Summer Wednesday Exploration Ride to Lincolnshire Wolds Steam Railway 7th August 2019
RIDE REPORT 'ALL ABOARD'
Chris Owen had sent his apologies but there was still good support from Rob Whitworth, Bernie Hobill and John Ambler who joined Tim Newbery at the Leisure Centre in Louth. We looked forward to meeting up with Reg Bagshaw near Grimoldby and Barry Jordan at Ludborough.
Departing south along St Bernards Avenue, the club were delighted with the brand new road surface. No more were our fillings to be rattled and shaken out of our teeth by the potholes. Heading along Eastfield and Louth Road to Keddington we enjoyed warm sunshine on our back and the wind became increasingly brisk (gusting to 30 mph). The pace increased correspondingly and we met up with Reg near Rushmoor Country Park, well ahead of schedule.
Diverting to Red Leas Farm and North Cockerington, club members enjoyed the quiet, scenic roads through the fenlands. Continuing across the Louth Navigation the route would take us through Alvingham, Yarburgh and Covenham St.Mary and St. Bartholomew. Arriving at Ludborough a little before 10.45 am we were greeted by our esteemed photographer Barry who has us gathering by the railway crossing gates for a photocall. With a warning of impending doom that we about to be run down by a train in full steam, we moved swiftly to the platform and the 'Steaming Kettle Cafe' for refreshments. Bacon and bacon and sausage baps were eagerly consumed.
A first for Cycling UK Louth, club members purchased senior rate tickets for the Heritage Steam ride to North Thoresby. This was to be quite an adventure.
The railway, run by a group of hard-working volunteers, runs on a short stretch of the line that used to be part of the Great Northern route from Boston to Grimsby. Today’s carriages were being hauled by ‘Fulsow’, a Peckett & Sons Ltd 0-4-0 (makers No.1749) built in Bristol in 1928. She spent her working life at Cawdor Quarry, Matlock until withdrawl in 1970. Restored by Peter Clark in Fulstow in 1988 and again by volunteers at Ludborough in 2010 she remains resplendent and in sparkling condition. The railway line was first proposed in 1845 by ‘East Lincolnshire Railway’. Much negotiation followed but work finally started in 1847 at a cost of £9,000 per mile for double track (current costs are well in excess of £250,000 per mile for a single track!) The first train to run along the line was for Directors and other VIPs on 17 September 1847 and covered the 14 miles distance from Louth Keddington Road to Grimsby in 20 minutes. Quicker than travelling by road even today! The line was operated by the Great Northern Railway.
Following a turbulent history, the line was finally closed in 1980. The railway was saved by private, preservation groups over the following decades and now the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway’s plan to is to extend its line south as far as the Fairfield Industrial Estate at Louth, where a site for a new station has been set aside. We look forward to seeing all their hard work come to fruition, and to help out, bought tickets for their ‘Annual Draw’ which takes place in November. Good Luck All.
Returning to Ludborough, today's Ride Leader commented that it was 'looking a bit black over Bill's mother's' and indeed, on alighting the carriage, we were greeted with a heavy squally shower. Undaunted, it encouraged a speedy dash to Fulstow, Bernie sprinting towards the front calling out to Tim' can't you go any faster?' Sadly, Tim failed to have noted that the Cross Keys PH isn't open until 4 pm on a Wednesday and a decision was made for lunch to be taken back in Louth at the Leisure Cente. Barry would depart at Fulstow and Reg with Bernie leaving the remainder at Yarburgh.
Many thanks to all for their company on this 'steamy day out'.
Great fun. For further super, photos visit Barry's facebook page.