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Sunday 2 January 1983
0930
Day ride: Cadbury Castle (SS913053)
0 present:

Sunday 2 January 1983
1415
Afternoon ride: Ipplepen
9 present: Colin Brierly, Simon Haly, Michael Jones, Ian Lee, John Roome, Duncan Scott, Sue Shepley, Matthew Tewson, Andrew Winstanley
Matthew Tewson keep extra warm with Michael's Mountain Equipment gloves at Weekaborough Oak Cross
The group at Weekaborough Oak Cross, also known as Stumpy Oak, near Marldon
We were pleasantly surprised by the bright sunshine on the January afternoon ride. Of course, it was too early to state with any certainty that the Weather Gods had made a new-year resolution, but we could at least hope. As usual, no plans had been made regarding a destination, so we set off towards “Stumpy Oak” and wandered down towards Ipplepen before deciding to divert to Staverton.

There were thirteen members out that afternoon, the largest turnout for many weeks. It was good to see Duncan out with us again after such a long break, not to mention Andrew Winstanley, John Roome, Simon, Sue and Dave who have all been a little elusive of late (probably something to do with the weather).

Ian had tyre trouble along the track and decided to turn back before it became un-rideable. The rest of us carried on to Denbury, where Matthew and I left the others to wend their way home.

(Michael Jones)

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Saturday 8 January 1983Social: Exeter New Year Party
1 present: Michael Jones
Six days later was the evening of the Exeter New Year Party, which a few of us attended. We thoroughly enjoyed our evening and send our thanks to all those who helped with the organisation.

(Michael Jones)

Sunday 9 January 1983
1000
Day ride: Hamel DownWet morning, sunny afternoon
4 present: Colin Brierly, Michael Jones, Richard Read, Dominic Sanders
Since those of us who attended the New Year Party were staying the night at Don’s residence at Dawlish, we had a fair ride next morning to meet up with the rets of the gang at the Buckfastleigh pickup. Nevertheless, we accomplished the journey in seventy-five minutes, arriving just as the drizzle was settling in for the morning. Only Colin and Richard were there to meet us, so when Dominic had a puncture it didn’t take long for everyone to think about Redmount again – why does it always rain when the pickup is at Buckfastleigh?

With entertainment of all kinds, from music to video, coffee soon turned into lunch, but shortly afterwards the sun came out and we were able to enjoy a short ride over the moors via Hembury, Buckland-in-the-Moor and Cold East Cross. The air was clean and fresh, and we all felt a good deal better by the end of the afternoon.

(Michael Jones)

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Sunday 16 January 1983
1000
Day ride: Shipley Bridge
14 present: Colin Brierly, Jean Brierly, Mark Evans (I) (Junior, Paignton), Mark Hodges (Junior, Paignton), Michael Jones, Ian Lee, Mark Morton, John Roome, Duncan Scott, John Stuart, Matthew Tewson, Chris Tochnell (Junior, Paignton), Mike Ward, Andrew Winstanley
The Dam is seriously overflowing today
John Roome, Andrew Winstanley and Michael Ward at the Avon Dam near Shipley Bridge
Duncan repairs a puncture at Gidley Bridge, near Dean Prior
John Room, Duncan Scott, Andrew Winstanley, Michael Ward and John Stuart trying to keep warm on the Avon Dam
Mark Evans and Mark Hodges watch the regular crew having fun at Gidley Bridge
Colin looks on and the group uses Gidley Bridge to keep off the chilly wind while Duncan repairs his puncture
The Shipley Bridge ride was another of the month’s success stories, with three new riders joining the ranks from Paignton school – Mark Evans, Mark Hodges and Chris Tochnell, all in the Fourth and Fifth years. Oh well, life is already confusing with multiple Andrews, Michaels and Johns, so we may as well be “in for a pound”.

We followed the main road from Totnes up the long drag to Avonwick and then continued to South Brent. After a short climb through Aish we were at the destination and settling down in the sun opposite the rhododendrons for lunch. The more adventurous walked up to the Avon Dam to verify that whatever problems there may be with the supply network there was certainly no shortage of water at the source.

To conclude the day’s ride, we cycled back through the muddy lanes towards Dartington, during which time Ian Lee and Duncan got punctures and one of the new lads broke his light. When Duncan’s tyre went flat a second time, Colin took the others home while I attempted some repair work. By this time, it was somewhat chilly, and we were glad to get home for supper.

(Michael Jones)

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Sunday 23 January 1983
1000
Day ride: North Bovey
3 present: Michael Jones, Kevin Presland, Nigel Presland
On the 23rd, despite good weather, only six members met at the Bickington pickup for the ride to North Bovey. Well, actually there were eight, but Kevin and Nigel dropped out at the last minute, for reasons best known to themselves. We rode up the hill to Haytor and took the road around Hound Tor instead of dropping down to Manaton.

It was rather cold despite the sunshine, and we were only a little surprised to find we had gravitated towards Old Yarde Farm at North Bovey. Yes, this was the home of Relko, the famous Rocking Horse stable, but more importantly the “jockey” was at home. For those who don’t remember, Tim Reep and his son used to ride with us quite often about eighteen months ago, but we hadn’t seen him for a while and had a lot of news to catch up on. When lunch had been eaten by the stove we had a look for the first time at some of the horses on display. They really were beautifully made and must be great fun for children to play on.

When we had thanked Tim for his hospitality we pressed onwards to return via Cold East Cross and Bickington. Yes, a superb ride, even though we finished on a muddy track!

(Michael Jones)

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Sunday 30 January 1983
1000
Day ride: Ashcombe Tower (SX927778)Wintry showers turning to snow
6 present: Mark Evans (I), Mark Hodges, Michael Jones, Dominic Sanders, Robert Spence, Mike Ward
And so, we come to the last ride of the month, which was to Ashcombe Tower. We were pleased to see the two Marks out with us again, but support from the rest of the crew was poor, probably because of the intermittent hail and snow. Nevertheless, we braved the elements and set off towards Kingsteignton and the golf course.

I left the others near Lindridge Park, and Rob Spence left shortly afterwards, leaving Michael, Dominic and the Marks to find Ashcombe Tower. They didn’t actually find it, but were near enough when the snow came in. They hastily rode to Dawlish for a cup of tea and sanctuary from the weather, but at 2.30 they reluctantly left for the journey home.

A good month for Torbay then, with attendances creeping back to the pre-monsoon levels. There are plenty of exciting events planned for the new season, including tours, cycle-camping, film shows and even film-making, so there’s no excuse for not joining in the fun!

(Michael Jones)

Sunday 6 February 1983
0930
Day ride: Beacon Hill (SX573468)
2 present: Mark Morton, Eddie Wingfield
Mark Morton and Eddie Wingfield had been the sole participants in the hard ride to the South Hams. I understand they had an interesting day, finishing up at Eddie’s home in South Brent for refreshments.

(Michael Jones)

Sunday 6 February 1983
1415
Afternoon ride: Broadhempston
4 present: Colin Brierly, Michael Jones, Jamie Spence, Robert Spence
February was, on the whole, a dry month, but bitter easterly winds made several of the rides a trifle cold to say the least. Average attendance for the month was just over ten.

The Afternoon Run was well attended – a fact which was probably not entirely unrelated to tea being at Colin’s that evening! Jamie Spence made his annual visit to the Section along with his father – if he keeps up this regular exercise for just a few more years he’ll soon be fit enough to join us twice a year!

The fourteen of us decided on a shortish ride, beginning with a detour through Blagdon to Afton and continuing via Hemsford to Broadhempston. From there, a brisk return was made to Paignton through Park Hill, the last drag up from Compton leaving a certain young gentleman most definitely ready for tea!

And, of course, the spread was delicious, particularly Jean’s super vol-au-vents and fruit flan. A little snooker rounded off the day’s activities admirably, and we were once again indebted to Colin and Jean for their hospitality.

(Michael Jones)

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Saturday 12 February 1983Social: Maypool Valentine Party
0 present:
The following Saturday was the evening of the DA Valentine Party at Maypool youth hostel. The event was attended by the Exeter A, Torbay, Plymouth and Barnstaple Sections and seemed to be a great success once again. The hostel is ideal for such games as Crazy Post, with people running in all directions, including up and down! We are grateful to the wardens for making us so welcome and look forward to returning next year.

(Michael Jones)

Sunday 13 February 1983
1000
Day ride: Hansel Mill (SX824478)
5 present: Colin Brierly, Michael Jones, Frances Lofty, Unknown Rider 1, Eddie Wingfield
Descending the steep track to Hansel Mill. This is probably Eddie and Iona
On the cold, grey day of 13th February six of us met at Totnes for the ride to Hansel Mill – there would have been more had it not been for the previous evening’s antics! Eddie Wingfield was out again, this time accompanied by his friend Iona, out for her first ride. Also making a welcome return to Club life after mock A-levels was Frances Lofty, but she’ll soon have to settle down to work again for the real exams in June.

We joined the Strete road by taking the lanes through Tuckenhay and Allaleigh, and a few miles before the end we turned right to descend the steep sides of the Hansel valley. With the temperature as it was, lunch was not a drawn-out affair, and as soon as we had finished admiring the beauty and seclusion of the area we began the long climb up the other side. We said goodbye to three of our number near Diptford, which left Colin, Frances and me to wend our way homewards.

(Michael Jones)

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Sunday 20 February 1983
1000
Day ride: Dunchideock
7 present: John Babbage (Junior, Devon), Gareth Bath (Junior, Paignton), Colin Brierly, Matthew Burrows, Phil Burrows, Don Hassall, Michael Jones
The Dunchideock ride had a good turnout, with two new members – Gareth Bath and John Babbage – making numbers up to nine at the Chudleigh Bridge pickup. There would have been two more if Matthew and Richard had not had a puncture on the way from Newton Abbot.

Colin had to leave us because of a bad cold, so the remaining eight of us set off up the Teign Valley to Doddiscombesleigh and Sexton’s Cross, from where we slogged up over the hill to the destination. Shelter from the wind was not immediately forthcoming, and we had progressed to Shillingford before a suitable lunch spot was found. As with the previous week the breeze was not exactly warm, and we were quickly on the bikes again, eager for hills to climb.

We arrived early at Dorrie Amos’ house in Exeter for our cup of tea, and by the time Don turned up we had cleared most of the food! After thanking Dorrie for her welcome Port of Call we made all speed along the ship canal, where Gareth entertained us all by falling off his bike and nearly slipping into the icy depths! We were honoured to have Don riding with us all the way to Dawlish, but whilst his offer of another cup of tea was very tempting it was high time we were making tracks for home.

It was nice to see Phil Burrows and son Matthew out with us again after a winter hibernation, and I was particularly pleased to welcome Gareth into the ranks – a long-standing friend of mine from STC Paignton.

(Michael Jones)

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Sunday 27 February 1983
1000
Day ride: Wonwell Beach (SX618472)
4 present: Colin Brierly, Jean Brierly, Michael Jones, Matthew Tewson
And so, we come to the last ride of the month. We had intended to try Wonwell Beach again, but the wind and rain soon made us forget all such ideas. It looks like Wonwell Beach is another Cawsand, conjuring up bad weather whenever we try to visit!

The pickup was at Avonwick, a long way from Buckfastleigh you may think. Well, it obviously wasn’t far enough, because the wheels started turning in the direction of South Brent and Harbertonford, and by 12.15 everyone had settled down in front of the log fire at Redmount!

During the course of the next three hours, Matthew managed to burn a hole in his socks whilst waving them in front of the fire on the end of a toasting fork, a number of people enjoyed television and music whilst eating their lunch, and Jean commented that these were the easiest three attendance points she had ever earned! Such is life in Torbay Section.

(Michael Jones)

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Things will be a little different in the Section from now on. After two and a half years at STC I have recently accepted a three-month trial appointment with National Children’s Home near Stroud, and because the job involves working at weekends my Sunday attendance will sadly have to drop to about one per month. I will still be continuing in the role of Section Secretary, organising most of the major events such as camping and hostel weekends, summer socials and tours, but clearly I will not be able to help with much of the day-to-day running of the Section.

As Section Delegate, Kevin Presland will be taking on this responsibility, ably assisted by Colin Brierly and Michael Ward, but they would be grateful for any offers of assistance with such matters as the writing of Torbay Topics and the planning of runs. Kevin can be contacted on Haytor 388 and he should be able to answer any queries you may have about Section activities.

Finally, there are a number of members waiting for news about the 1983 Junior Tour for August. We have been waiting for British Rail to confirm the travel arrangements, but after a recent conversation with them I am pleased to announce that we are going to be able to run this year’s tour to South West Scotland at a very reasonable price. At the time of writing this looks like being around £55 for eight days (20-27 August) including food. So make a note in your diary, save your pounds and watch out for the circular which will be issued around mid-March!

(Michael Jones)

Saturday 5 March 1983
1000
Weekend ride: Inter-DA Photographic Competition Day 1: Home to Crowcombe
2 present: Jean Brierly, Mike Ward
In my opinion, the Photographic Competition at Crowcombe youth hostel is one of the nicest weekends in the year. Nicer still when the weather is friendly as it was this time. Five Torbay members, including John Babbage, cycled via the Teign Valley and Longdown to Exeter and lunch at Jean Luxton’s house in Stoke Canon. Jean and Wendy Luxton and Jean Brierly made up the group after lunch.

From Stoke Canon we sped up the Exe valley through Tiverton and Bampton and on to Wiveliscombe where we turned into the lanes for the final few miles to Crowcombe, where we were greeted by Don Hassall and a pot of his tea. Well done Richard and Matthew.

(Michael Ward)

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Sunday 6 March 1983
1415
Afternoon ride: Broadhempston
5 present: Dave Eyre, Michael Jones, Glenn Powling, Kevin Presland, Andrew Winstanley
Kevin Presland at Broadhempston play park
Fun at Broadhempston Play Park
Dave Eyre, Andrew W and Glenn P watch the fun from outside the park at Broadhempston
We had a little difficulty in deciding where to go for the March Afternoon Run, but eventually we set off past Brownscombe Hill towards Ipplepen’s Park Hill. We continued through Denbury to the densely-populated village of West Ogwell before using a little used (by us) road through Wotton and Purcombe, taking us to Beaston.

After a little more indecision, we decided to omit the Staverton detour, and when the “children” had finished playing on the swings and slides at Broadhempston we concluded our circular jaunt by returning once more to Park Hill for refreshments. I hope our new rider, Ian Blackwell, enjoyed his day and that we will see him again during the summer.

(Michael Jones)

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Sunday 13 March 1983Day ride: Turf Lock (SX 963861)
5 present: Colin Brierly, Graham Brodie, Richard Read, Robert Spence, Mike Ward
The day started off bright and sunny but soon after realizing it was Sunday it rained on us before the start. Seven intrepid riders, including Rob Spence out again, groaned off to Exeter via Gappah and Telegraph Hill.

We joined the Exeter Canal just above Double Locks and followed the distinctly wet and muddy towpath to the motorway bridge, which we chose for its slightly lessened discomfort rather than for the view. Graham Brodie met us here, by which time Richard had found a puncture and Colin was in the driest spot (section of land drain). Distinctly wet we squelched to Dawlish and dripping into the dry and warmth for tea at Don’s – thanks Don. I’ll tell Egon Ronay.

(Michael Ward)

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Sunday 20 March 1983Day ride: Kennick Reservoir (SX 803844)
4 present: Martin Chesterfield (Junior, Paignton), Ian Lee, Dominic Sanders, Mike Ward
Hennock Reservoirs was the destination on the 20th for the joint Torbay/A-Section run. Seven of us out again including Martin Chesterfield, a new lad out from Paignton. From the pickup point at Chudleigh Bridge we peddled up the Teign Valley, turning left through Christow and up the hill (phew!) to the reservoirs.

We cycled through the reservoirs to Tottiford, looking out for the A-Section. Unable to find them, most settled down for lunch while Ian, Dominic and I did another tour of the reservoirs. We found them eventually and, with the others, joined them for a short while after lunch.

The Exeter bunch were cycling back via Christow, so we decided to take a detour to Moretonhampstead where the café was closed for the first time in memory. Never mind, tea was held at Bovey tearooms before we went our separate ways home.

(Michael Ward)

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Sunday 27 March 1983Day ride: Gara Bridge
0 present:
Report to follow.

Friday 1 April 1983Tour: Somerset & North Devon Day 1 Home to Holford YH
8 present: Andrew Billington, Matthew Burrows, Phil Burrows, Michael Jones, Kevin Presland, John Roome, John Stuart, Matthew Tewson
Many readers will already know of the scenic beauty of North Devon, ranging from magnificent coastline to rugged moorland. It was to this region that Torbay Section took its first independent Easter Tour for a number of years, and with the luxury of fine weather the trip added up to a very enjoyable break for the eight participants.

The first two days of the tour brought back memories for two of us of our first cycle tour nearly four years ago, when more than twenty punctures were collected together with many shoe-fulls of water! We hoped for better luck this year.

Six of us were transported to Cathedral Close, Exeter on Good Friday morning by several kind parents. The other five were Matthew Tewson (14), John Roome (14), John Stuart (17), Kevin Presland (17) and Andrew Billington (20). To avoid busy roads, we took a lane route over Stoke Hill to Killerton Park, making such good progress that we felt we could afford to stop at Cullompton for coffee – and some of the most delicious ginger cake you can imagine! We then diverted through some delightful scenery past Stenhill and Reed’s Cross so as to avoid the Willand complex, pausing on Culmstock bridge for photographs.

Lunch was now the order of the day, but each spot we found didn’t seem quite good enough so we went on in search of greener pastures. It wasn’t long before we came across the main road on the outskirts of Wellington and wished we had stopped earlier! There was no going back however, so we settled down to make the best of the lunch spot despite the road of vehicles and the hard stares of their occupants.

(Michael Jones)

At Wellington crossroads the six were joined by Mat-thew (not to be confused with Matthew) on his first tour at the age of eleven, and his Dad Phil, on his first tour for more years than he cares to remember. Here, a small change of plan was made when it was decided to go over the Quantocks to Holford instead of around via Bridgwater. The remainder of lunch was taken at the roadside near Milverton before riding through the lanes to Combe Florey, with Michael checking the map at every junction.

A main road bash into the cold headwind to Crowcombe was followed by a spot of mountaineering, up the south-west face of the Quantocks. Here, Matthew decided to try the low gears on Matthew’s bike (up a 1 in 4?) and promptly fell off in the middle of the road, somehow getting both legs trapped! Matthew managed to free him before the next car arrived.

We took the pretty way down the other side to Holford, via the rough track over Black Hill, the only casualty being Matthew’s read mudguard which seemed to become strongly attracted to the wheel. A vandalised YHA sign provoked more discussion and map-reading before we selected the right track up to Holford hostel. This seemed to be choc-a-bloc with self-catering cyclists but at least we only had to wash up for eight.

During the evening we took a walk down to the telephone at Kilve. On the way, Matthew, in playful mood and encouraged by Michael, managed to walk straight into a ditch which was about two feet deeper than anyone expected. On returning to the light of the hostel it turned out to have also been rather muddy! Matthew spent the rest of the evening in shorts while his only pair of trousers and trainers dried out.

(Phil Burrows)

[3 photos to follow]

Saturday 2 April 1983Tour: Somerset & North Devon Day 2 Holford to Exford YH
8 present: Andrew Billington, Matthew Burrows, Phil Burrows, Michael Jones, Kevin Presland, John Roome, John Stuart, Matthew Tewson
Saturday’s biggest problem was knowing how many layers of clothing to wear. North-facing descents were bitterly cold, but sheltered ascents were sweltering in the bright sunshine. After visiting the duckpond and church at charming East Quantoxhead we rode on to Watchet for morning coffee. We then made for the top of North Hill, west of Minehead, the target for lunch, and spent all morning watching it loom larger ahead of us as we rode through Blue Anchor and along the A39 past Dunster Castle.

After raiding the shops of Minehead, stocking up with goodies and being entertained by the sight of a member of the Manchester CTC riding one-legged after one of his pedals fell off, we only made it halfway up North Hill before collapsing for lunch, during which Kevin spent a considerable time taking an “artistic” photo of a fag-end in the grass with his (borrowed) telephoto lens.

After lunch we viewed the Welsh Coast from North Hill, then continued the “David Bailey” hour when Michael had us all posing on the bikes halfway down the 1-in-2 track to peaceful Selworthy, which, as anyone who owns a calendar knows, is the most photographed village … David Baileys all over the place! Here, Kevin discovered his puncture.

After Selworthy we approached Allerford by way of the white road. At the bottom of the hill there is a very picturesque little ford and a stone bridge. Matthew T naturally decided to see how deep the ford was and came to a halt right in the middle and frightened off the ducks, much to the annoyance of the bystanders. Funny, the water only came a few inches up the ducks, but right up to Matthew’s knees!

Afternoon tea was taken in the garden of the corner restaurant before, by a superb piece of map-reading by Michael, we achieved our desired route to Exford by missing the turning he wanted. The ford through East Water below Cloutsham was the place where John Stuart had destroyed his front wheel on a previous tour, and he was determined to make the crossing this time without mishap. Of course, everyone else rode straight through without problem, but John, after carefully surveying the scene, took a route on the right-hand side which nobody else had taken … and fell off! Unfortunately, cameras were still packed away – at least no damage was done to machine or rider on this occasion. John was eventually persuaded to make another crossing just to prove he could do it, and this time he did.

There then followed a long steady climb through Cloutsham and over Stoke Pero Common where young Matthew B, followed closely by his breathless Dad, refused to stop to look at the lambs and climbed strongly to the top – it was his kind of hill. The long descent to Exford was bitterly cold and slightly damp, but having fought our way through the cars and mini-buses in the car park the hostel was warm and welcoming – though not warm enough for Andrew to take his cap off.

Later that evening, Michael introduced us to the delights of the forthcoming Summer Tour, and Matthew T made himself popular by insisting on putting the lights out early and then keeping us awake by knocking a water bottle over onto Michael’s belongings.

(Phil Burrows)

[25 photos to follow]

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