Tuesday, 11 March 2008

#035 Wolloway Farm

On the Sunday after Eire, Bill and I had entered a race in Derbyshire, it started in Macclesfield, I cannot remember the name of the event but it finished in Bollington. I had a practice run of the hill i.e. “Cat and Fiddle” and thought I’ve had it to day. The race started and “mountain goat” Brian Haskle jumped away and I did not see the break anymore that day, did I struggle. I vowed to finish though I was not going through the ignominy of Ireland again. I climbed at my own pace up the “Cat and Fiddle” then through Buxton where at Burbage my cousins gave me a cheer. Eric Thompson was on Taddington Hill cheering me on, then I caught one or two riders through Bakewell and then Baslow, up to Peak Forest, Mam Tor down to Whaley Bridge, then we seemed to go over a small river bridge and up in front on the left at top of a hill there was a huge crowd I thought they were watching a motor cycle hill climb. We turned left and there was the hill!! What a climb, I think they use this as the National hill climb sometime. The finish soon hove in sight I was in the car and off “buggered”.

In Whitsuntide of that year we decided to go to the Lake District. Bas Butler had given me an address near Penruddock just north of Ullswater. We left Long Eaton at 6.30pm going to Scotch Corner then over Bowes Moor to Appleby and so to Penrith (no M6 then). We rang Mrs Edmunds up to get to know just where we were and she said keep on the A66 until the second railway bridge then turn left to Wolloway Farm, we found the farm about midnight, Mrs Edmunds had waited up for us. We were in our Ford “Transit” van. Keith was camping in it with his two lads, Mrs Edmund had a fit as she had only room for three and had seen six get out the van. We soon put her mind at rest; we were made very welcome with supper soon provided - all home made food. Up next morning early we had a sumptuous breakfast in front of a lovely fire, we had found “Shangri-La”. We picked Keith up and travelled down to Ullswater, what a view of Ullswater one find the first time near to Aera Force we stopped and admired the view. We stopped at the side of Ullswater it was a lovely hot day. We left the children playing in the water, Keith and I planning to climb Hellvelyn, but it was too hot so we sunbathed all day instead. It was soon lunchtime, Keith was supposed be in charge of camping, I think we had one cup, one fork and one spoon between us - did we laugh.

Jean, Carol and I were lucky as we had an evening meal booked and what a meal, meat and potato pie, suet pudding - absolutely marvellous. Before that we had met Mrs Edmunds family, they had two boys and two girls all similar age to our families, their family was to increase to five boys. We played cricket on the grass at the front of the farm, tip and run all the family played, mums and dads a well. We had found a place where we were to go every chance we had for years hence, the whole family becoming close friends (John, one of their sons, and his new wife was to spend part of their honeymoon with Kathleen & I many years later) Bas who had given us the address could never get in again, we almost commandeered the place.

Late in 1952 the gymnasium was going through a rough time, the instructor, a new man was more interested in a student girl teacher than us and he had the sack. I decided to go to the education committee to see if I could run the class myself. Sure enough for three years it was run as a night school class at Bramcote Hills School, Beeston. We had a good turn out having Ian Hallam grace us at certain times. After three years we reverted back to Long Eaton where we ran two classes - one at Roper school and one at the Grammar school, we also formed a club called the Long Eaton Velo a multi sports club which was to continue until this year 2000. High fee, imposed by Derbyshire County Council being the root cause, it has now ceased, so a gym class formed in 1933 has gone the way of many other pre-war innovations.

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