See also Sunday 15th June 1986.
Cycle ride to Walesby
From The Cooper Diaries:
It was ca.12.50pm when I set out. I photographed All Saints’ Parish Church in Waltham,—
—and The Ship Inn at Barnoldby-le-Beck.
I turned right off the road down the lane to see the church, St. Helen’s.
I photographed the old red phone-box in Beelsby. I once used it to phone J, I think when I was going the other way. I discovered that a number of villages on the Wolds still have them.
I saw a sign pointing to the church, but I didn’t follow it. There are some old houses in the village, one on the hillside; but I couldn’t get a decent framing of them in my camera, so I contented myself with a backward look at new houses.
There were «фьк оф» bunnies in the fields, many of them; and some scampered away from me in the road. At one point I saw a stoat or weasel. It was after 2 o’clock when I got to Thoresway, and photographed St. Mary’s church.
J wanted me home at 3.30pm, so just after 2.15pm would be the halfway point. I thought I ought to turn back, but I’d got so far. Eventually the sight I sought came into the view: the drizzle-obscured hilltop “Ramblers’ Church”, All Saints’, above Walesby.
I descended the steep incline into the village. I continued on, and passed the lower church, St. Mary’s, to photograph it,—
—before turning back, and going left and left again down Moor Road, where at the end of the village I found the two council-house looking structures I sought. I saw the sign “South View” on one of them. I believe that Philippa was born in the last one. A woman stopped and got out of a car, which made my position awkward because she didn’t seem in any hurry to disappear; anyway, I DID cycle back past and snap the house with my camera. Unfortunately the shot turned out a bit blurred. It was now 2.30pm, and past the halfway-time.
I then retraced my route, and turned left just beyond the church into the long country-lane to Tealby. There were deer in one field. Thence, left into Rasen Road, where travel in a homeward direction finally started. I saw with dismay a sign saying “Grimsby 18 [miles]”. I passed through Tealby ca.2.45pm. Photographing All Saints’ Parish Church was my last attempt to document the journey.
Bully Hill proved a major trial to me. At least I know that all the gears on my bike are working properly, with no chain-slipping. And the ratio of the lowest gear is fine for steep hills. The problem was: I wasn’t fine! I had to dismount and rest three times going up there. If I’d been able to rest awhile in Walesby, I’d have been OK, but I needed to press on. I was exhausted. After that, every uphill climb was almost too much for me. I tried to ring J before I got to Binbrook, but only got an intermittent signal. I did ring her, and told her it would be more like 4 o’clock when I would arrive. That estimate was wildly out! On the far side of Binbrook, I took a right turn because I figured it would be less hilly that way. (I had in mind the steep dip into Swinhope, and the steep rise out of it.) I thought I’d come out on the Louth road at North Thoresby; but when I came to a crossroads, and saw a sign saying “Wold Newton” and one saying “Grimsby”, I turned left following the Grimsby one. This brought me out not far beyond Swinhope, at the Clickem Inn. I phoned J again, with a revised estimate of 4.30pm, just after passing through East Ravendale, when a quite moderate climb was defeating me and I was walking awhile. At least, on yon side of Barton Street it was downhill mostly all the way. Because of Beth’s recent letter,—
—a sign saying “Cattery” as I entered Waltham amused me, so I got my camera out.
I stopped at a small convenience-store just before the church, and bought a bottle of Lucozade. It was after 4.30pm when I finally got home, perhaps 4.45pm. When I’d rung J she was very worried because I sounded so exhausted. She feared that I might not make it. My fish and chips were a little dry and tough, but just about edible. Even.: After tea, I lay down. We watched the movie Trading Places, which I recorded months ago from the TV. When J went to bed, I watched this evening’s Dr. Who: very moving.