Sunday Ride to Alford's Five Sailed Windmill

Sunday Ride to Alford's Five Sailed Windmill

RIDE REPORT
Sunday's Ride to Alford's Five Sailed Windmill

A promising start to the day with sunshine beaming down on the Market Town of Louth, although one of Tim's 'passing showers' had John Ambler and Mike Housely seeking shelter in the Market Square just before the scheduled time to set off.

Indeed it delayed out departure by about 10 minutes but we were soon following the lanes to Westfield Farm and Willow Farm on the outskirts of Stewton. Sadly Mike Housley had to leave us at 'Halfway House', due to family commitments at home. We wished him a safe journey back to Lincoln and hope to see him out with us again soon.

Continuing on the planned route we were soon greeted by Alan Hockham, who had cycled from Sutton-On-Sea. He had encountered a fierce headwind which we were to look forward to on our return leg of today's ride! Onwards to Manby, Little Carlton and Great Carlton, and we made rapid progress to Withern and Woodthorpe, finally joining the A1104 to take us to Alford's Five Sailed Windmill and the Millstones Tearoom. To our surprise, and a very welcome surprise, we were greeted by Paul Linder, Les and Di Brill. Great to see them, although they had arrived at the Windmill a good deal earlier than ourselves and were ready to leave. We hope we can meet up again soon, perhaps when the weather warms up a little. There were also a group of ladies on their own ride out from Louth. We exchanged details and with a bit of luck we'll see them again soon too.

Alford's restored five-sailed windmill is arguably one of the most attractive of all the windmills in Lincolnshire. This is the only windmill left in Alford; in 1932 there were three - each with different sets of sail (four, five and six). Built by Sam Oxley in 1837, the mill is over 30 metres high and has six floors. In its hey day it was capable of grinding 4 to 5 tonnes of corn a day.

Having warmed up on tea and coffee, not forgetting to mention the requisite piece of cake, John, Alan and Tim headed into the near gale force winds to Saleby and South Thoresby. The forecast had warned us to expect gusts of 40 mph and indeed, all the various RAF Stations nearby duly recorded gusts of 40 and even 45 mph! Not surprisingly it was quite a push up to Meagram Top (thanks to Highways for repairing the signpost) and we welcomed the downhill ride back to Muckton and Little Cawthorpe. Fascinating to view the ever changing skies with towering clouds indicative of a number of showers. Tim was in his element.

Alan turned off at little Cawthorpe for his return route to Sutton-On-Sea whilst John and Tim headed on the short leg back to Louth. A little under 28 miles covered by the Louth contingent, at least double that for Alan. Great to see so many out on a chilly winter's day and thanks to all for their company.

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