Boston and down into Old Bolingbroke.
Sadly the Black Horse has long since closed but we enjoyed exploring the castle and the church. The castle passed through marriage into the ownership of John of Gaunt whose son, Henry, was born in the castle in 1367 becoming king in 1399. His baptismal font can still be found in the church.
Continuing to East Kirkby we called in at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre hoping for a coffee but unfortunately it was £11 entrance and we decided that was an expensive coffee. The side benefit though was that the lancaster aircraft was outstide and we had excellent views.
Coffeeless we carried on along a quiet lane along side the first of the drainage canals that drain the fens. We soon arrived at The Red Lion at Revesby where we availed ourselves of an excellent roast beef sandwich and even more excellent pint of Bateman's Gold. Good as it was though, this may have been a mistake as my legs were not so keen to push the pedals round after lunch.
Mareham-le-Fen, was our next destination where we turned along the quiet lane to Wood Enderby and on to the main Boston-Horncastle road. Crossing here we discovered another quiet lane that took us through the Scrivelsby Estate after which we took anoth back lane to reach the Spa Trail at Thornton Halt. From here it was a gentle mile along the train to take us back into Horncastle.