A Lincolnshire Wolds cycle ride (South Kelsey, Walesby, Kirmington)
I'm still trying to get to grips with the many towns and villages in the Yorkshire Wolds in preparation for, amongst other rides, the Yorkshire Wolds Cycle Route. But every now and again it's nice to get over to Lincolnshire and the quiet country lanes that include route 1 of the NCN. Yesterday over 30 cyclists met at the Humber Bridge car park for two separate rides over in Lincolnshire. We split up in to two groups I went with the smaller 'B' group of six.
I don't know Lincolnshire very well. Compared to the East Riding there doesn't seem to be such a varied choice of roads on the south bank so, for instance, part of the route we took yesterday covered quite a bit of the same ground of my last journey over the Humber Bridge, although it was pleasant all the same. However, my ignorance of the back roads of Lincolnshire is eclipsed by my even more limited knowledge of Second World War RAF bases there. We passed close to the former location of one yesterday: Kirmington.
The destination for Sunday's ride was Walesby, but we had a morning stop at South Kelsey and I had too much to eat there (beans on toast again) and a mug of tea. Perhaps if I had known that the lunch time stop was only ten miles away I wouldn't have had quite so much. Perhaps. Anyway, at Walesby I ordered a bowl of stilton and broccoli soup and shared a pot of tea for three. And then I asked for an extra bread roll. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised that I can't shift that last stone from around my midsection.
At the lunch stop one of the riders said that he liked to ride in Lincolnshire because the roads were quieter (can you believe this, Patrick?) than those of the East Riding. We had a short stop in a little memorial garden in Kirmington (larger version of the photograph above including inscription here). I had no idea that there were so many wartime airfields in Lincolnshire. According to one web site Lincolnshire was known as Bomber County during the Second World War because of the number of attacking and defensive bases there. According to the same web site there were 49 stations in Lincolnshire at the end of 1945.
(I see in the news that Terrence Rattigan's play 'Flare Path' written, and first performed during the Second World War, has opened at Theatre Royal Haymarket, London. Set in the lounge of a Lincolnshire hotel used by RAF pilots and crews it stars the Lincolnshire actress Sheridan Smith ("a bravura performance in a dazzling cast" as reported by The Stage today), who last night picked up an Olivier Award for her title role in the stage version of 'Legally Blonde'. Gosh, I'm so topical it hurts.)
From the memorial garden we could see the copper-covered tower of Saint Helen’s Church. It's a striking little building although it does seem to be put together from bits of three different churches. The sun came out as the clock struck three and we were on our way again. A slower ride than last week (thank goodness) as we were in no hurry and some of our number were working back to full fitness. 73 pleasant miles.