LWR Mothering Sunday 19th March 2023

Cycling UK Louth’s Mothering Sunday ride to the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway. Sunday 19th March 2023:

With this being such a special family day, we wondered how many members would be available for today’s ride. Today’s ride leader Tim Newbery was however pleasantly surprised to have a great turnout. Chris Owen had arranged to met up with us at Covenham and at the leisure centre were Alan Hockham and Reg Bagshaw having not been able to ride with us for a few weeks; Paul Linder, John Ambler, John Rickett and John Weeks.

The first train of the day was scheduled to depart Ludborough Railway Station at 10.45 am and Tim had hoped we’d be able to arrive just in time to see the loco in full steam heading upline to North Thoresby.

We had been blessed with a fine sunny day but a brisk headwind did necessitate a re-grouping at Covenham, where we would also meet up with Chris who had been enjoying a rest on the bench.

A slower steady ride now along Main Street to Fulstow and a left-hand turn would allow us to progress along Station Road all the way to the heritage Lincolnshire Wolds Railway.

The ‘Spitfire’ (Barclay 0-4-0 saddle tank built in 1929) was indeed in full steam and ready to depart as we arrived. A great sight to see. With the platform now clearing of visitors we headed to the Steaming Kettle Buffet Café

The buffet car has been newly restored and looked resplendent in the sunshine. Sadly, one of the staff members behind the counter felt faint there was obvious concern for her welfare. She would later recover and in due course we were provided with hot drinks, cakes and bacon sandwiches which John Weeks much appreciated.

The station and platform at ‘Ludborough For Fulstow’ was one of a number along the former East Lincolnshire Railway, which initially connected Louth and Grimsby. Proposed in 1845 and supported by the Earl of Yarburgh and several of the MPs in the area, construction started in early 1847.

Highly controversial in its day as work even continued on a Sunday! The local clergy disapproved, and local newspapers condemned the practice. Some of the workmen were eventually fined when this practice continued. Never the less the line and station were finally opened in March 1848.

The station closed to passengers in September 1961 but thanks to the hard work and enthusiastic support of a team of volunteers, re-opened in August 2009 as part of the Lincolnshire Wolds Heritage Light Railway.

John Weeks and Reg Bagshaw would head to their respective homes from here whilst Chris would continue with us as far as Tetney Lock, before he too turned for home.

With the sun and wind on our backs, good progress was made through the West End, Eskham and Grainthorpe with Paul, Alan and John Rickett taking the lead whilst Tim contemplated on whether to sample another large helping of ice cream at Applebys Ice Cream Parlour, Conisholme. Such weighty thoughts slowed him down.

Following a pleasant chat over refreshments, a headwind back to Louth would require extra resolve as we traversed our way across the marshes through Skidbrooke and Eleven Greens.

We eventually arrived at Magna Vitae’s Meridian Centre at 2.15 pm with the Louth contingent having covered about 38 miles, as high as about 60 for Paul. Long sunny periods had pushed temperatures up to a very respectable 13 Degrees Celsius, a couple above the seasonal average.

Many thanks to all for the company.