Howsham and North Lincolnshire

Howsham and North Lincolnshire

Howsham and North Lincolnshire
Sunday 5th May 2019

RIDE REPORT

A Bank Holiday weekend and with all things considered (with the very unseasonable chill weather) there was a good turnout at the Leisure Centre. 
Tim Newbery was to be today's ride leader and was joined by John Ambler, John Rickett (who would be using his brand new Garmin cycle computer), Rob Cook, Rob Whitworth with the promise of meeting up with Chris Owen near North Ormbsy.

Leaving Louth on the Brackenborough Road we sailed along in spite of the headwind and soon turned west along Ings Lane to Utterby. Chris greeted us on schedule and it was only a mile or so before we arrived at North Ormsby where John Rickett viewed with interest the the deserted medieval village.

North Ormsby was in antiquity known as Nun Ormsby. A Gilbertine priory dedicated to Saint Mary was founded here as a double house between 1148 and 1154, to be dissolved in 1538. Only 25 double houses are known to have existed in England in the Middle Ages, twelve of which were established by the Gilbertines and eight being in Lincolnshire. Earthworks of the priory and the former village are still clearly visible, the village being abandoned probably as a result of the Black Death and the Enclosures Act.

Onwards and upwards (literally) to Thorganby, Croxby, Rothwell and today's highest point, Caistor at an altitude of 470 ft. Great views of the surrounding countryside but after cycling for over 2 hours we were ready for refreshments at the Caistor Arts and Heritage Centre. Teas, coffees, latte's, bacon sandwiches and poached eggs on toast all went down well.

John Ambler would bid farewell at this point (making sure he'd get home with enough battery power) whilst the remainder continued on the short journey to Howsham. On leaving Caistor, we passed a poignant memorial commemorating the crew of Lancaster R5672 that crashed very close by at 5 pm on 8th April 1944.

The official story was that this aircraft was on an Air Test from No 1 Lancaster Finishing School at RAF Hemswell. Wing Commander Eric Frank Knowles Campling was unit CO and an experienced and highly decorated officer having been awarded a DFC and DSO and had completed tours with 142 Squadron and 460 Squadron. He was on board the aircraft as pilot, at just 23 years old at the time of the accident. There were several other passengers on board consisting of 6 ground crew from Hemswell and an Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) pilot, Taniya Whittall. The aircraft crashed for reasons that could not be established and was seen to descend from approximately 1000 ft, hitting the ground and bursting into flames. Sadly, all the occupants were killed.

The old roman road then took us directly to North Kelsey, where after a short distance we crossed the 'North Lincolnshire' unitary authority boundary and reached Clayton's Corner Cafe for lunch. The beans on toast looked good and Chris enjoyed the last cheese and onion roll.

John Rickett would depart first as he needed to be home in good time whilst the remainder of Cycling UK Louth were anticipating a rest at Ludford on return. The route would take us through North Kelsey where there's a magnificent church dedicated to St. Nicholas/or All Hallows built of fine Lincolnshire Ironstone, Thornton Le Moor, Osgodby and Walesby. Avoiding the challenging Walesby Hill the route then turned south to Tealby Thorpe, a picturesque Lincolnshire Wolds village, and through the double ford.

Chris would later ascend Willingham Hill whilst the rest of the group opted for Sixhills, arriving at Ludford within a couple of minutes of each other. With the White Hart Pub closed, Chris departed for home whilst Tim, Rob and Rob enjoyed cake and hot drinks at the Viking Way Coffee House. Tim for a change succumbing to a very temping piece of cheesecake.

The final leg took us to the former RAF Kestern, Rob Cook returning to Louth via Grimsby Road and the remaining duo via South Elkington. Total mileage of about 62 miles. Many thanks to all for a great day out.

Good luck to Rob Cook who'll be taking part in the Dulux London Revolution Charity Bike ride next weekend. Hoping he enjoys better weather to last year!

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