From the Rector
THE RECTOR’S SPONSORED CYCLE RIDE
On Wednesday 5th August, I set off early to do the sponsored cycle ride advertised in last month’s issue. My plan was to raise money for St Tudy church bells and tower by visiting on two wheels as many railway stations, either active or closed, as I could.
The first section I had planned was easy, a gentle pootle along the Camel Trail, passing the sidings at Wenford Bridge, and the crossings at Poley’s Bridge, Tresarrett, and Helland Bridge. When I reached Bodmin, the route became a bit more demanding, not least because I wanted to include Bodmin Parkway and that meant braving the A38 for two miles.
The bonus was that for the first time ever I ventured down the little lane on the left marked ‘Colesloggett’ and to my delight I found a little bridge over the Bodmin and Wenford line just next to Colesloggett Halt, which I duly photographed. Bodmin Parkway itself was moderately busy and an up train to London Paddington drew in while I refuelled on flapjack. But soon it was time to tackle the climb back up to the Crematorium roundabout, not to mention the constant stream of holiday traffic.
After that it was a relief to follow less busy roads, as I took in Carminnow Cross, before freewheeling down to Bodmin General, sadly still closed to the public. My second mainline station was to be Lostwithiel, a route that took me out of Bodmin past the Golf Course, along the boundary of Lanhydrock and through Trebyan and Sweetshouse.
It’s a constant feature of a cycle ride that a hill never seems as steep going down as it does coming back up. So I made the most of the exciting descent into Lostwithiel, paused for a few minutes at the station, snapping a train bound for Penzance, and then took on the crippling Bodmin Hill back out of the town, which mysteriously appeared to have intensified by at least 10% since I had flown down it.
Once back in Bodmin, I made for the Trail again and stopped briefly for photos at all the delightful stops and halts on the old railway: Dunmere Halt, Boscarne Junction, Nanstallon Halt, Grogley Halt and Shooting Range Platform. I have to confess that I had never spotted the last of these before, even though I have cycled the trail on numerous occasions. Then it was on to Wadebridge itself, its station of course now the Betjeman Centre.
Unfortunately, the rain that had been vaguely threatening all morning actually arrived while I was on the last segment of the Trail between Bodmin and Wadebridge, and it poured for about 20 minutes and by the time I reached the pasty shop in Molesworth Street, I was absolutely soaked. So after eating my lunch on a very wet bench, while watching bedraggled holiday makers doing their best to keep cheerful, I abandoned my intention to take in Padstow, partly because I really was drenched and partly because the Trail was becoming busier than I felt was safe. So, I took in St Kew Highway and then scaled the hill up from Kelly Green and came home.
I am so grateful to all the people who generously supported this effort. The current total raised stands at £580, which will be so appreciated by the tower members and, I hope, by other residents when they hear the bells. Although it is still not possible for a whole team to ring and observe distancing, it was so good to hear the one bell being rung for Sunday services, for the solitary August wedding and for the VJ Day observance.