The Jubilee weekend was a bit of a washout, weather wise. The best day was Saturday and Ricky, Tom and I made the most of this best day with an interesting ride down to Ardingley Reservoir.
I thought that I would make the day’s theme, a watery one, seeing as the next day was to be the magnificent Jubilee boating event on the Thames. Our first port of call was an off road ride across Earlswood Common to visit the lakes. No boats but plenty of swans!
Since the time of Queen Elizabeth I the reigning monarch owns all wild swans living in open water. We thought that this might be Her Maj feeding her swans, but we were not too certain because we could not see any corgis.
Our next stop was for tea at Balcombe where we waited for ages to get served. So long that it became a lunch stop. But I did enjoy the scrambled eggs on toast washed down with a gallon of tea.
From there, down to the reservoir is particularly scenic, down a wooded lane, past the old watermill and mill pond, over the stream and then taking the bridle path alongside the stream to the huge reservoir. After all the heavy rain of late, it was now looking very full and the sailing fraternity were making the most of the sunny day.
It is a long and steep climb up from the reservoir valley, and after crossing over the B2028 we took another little lane which leads to West Hoathly. It starts with a very steep descent thru an ancient wood, crosses a little stream, and then it is another steep up with magnificent views to the distant high ridge of the South Downs.
And it was at West Hoathly, outside the old parish church, that we met her Maj, resplendent in regal gown. And to prove it, Tom took a photo for the Anerley scrap book.
It is a tradition in the little hamlets of this part of Sussex to have an annual summer festival where a variety of effigies of people are displayed. This year it was royal effigies to mark the Queen’s Jubilee. We cycled past Queen Victoria, Princes Albert, Philip, William, Harry, knights in armour and much more. Doesn’t it make one proud to be British!
Des and photos by Tom Vaz who hence does not appear in the pics!