Friday 16 October 2015

Beryl Burton - a Play

Hosted at Tarvin Community Centre, and brought to us by the The West Yorkshire Playhouse, Beryl Burton is a play written by Maxine Peake, about this lady from the 50-60's who was amazing in her cycling achievements.  The story took us from her school days and being struck down with rheumatic fever, from which she was told not to take part in strenuous activity.  The next thing she has met a young man, and he has taken her out on a club run; cleverly shown with four bikes on rollers and a cinefilm playing behind them.

Her trials and tribulations were portrayed with humour, and it felt like they left no little bits out.  The four actors, who took it in turns to act different parts (including the Queen) with comical asides, kept us all enthralled and entertained.

The play finale had the actors listing her amazing achievements indicated by a 'trophy' for each category, many records of which remain unbroken.

I think we all had favourite parts, such as when she is knocked down by a car (how that was portrayed), grim determination to win at all costs, the lack of funding or recognition for cycling (let alone women's cycling), the birth of her daughter - it was all there!

Afterwards, we were lucky enough to meet the cast and for them to pose for a photo with us.  A most enjoyable and memorable night!

Saturday 10 October 2015

Elvis has left the building!

The last time we visited Tarvin Sands cafe (April 2012), it was dedicated in no uncertain fashion to the King, Elvis.  Photos adorned every conceivable space, and a life size Elvis stood in the corner.  After about 30 years though, the previous owner packed up her memorabilia,and for the last three years it has been under new ownership.  Time for a re-visit!

Mandatory start photo

October, and we have had several weeks of sunshine, little rain and no wind.  So the trees have been very slowly and gracefully turning to the reds and oranges of autumn.  I like to try and capture the essence of the season by picking a route that will show it off - for example, I know where the bluebell banks are in the spring, and the rape fields in late May.  Autumn, and our best place to head is Delamere, so we set off up the Greenway and out towards Manley.

With a short climb you are on Manley Common, and you can catch some of the foothills of Delamere, little lanes on the outskirts.  In fact, I think I found a lane I have not been along before, then a lane I consider a secret lane, as it has a 'dead end' sign but is not and has a hidden valley.  It comes out just below Ashton.

Then we could trace across to the A51, and using a short piece of footpath brings us nicely to the cafe.

It is wonderful when it is still nice enough to sit outside (and useful when there are over 30 of you!).  Service was very good and they coped well with us (we are very patient, most people are chatting so don't notice even if there is a delay).  I had popped in earlier in the week to pre-warn, and the smell of bacon had been so lovely, that was what I was heading for all morning!

Chatting is not restricted
to when we are sat down...

...and not restricted to only our group of ladies!

The nice thing about a cafe nearer to home is that people can head straight back when they are ready - this means we can have smaller groups heading back to the cafe.  I led a little group off first, again along the footpath to the first right which takes us towards Barrow.  

Another short stretch of footpath by the lights at Stamford Bridge, to turn right again into Guilden Sutton, and then we can pick up the greenway.