Farmer Brown's Tea and Coffee Shop

Farmer Brown's Tea and Coffee Shop

Cycling UK Louth Group Rides to Farmer Brown’s Ice Cream Parlour

Sunday 18th October 2020

Another weekend of great support with a total of eight members wanting to enjoy the brilliant sunshine beaming down on this pleasant Autumn day. Rob Cook and Tim Newbery had volunteered to be Ride Leaders, so an easy split into two groups of four. With Tim, leading ‘Group A’ were John Rickett, Alan Hockham and Reg Bagshaw (who would meet up with us at Grimoldby). With Rob, leading ‘Group B’ were Chris Owen, John Ambler and Mike Gray. Super to see Mike back out with us again as it’s been a few months now that he’s been able to join us on a ride.

Group A Report:

Although the forecast had mentioned ‘mostly cloudy’ we were delighted to have started with almost clear blue skies, and a very pleasant ride initially to Grimoldby to pick up Reg. Arriving within a minute of the scheduled time we were pleased to be greeted with a vision of bright yellow and a smiling Reg. He had mentioned that he’d been involved in a strenuous session of the gardening on the Saturday so wasn’t sure how far he’d be riding.

A north westerly wind aided our passage through Withern With Stain and Woodthorpe. A pause outside Woody’s Bar and Restaurant and a vote was taken as to whether we wanted to stop for coffee or carry on to sample bacon buns at Farmer Brown’s. The Ride Leader would have happily stopped but the decision was to carry on whilst the weather was so agreeable.

Onwards then through Beesby and Markby where Alan suggested we take time out to view the historic church of St Peter’s. Remarkably the church was open to visitors with fine views of the Norman dog-toothed decoration on the chancel arch, together with the font from the old parish church, bearing the 13th Century rose sculpture. The church itself is rare in that it’s the only thatched church in Lincolnshire. In the first instance the roof was tiled, but in 1672 Richard White, churchwarden, substituted a thatch, taking the tiles as payment to rebuild the former Priory church.

Continuing through Hannah we were soon to arrive at Farmer Brown’s and enjoyed hot drinks and bacon and egg baps. Perfect.

For the afternoon return, we would follow Huttoft Road, with Alan then taking us along Alford Road to Cumberworth. We seemed to be finding all the potholes today! A headwind now but not too strong and the sun was still shining as we passed through Farlesthorpe (old Norse meaning Farulf’s settlement). There’s an informative interpretation board that advises the visitor that this quiet hamlet was once a significant medieval village; crofts, fishponds and enclosures now little more that ‘bumps and lumps’. Nearby the medieval Chapel of St Leonard stood proud on Brakenholme, an island in Farlesthorpe Marsh.

With pleasant scenery, we were soon passing through Alford and Ailby and in no time stopping for final refreshments at Claythorpe water mill. Chatting to the owner we leant that four cyclists had also stopped earlier in the morning! Special thanks to John who treated us all to coffee and cake!

Skies now had finally clouded over it was back to Louth having covered 41 miles. Nearer to 50 for John. Many thanks to all for the company and to Rob for his enjoyable report.

Group B Report (Rob Cook):

Tim... Having decided to vary the route out in an anti-clockwise direction, Rob, Mike, John Ambler and Chris set off along Stewton Lane. Emerging from the shadows of the tree lined road a familiar figure, silhouetted against the bright sunshine hove into view. Jason, heading for an alternative cycle meet, bade the group a cheerful hello as he sped by.

The sun shone warmly and continued throughout the morning along largely empty country lanes as they made their way through Legbourne, Great Carlton, Authorpe and after an hour or so, Aby and Claythorpe Water Mill.

Mike Gray's inclusion on the mainly flat route was a test of his resolve after a very long break from group cycling since the expected journey would exceed 40 miles. Tim Newbery's inclusion of a possible three stops during the day proved fortuitous. Mike, John and Chris, all were keen to stop for coffee here, Chris electing to buy all the drinks, a rare but welcome event. thanks, Chris!

He opted for a very delicious looking piece of cherry cake, topped with icing and a glazed cherry to accompany his drink. He wasn't far into sampling it before Mike ordered the same. John, preferred a bacon butty and afterwards awarded it points. Being the Club's final arbiter on quality, it thus scored 8 and a half on the baconbutometer, the half added because of ambience created by the warm autumn sunlight and the duckpond.

The owner of the establishment having taken photographs of the parked bicycles for future advertisements, bade the group farewell and they headed for Alford and then Huttoft via Bilsby and Thurlby, arriving at Farmer Brown's Cafe in surviving sunshine, after just over an hour. More drinks were ordered, this time by John. Thanks for the tea, John. Mike, requiring yet more sustenance, managed to ingest a huge bacon roll, according to Chris. Rob, preferring to eat his picnic lunch whilst sitting alone on his trusty tripod stool, studied the way home.

Thus replete, the four continued through Hannah, Markby, Beesby (Chris departing here for Legbourne and his car back to Cleethorpes) and a final rest stop at Woody's Cafe at Woodthorpe. By this time, Mike, had developed a sore left knee which necessitated Rob searching for first aid in the form of painkillers in his Ride Leader's Kit. The three using the stop whilst Mike's medication took effect, John decided a necessary pint of Guinness would wile away the time. Many thanks to Mike for providing the drinks.

After a 35-minute break, the remaining leg back through Great Carlton, Manby, Grimoldby and South Cockerington saw the end of the ride back to Louth. But, not all was ended there. A single figure appeared on the outskirts, like the wife of a long awaited seafarer, Tim, hand covering brow, hailed the trio. Unsure of whether the anti-clockwise group had made it, Tim, had ridden back from the Leisure Centre to make sure all had gone well with his flock...!

Thus reassured, he rode back into Louth. Well done, Mike. A good return performance despite the sore knee.

(Glad to hear too that John’s new ‘heated gloves’ had worked a treat).

Next week, Rob will be leading the group back in to the hills! (although there may be an alternative option depending on numbers)

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