Saturday 25 August 1979Tour: Bank Holiday Weekend Holford Exford Day 2: Exeter to Holford YHRain and drizzle
8 present: Frank Boyes, Colin Brierly, Don Hassall, Antony House, Carl Jeffereys, Michael Jones, John Stuart, Philip Wrigley
Antony's puncture at Way Mill, Butterleigh. The whole group - except Don who was behind a bush for some reason
While Antony has puncture problems at Way Mill, Butterleigh, the local farmer has sheep problems: they should have gone straight across the junction!
Lunch at Brithem Bottom, Ash Thomas. Sitting in the drizzle are Phil Wrigley, Colin Brierly, Veronica Dixie, Frank Boyes (so shy), Antony House, Carl Jeffereys, John Stuart and Hassal-Man
Robert Ellis continues repairs to Antony's puncture while Antony hides his face in shame: "It wasn't my fault, honest!". Watched by John Stuart, Colin Brierly and Carl Jeffereys
Lunch at Brithem Bottom, Ash Thomas. Frank: "You can't even eat your dinner in peace!"
Saturday saw the twelve of us assembling at Stoke Canon to find Colin putting the finishing touches to a repair of Jean’s freewheel. Little did Colin know it at the time, but those black hands were to be overworked before the tour was over.

Our route took us up the Burn valley through lanes to Wellington, which on the face of it is straightforward. However fate endowed us with punctures running into double figures together with minor mechanical hiccups. Our main enemy was small, exceedingly sharp white flints, used by Devon and Somerset in their road repair programmes. Five of us punctured in one lane alone, after which Veronica threatened to carry her bike to the next junction. Frank – ever the opportunist – deflated outside a pub .. where else?

The delays and bad weather meant we could no longer afford the time to ride over the Quanocks as planned, so we skirted around them, via Taunton and Bridgewater.

The combination of wet roads, flints and Elan trims and tyres proved, for Philip, a perfect combination for attracting trouble. At one stage he had the support team of Liz, Veronica, Colin and myself mending punctures with incredible regularity. We sent Michael, Carl and Antony on ahead to get supper at Holford hostel. They arrived at 6.45 but it was 8pm when the rest of us rolled in, Phil having suffered an amazing seven punctures in all. We were exceedingly grateful for a most understanding warden as most of were an hour late for supper.

Our puncture total for the day came in at 11, with Carl's broken gear cable adding to the day's problems.

(Robert Ellis, with additional contributions from Michael Jones)

Sunday 26 August 1979Tour: Bank Holiday Weekend Holford Exford Day 3: Holford to Exford YH
8 present: Frank Boyes, Colin Brierly, Don Hassall, Antony House, Carl Jeffereys, Michael Jones, John Stuart, Philip Wrigley
Visit to East Quantoxhead. Don and the ducks: "Don't accept food from strangers, children."
East Quantoxhead. Jean and Frank enjoy the ducks while Liz ponders.
View across Blue Anchor Bay to Minehead, from near Watchett
John gets a puncture at West Quantoxhead. "You stupid fool - I don't want this photographed! Just wait 'til we get home!" Ace one John!
Lunch on North Hill, Minehead. Naturism spreads to Torbay CTC (someone had their shirt off). Frank: "Absolutely disgusting! It wouldn't have happened in my day!"
Carl photographs Dunster Castle, on the approach to Minehead
Lunch on North Hill. Oops - there goes another one. Robert: "Now all concentrate hard on repairing this puncture"
Don Hasselling Antony, and John very pleased with his "'ostel lunch"
North Hill, Minehead. "OK, Jones! This is It!". Phil Wrigley leads the charge.
Lunch on North Hill, Minehead. Big Chief Frank holding counsel with his tribe.
One of a maze of tracks between Selworthy and Allerford. Against all odds, Frank made it through the jungle.
Selworthy Green, owned by the National Trust
Allerford on the day Carl and Antony learned how NOT to ride a ford. Jean: "Damn stupid kids!"
After the rain we had experienced on Saturday, the blue skies of Sunday were really appreciated. Leaving Holford at 9.30 we visited the delightful village of East Quantoxhead, where the ducks on the pond made for a tranquil scene. In Watchet we were graced with the nostalgic view of a steam engine on the railway line.

After coffee in Watchett we continued on around Blue Anchor Bay. The light was superb on Dunster Castle and that traditional Royalist stronghold somehow looked more impressive than usual (perhaps because I usually pass it at several times the speed, on four wheels).

Lunch was taken on high ground (North Hill) looking back over Minehead and Dunster, with Frank managing somehow to be centre of attention for the youngsters. We then proceeded towards Selworthy with a dramatic descent through the woods to that picturesque National Trust village. Colin found a couple of “white roads” for us to enjoy and we all admired the ford at Allerford. Of course two lads (Antony and Carl) had to have a go at cycling through it – wet feet never did a fit person any harm!

Afternoon tea was taken at the nearby establishment and a reflection of the times reared its ugly head when, on requesting a refill of the pot, a lecture was delivered by the proprietor on the cost analysis of a pot of tea versus the traditional cream tea, and how we were really not lining his pockets sufficiently with the former. Frankly I think he was cultivating an ulcer as a sideline, but we did get the refill.

Time was creeping on and we still had some hill climbing to do before supper at Exford so we set off again with Phil now joining Carl, Michael and Antony at the front of the group. We might have had some time to spare had John not decided that Cloutsham Ford should be negotiated – or in this case, attacked – at speed, resulting in him locating the missing setts in the river bed and being rewarded with a buckled wheel. Colin and Don put their skills to the test while the rest of us hastened on to a none-too-pleased warden.

Total incidents today came in at 5 punctures, a broken mudguard and Michael's broken toeclip.

(Robert Ellis, with additional contributions by Michael Jones)

Monday 27 August 1979
Tour: Bank Holiday Weekend Holford Exford Day 4: Exford to Home (64 mi)Sunny
8 present: Frank Boyes, Colin Brierly, Don Hassall, Antony House, Carl Jeffereys, Michael Jones, John Stuart, Philip Wrigley
Carl saved the day by lending his camera for this group photo at the gates of Exford youth hostel. From the left Carl, Robert, John, Colin, Michael, Antony, Frank, Jean and Don
Exford youth hostel. Don "borrowed" Michael's camera to take this unflattering photo of Michael telling him NOT to use his last photo, which he had reserved for a picture of the whole group. "You are a Hassal … Hassals must be .. Exterminated!"
Torbay CTC In Action: Antony House leads the pack (Carl and Don) between Dulverton and Nomansland. Photo won 6 marks in the 1980 Inter-DA Photographic Competition
Coffee at Dulverton - chocolate eclairs and rum truffles!
Lunch in a field near Nomansland. We had a chat with the farmer before lying down to enjoy the sun.
Monday again saw blue skies. After leaving the hostel at 9.30 we made our way over Winsford Hill to Dulverton for coffee and eclairs and then pressed on to a field near Nomansland for lunch. The farmer was nearby so we had a chat with him before settling down to enjoy the sun.

During the afternoon we rode on through places with fascinating names like Woolfardisworthy to Crediton. From here we began to split up as the group came to a spot convenient for us to slip off through the lanes and home. We were the last of the Exeter contingent to leave, and as we did so I collected the twentieth puncture of the weekend! The final puncture count for this final day of the tour came to 5.

The Torbay group headed back through the Teign Valley, getting home for around 7.30pm, and by all accounts they had really enjoyed what for many of them had been their first ever cycle tour.

We certainly have something to remember the tour by and we are obviously not anxious to repeat the experience. However, if this seems something of a disaster, from it can be gleaned an insight into the true spirit of club cycling – that at no time was anyone without help, either in the form of sheer hard work (particularly on Colin’s part), advice, and from Liz and Veronica, the tender touch of patches being applied with, what seemed at the time, the regularity of postage stamps on envelopes at Christmas!

(Robert Ellis, with additional contributions by Michael Jones)

Sunday 2 September 1979
Afternoon ride: Stover Lake
0 present:
Our afternoon run at the beginning of September saw a good crowd out, including two newcomers who live in Marldon – Mark and Darren – as well as Mike and John from our Buckfastleigh Section. The weather was warm and sunny, making our ride down through Compton and over a couple of “humps” to Abbotskerswell and Newton Abbot very enjoyable.

We took to tracks from Teigngrace to go through woods and fields to Stover lake where the bikes were parked for a while and we had a gentle stroll, sustained by some luscious blackberries.

(Colin Brierly)

Sunday 9 September 1979
Day ride: Noss Mayo
8 present: Peter Adams, Frank Boyes, Colin Brierly, Antony House, Carl Jeffereys, Michael Jones, Mark Morton, John Stuart
The Jelly Babies! Antony and Carl
Lunch by the road on the approach to Noss Mayo
Michael retrieving something from his saddlebag
The Young Generation! John, Carl, Peter, Frank, Antony, Mark and Darren? This photo won 6 marks at the 1980 Inter-DA Photo Competition
Colin and John, pausing for refreshments by the Avon at Avonwick
Noss Mayo, from the quay
Noss Mayo is a destination we haven’t always reached, but today we not only got there but managed a fair time to look around and, although a bit more sunshine would have improved things, it was nice to look at. We managed to avoid a complete “out and home on the same road” by a bit of deviation through the lanes above Ugborough on our return journey, and paused for “knock” rations by the Avon at Avonwick.

(Colin Brierly)

Today's ride was the first with an advertised pick-up point for the Buckfastleigh contingent - today it was 10.30 at Totnes.

Wednesday 12 September 1979
Evening ride: Decided on the Day
0 present:
Evening runs may have lacked numbers at times but we have had some excellent excursions through lanes that look quite different in twilight or moonlight. If you feel like augmenting the numbers for the last couple of official evening runs of the season, make sure your lights are good and come along. Sue will pretty certainly be there on her gleaming new Claud Butler.

(Colin Brierly)

Sunday 16 September 1979
Day ride: Whooping Rock
0 present:
At last we reached the top. This photo won 5 marks at the 1980 Inter-DA Photo Competition
Robert said he knew where “The Rock” was, so we trekked up through the undergrowth.
We didn't find the Whooping Rock, but the fabulous view made the effort very worthwhile
This rock didn't "whoop" but it looked impressive
A lot more sunshine for our trip to Whooping Rock, and numbers just into double figures – half from Torbay and half from Buckfastleigh area who met us at Bickington. We had a steady climb over Haytor, where the crowds were out in full force, and then a rapid drop down to Widecombe where the crowds were even more in evidence.

We soon left the crowds however, taking the lane past Natsworthy to Heatree Cross and then along the track below Easdon Tor to find a nice place in the sun for a very leisurely picnic.

There was a slight delay after the tor had been inspected when John found a large thorn before we had even got through the gate, but after that it was nice running ground past Becky Falls and down off Trendlebere. We cut through to Liverton and then separated from the Buckfastleigh folk near Bickington, the Torbay route taking us past Seale Hayne.

(Colin Brierly)

Sunday 23 September 1979
Day ride: Cawsand
8 present: Colin Brierly, Iris Buckler, Colin Downie, Antony House, Carl Jeffereys, Michael Jones, Mark Morton, John Stuart
Rain stopped play! The group ready to leave Iris Buckler's house in Plympton. Left to right: Colin Brierly, Iris Buckler, Mark Moreton, Antony House, Carl Jeffereys, Colin Downie, Kevin and John Suart.
We’ve already decided not to mention “Bathing Runs” and it looks as though we’ll have to abandon “Cawsand” as a runs destination if we are to placate the weather gods. Ignoring the dire portents when we examined the entrails of something or other (Jean said it was spaghetti on toast) we put Cawsand on the list for the second time this summer, and again it poured, though much to my surprise there were quite a number of other mad fools who ventured out.

We weren’t quite up to double figures, but getting on that way, and included a new rider from Totnes, Kevin Mitchell, who had already joined the CTC and come to join us after receiving the August Highwayman. Iris Buckler didn’t have to twist our arms too hard to get us to have our picnic at her house in Plympton, though there was a fair amount of sock “twisting” before we settled down to eat.

After lunch we squelched home.

(Colin Brierly)

Sunday 30 September 1979
Day ride: 101 km Rides
7 present: Colin Downie, Don Hassall, Antony House, Carl Jeffereys, Michael Jones, Mark Morton, John Stuart
Don hasselling Antony. Was this on the same ride?
101km ride via Stoke Cannon. Lunch in the woods near Exeter.
A very good turnout for the “101” rides, when eight completed the 101 mile ride and a further eight the 101 kilometres. One of those completing the 101 miles was Frank Boyes who, despite being told he was “old enough to know better” on August Bank Holiday Saturday, obviously hasn’t learnt in seventy years.

We called in for cups of tea at Don and Grace’s at Dawlish towards the end of our rides.

(Colin Brierly)

Sunday 7 October 1979Afternoon ride: Dawlish
0 present:
To add insult to injury we invaded Don and Grace again on the afternoon run at the beginning of October. Not too sure how many would be there when I turned up after being up to Bridport, but at least they hadn’t eaten all the grub, even leaving me some “Jelly Babies and Custard”.

(Colin Brierly)

Thursday 11 October 1979Social: Torbay Section AGM
0 present:
At the Section AGM it was decided that our present formula appeared to be working quite well and should be continued. So, for the coming year, we have a Secretary (Sue Shepley) but no committee, and will have Section meetings approximately every three months to make up runs lists. The first Sunday in each month will continue to be an afternoon run.

(Colin Brierly)

Sunday 14 October 1979
Day ride: Exeter Maritime Museum
0 present:
A good day for our trip to the Maritime Museum today, with plenty of sunshine, though when we got to the establishment and found the price of admission £1.20 there was no great rush as most of us had seen it once already. We did have a tour of the river area and then a look around some of the old parts of Exeter before we descended like a flock of vultures on the Dalley household for tea – many thanks Margaret and Dick for your hospitality.

(Colin Brierly)

Saturday 20 October 1979Weekend ride: Salcombe YH Day 1
7 present: Colin Downie, Don Hassall, Antony House, Michael Jones, Mark Morton, John Stuart, Philip Wrigley
Phil, Frank, John and Mark examine Michael's recently-returned batch of photos from the Summer tour at Salcombe youth hostel
The group on the Salcombe weekend
A large contingent of Section members congregated at Totnes on October 20th for a ride to Salcombe YH for the “Harvest Supper” weekend. Bright sunshine lit up the autumn leaves for us as we followed a lane route past Moreleigh and Woodleigh to Churchstow, where most of us has a rest while Don dealt with the effects of one of many thorns on the last hill to the village.

There were many people and much activity at the hostel, although it was not full and, after beds were made and washing completed, there was time for chatter and games before the eagerly awaited meal. The excellent soup was disposed of rapidly, including a second helping for those who were hungry – and quick. Then it was on with the roast beef and several vegetables. Harvest time is, of course, the time for blackberries and apples which, with custard, made a very nice sweet. Thanks a lot Gerry for a fine meal.

A bit of shuffling of chairs and tables then, to clear the area for a show of superb slides taken on Gerald Prizeman’s tours and walks in mountainous areas.

(Colin Brierly)

Sunday 21 October 1979Weekend ride: Salcombe YH Day 2
7 present: Colin Downie, Don Hassall, Antony House, Michael Jones, Mark Morton, John Stuart, Philip Wrigley
The view towards Prawle Point from Salcombe youth hostel
Salcombe youth hostel
Inquisitve cows at lunchtime near Gara Bridge
Mark, Carl, Antony and Colin Downie at Salcombe youth hostel
The Sunday was rather cloudy and cold, but we did manage to warm our feet up quite frequently on the many hills from the hostel to Gara Bridge, where we found a lunch spot. After lunch, Jean and Adrian left us to press on back to Exeter while we had a closer inspection of the lanes past Crabadon and Harberton.

(Colin Brierly)

Sunday 28 October 1979
Day ride: Dittisham
1 present: Colin Brierly
By general consensus we decided to cancel our run to Dittisham on October 28th in order to see what was happening at the National Hill Climb at Haytor. The event was very well organised and must have been the biggest gathering of cyclists and ex-cyclists the area has known for many a year. After watching the latter part of the field suffering on the top section of the climb, and seeing the prize presentation by Gillian Miles, we dropped down past Becky Falls to meet Frank and Robert for lunch along the Manaton old road.

(Colin Brierly)

Sunday 4 November 1979
Afternoon ride: Ashburton
1 present: Colin Brierly
Double figures again for our November afternoon run, even if the weather was not too certain. In the event it stayed dry while we wandered through lanes nearly to Ashburton before returning through Ipplepen. There were a couple of pauses while Darren repaired a chain and John repaired a puncture – I think he’s making a prolonged effort to catch up with Phil!

(Colin Brierly)

Sunday 11 November 1979
Day ride: Castle Drogo
1 present: Colin Brierly
Castle Drogo was the destination put in for our first day run in November, the first snag with the proposed visit being that the place was closed for repair work. On the day there was a second snag – a forecast of heavy rain spreading from the west and a sky that provided strong support for the forecasters. Despite these discouragements there was a count of 11 riders by the time we had united with the Buckfastleigh contingent at Bovey, including two new riders, John from Ilsington and Mark from Bickington.

It was not quote noon when we reached Moretonhampstead but there was a tempting shelter in the car park should the sky drop some of its abundant store of rain. Just damp during lunch but we had hardly got out of Moreton before capes were needed and, having got within “visi-distance” of Drogo’s bulk, clinging to its rocky hillside, we turned towards home.

Before reaching North Bovey Mark had problems with a back wheel rubbing, due, I diagnosed, to a broken spindle, so an SOS had to be sent out from the village for Dad to come and collect. We also had a couple of punctures and a howling gale to contend with, but all arrived home in one piece, if rather damp.

(Colin Brierly)

Sunday 18 November 1979
Day ride: DA AGM Chudleigh Knighton
1 present: Colin Brierly
Our luck was better on the AGM day, and we managed to dodge the showers and find sunshine up by the Teignmouth golf course before dropping down through Gappah to Chudleigh Knighton for the meeting.

(Colin Brierly)

Sunday 25 November 1979
Day ride: Spurrells Cross
2 present: Peter Adams, Colin Brierly
Luck held again for a run to Spurrells Cross, even though the forecast was rather like that of the Drogo day. Numbers were also a repeat, though not quite the same eleven, but including John and Mark (with new rear spindle), and wind there was in plenty.

We climbed up onto the brow of Western Beacon, at Bittaford, to join the old mineral railway track before finding a not-very-sheltered spot for lunch. Heavy clouds and dampness in the air didn’t seem to affect the enthusiasm to complete the run so, a fairly rapid lunch consumed, we rode up a couple of miles of the stony track before turning right onto the open moor, past the cross and down to Owley. The descent, rather steep and rough in places, was accomplished without any touble, though the mineral track did disprove the “unbreakable” claim on Peter Adams’ rear mudguard!

(Colin Brierly)

Saturday 1 December 1979
Social: Devon DA Annual Dinner
1 present: Colin Brierly
This is an account of what happened at the Trecarn Hotel, Babbacombe, Torquay, on Saturday 1st December. Don’t worry, I shan’t write everything, the person might get embarrassed and sue me for libel!

Everybody had arrived by the time the dinner was being served at seven o’clock. We walked into the dining room which had the tables running from the top table all in a row. We found our places and waited behind our chairs for a prayer, after which we sat down and started our first course which was chilled melon and grapefruit cocktail, followed by Cream of Tomato Soup or a strange-looking substance which looked like cold tea without the tealeaves, called Consommé aux vins.

The main course was roast sirloin of prime English beef with Yorkshire pudding and horseradish sauce, roast and butted new potatoes, Brussel sprouts and buttered carrots – sorry to make you feel hungry.

During the eating of this main course there was a very strange ritual going on. A person would strike the table very fiercely with anything he could get his hands on and shout at the top of his voice “I would like to drink a toast”, and they stated what they wanted to drink a toast to. This varied from who joined the CTC fifty years ago, to nude swimming during the summer. When this ritual started I thought they were people from Rentokil trying to find woodworm by banging the table, and if they didn’t hit one, trying to make it deaf by shouting at it. Actually I wasn’t the only one who thought this as I overheard a man phoning the RSPCWW – the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty towards Woodworm – asking if they would send a letter to the manager of the Trecarn Hotel requesting that they put bells by people’s seats and supply the woodworm with earplugs.

For the sweet we had dairy cream gateau, fruit salad with ice cream or cheese and biscuits. I had the dairy cream gateau which was very nice, and my jacket thought so as well – when I was talking to someone, I catapulted a spoonful onto myself. NO, it didn’t suit me. Then came the coffee to bring us to the end of the very nice dinner.

We toasted the Queen, which made a change from the bread. This was proposed by the DA President, Ivy Thorp. Mr Jim Bailey, Chairman of the CTC National Council, proposed the CTC and Devon DA, and Mr Don Hassall responded, in front of everybody, and welcomed the visitors. Responding for the visitors was Mr Bob Mace from CTC Headquarters. If you’re wondering what all this responding is, it was very interesting, short talks and a few jokes.

The presentation of awards was made by the President of the CTC, Mr Arthur Moss JP. The toast master was Mr Cecil Davey and the MC Mr Steve Kelly.

Boundary Ride certificates: Colin Brierly, Graham Brodie, Charles Brown, Barbara Clews, Veronica Dixie, Robert Ellis, Don Hassall, Jean Luxton, Pete Luxton, Wendy Luxton, Iris Strong, Julie Strong, Ken Strong, Gordon Thorp, Ivy Thorp, Liz Williams, Stuart Williams and Tony Williams.

101 Miles Certificates: Colin Brierly, Peter Adams, Michael Bailey, Frank Boyes, Brian Cloak, Ralph Colman, Ian Holding, Jean Luxton, Kevin Mitchell, Adrian Parkyns, Robert Spence, Liz Williams and Phillip Wrigley.

101 Kilometres Certificates: Lawrence Beckford, David Cloak, Martin Dalley, Richard Dalley, Colin Downie, Noel Downie, Henry Gregson, Don Hassall, Anthony House, Michael Jones, Pete Luxton, Wendy Luxton, Brian Mills, Mark Morton, Iris Strong, Julie Strong, Ken Strong, John Stuart, Gordon Thorp, Gordon Wells and Normal Wells.

So far two and a half hours had gone by, and at 9.30 came the entertainment for the evening. This was ballroom dancing, introduced by Mr Steve Kelly. The music was played by four excellent musicians who played the drums, piano, trumpet, clarinet and saxophone. As you might realise, there are more instruments than musicians. Well, there was no magic on the night, it was just simply one man who played two instruments – and not at the same time I might add.

At 10.30 the special showing from the local boys and girls – it was to do with the Year of the Child. The first act was of two little boys, played by Ken Strong and Tony Williams, with a sketch involving two little boys cycling with their parents and talking about what most children say while on tour with their parents.

Then came the finale with Gordon Thorp riding a tricycle, closely followed by Margaret Dalley, Jean Luxton, Tony Williams, Les Sparkes and Ken Strong. They sang a rendition of “Daddy’s taking us on the run tomorrow”, sung to the tune of “Daddy’s taking us to the zoom tomorrow”. This was a tribute to the up and coming CTC. The records were played by Iris Strong and the whole thing was introduced by Grace Kelly.

Then came the short interval where the draw took place. This was my favourite part of the evening as my ticket came up – pink number 381 – and I won the magnificent book “Winged Wheel” by William Oakley, the former president of the CTC. The draw raised £22 for the GHS Memorial, after deduction of expenses.

Dancing started again at 11.15 and the evening finished with a very fit, moving ending, with everybody prancing about to the Hokey Cokey and Knees Up Mother Brown. Finally everybody stood in a large circle holding hands, singing Auld Lang Syne.

The evening finished around 12.30am on Sunday morning, which meant cycling for most people. Well anyway, Knees Up Mother Brown got them into trim. I’m sure you would like to join me in thanking the organisers for a very enjoyable evening, and if you could not make it this year and you think you would have enjoyed it, then maybe you’ll make a special effort to come next year.

(Adrian Parkyns)

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