Cyclists' Touring Club
East Midlands
 

 

East Midlands Chairman and Bus enthusiast John Allen

East Midlands Rally  2009                

The popular annual camping rally was heldl again  at Beaumanor Hall, Woodhouse near Loughborough during the Spring Bank Holiday 
 
 

 

 

East Midlands Rally 2006
East Midlands Rally 2006

                

 

Day ride from the East Midlands Rally 2006

 

East Midlands Rally  2005                                          

The event is gaining in popularity each year. It's the third time we have held the rally The first year we had about 30 campers, the next year about 40 and this year around 50. So, I think we can say it has been again a success. Perhaps it's not surprising.

The Beaumanor Hall grounds are in a beautiful setting and the site has excellent facilities with good toilets, showers and a drying room. We even have the use of a fridge and freezer.

Campers started to arrive teatime on the Friday. Most had been before and knew the ropes. No events had been arranged for the Friday evening so it was a settling in period with the meeting up of old friends. The weather was good so we didn’t have the awful problem of putting up tents in the rain.

Saturday again was a nice day weatherwise. Two rides were organised. Max Scott took a group for a 50 mile ride to the Vale of Belvoir and I led a 30 mile roundabout ride with coffee at East Leake and lunch in Wymeswold.

Perhaps the highlight of the weekend was the visit to the Phoenix Theatre on the Saturday night to see a film about the life of Tom Simpson.

The visit was made the more interesting by the mode of transport to get to Leicester. Thanks to John Allen who made the arrangements, we were transported to Leicester in a vintage Bartons bus complete with a Leicestershire CTC sign on the front.

We arrived in good time for the film, which allowed us to savour a pint before the perform­ance. The film was part of the Leicester City Council film festival arranged by Andy Salkeld, their Cycling Officer. Andy tells me that he hopes to put on a similar show next year so we may repeat our visit to Leicester  

I had hoped to include a ride on the Great Central Railway with our bikes on the Sunday but, in the end, they couldn't accom­modate us. So there was a last minute change of plan.

Instead of going to Leicester on the train for the bike festival at Abbey Park, Peter Hopkins led a ride there from the camp­site. Alan Hartshorne did a 50 mile ride in the other direction in the Market Bosworth area.

The weather was still fine on Sunday and, in the evening, a group of us took a stroll across the fields to a pub in Woodhouse Eaves. We all sat at the tables outside and enjoyed a leisurely drink and chatted.

Monday morning we awoke to the patter of rain on the tent. It's one of the downsides of camping; putting away a wet tent.

Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to the Northampton and Milton Keynes contingent who had a good ride to get back home. The rest of us stayed and prayed for the weather to pick up.

Our prayers were answered and the sun came out about 10 o'clock. So Alan Hartshorne's ride was mostly in the dry.

Alan returned with his group in time for the tents to have dried out and the campers to have dis­persed by the allotted time of 3pm.

I've had some positive feedback and the campers seemed to have enjoyed the weekend, which is heartening.

Of course, we've learnt some lesson to improve things next year

My thanks go to all who assisted me, particularly Keith and Jean Lakin who helped with the admin, and the ride leaders.

  Ray Clay