A hot famous weekend Shropshire Weekend
The weather was set for hot and sunny all weekend and considering how late in the year the event was, the thick winter jackets were put back in cupboard and the lightweight air flows would be the order of the day, fingers crossed!!!
When I arrived at the Hotel, after work, Ian and Jim were busy cleaning their bikes, while Denise and Jill completed the ironing !!Dennis, Christine, Rob, Colleen, Glen, Kris ,Paul and Angela had met up with Ian at various points during the day and traveled to the Holiday Inn together. Richard and Christine had the jaunt from Bolton. Rodger, Edit, Joe, Rick and Françoise had made the journey up from the South. After making sure everything was okay at Hotel Roy and I headed home to change and get back in time for Dinner.
Alan and Ann arrived a little late due to work commitments but after a quick swill they joined us all for a very nice carvery meal and the usual catch up after dinner.
On a hot dry morning we were all sitting erect on the bikes for an 8.45 start (we were off to the Llandudno Light Parade, to give support to the organizers, North Wales Goldwings) Nigel and Sue had joined us, for the weekend, as Sue had been working late on Friday.
We set off, Roy was leading, which was a real challenge for him as he is usually at the back and just follows the bikes in front!! So with sweaty palms we made the first roundabout and set off through the beautiful, Shropshire countryside. Roy was gaining confidence with each junction and began pointing out some of the “famous” landmarks and people who had touched the area with their presence e.g. Princes William and Harry.
We crossed over the welsh border and headed through Llangollen to take on the mighty famous “Horseshoe Pass”. Unfortunately loads of others had the same idea, mostly slow car drivers so the ride up was slow but we could all view the picturesque scenery. At the top was our first stop the famous Ponderosa, Biker café. It was lovely to meet up with John and Jeanette Gaunt who had ridden over to see us on their new BMW. Quite a few people sat on it but the wing came out on top!
After saying goodbye to John and Jeanette, they were to shop in Welshpool, we continue to wind our way through the welsh countryside to reach Llandudno in time for lunch. When we arrive there was already over 80 of Wings of all types assembled with the public busily looking around. On the way Nigel and Sue had missed a turning so Alan and Ann, chased off after them and bought them into Llandudno via a different route to meet us with us on the promenade
The organization was brilliant and we were soon all parked up, subscriptions paid (all going to the RNLI) and stripped off (Well Joe did take off his bike trousers to put on some very fetching shorts, I think he charged extra for the view!!) to wander around, look at the other bikes, meet old friends and find some lunch. Jim fell in love with “Purple Pussy” and the least said about that the better! If you are interested then ask Jim.
All too soon it was time to leave, as we needed to get back for the celebration meal. Stuart (Doc) led us out of the parking area in a long sedate procession, so we could wave to the public and goodbye to the other wingers.
The route home was across to “B” roads with panoramic views of Snowdonia, Unfortunately, Roy (with no bike to follow) took a wrong turning so half the group followed Roy, with no where safe to turn round. Jim was now the leader of the second pack using the correct route, he said the views were fabulous; half of us missed them completely so took his word for it.
No panic we all met up with each other at the famous Rhug farm shop for afternoon tea and ice cream, it was so hot!
Then it was back to the hotel for a quick change and meet the taxis at 6.45pm. Joe thought it was 7.15pm; he and Izzy were almost left behind.
Shifnal Golf Club put on an excellent meal with good friendly service and we celebrated 10 years of Elite in style. After the meal Roy organized a quiz, which Izzy and Joe won, Richard proposed a toast to Ian as founder member of Elite and thanked Roy for organizing the evening meal and weekend. The taxis arrived on time and soon we were back at the hotel for another nightcap and bed ready for the next days ride.
Again it was hot but a little overcast as we all set off slightly later at 9.00am. Pam and Mark Pratley had taken time out of building their new home in Wales, to join us for the day as well as dinner. Roy was now an experienced ride leader and spent time filling everyone in on more famous people, places and things. Our trip today was around Shropshire and because Ann and Christine ( Cros)had requested it, to pass as many black and white houses as possible,
We headed off, over the famous free bridge, to Bridgnorth, through the town past the famous black and white Town hall and past the famous caves and cliff railway. Then onto Ludlow via a beautiful sweeping road, through Clee Hill village (views hampered by low cloud) to the famous town of Ludlow, here instead of skirting around the town we zig zagged through to see all the lovely old houses, quaint streets and famous sites e.g.,De Grays Tea House,the Castle and the Feathers Inn (Blott on the Landscape was filmed there). Our first stop was at the Ludlow Food Court, for coffee and a cake, plus a look around the lovely organic food hall.
Once more on the bikes to thread our way through the lanes of Shropshire to the famous Long Mynd (the name became distorted over the CB). Here we bunched up to ride up the narrow steep Burway, luckily no cars were coming down, to reach the glider station, the low cloud had cleared and views across the Shropshire plain were awesome. Just as we reached the station we were entertained with a gilder taking off (all planned of course). There were also some paragliders getting ready to take off, so we lined up to watch them and offer opinions on techniques, I had no idea we had so many paragliding experts in Elite Wings! Except for Alan and Ann who had done a piggy back jump in Innesbruck.
After a photo call we mounted up and then thread our way across the Long Mynd and down the Burway, luckily there were no cars coming up, as it is a sheer drop to the left.
Lunch was in the famous market town of Church Stretton, where Andy and Carole were waiting to meet us, they have just moved to Malvern and are hoping to do more trips in 2012.
Once more we clambered on the bikes and headed for the next stop, which was the famous RAF Museum at Cosford. We passed through Much Wenlock, famous for being the birth place of the modern Olympics, past the famous Iron Bridge, here Richard, Christine, Andy and Carole decided to stay to have a look around, we carried on pass the famous Coalport China museum and on to Cosford.( I am sure Roy put in a few more Famous statements during the day).
At Cosford, Paul and Angela said their goodbyes, while the rest of us mooch around and spent money in the shop on grandchildren.
After a photo line up we headed back to Telford to spruce up for dinner. Nigel and Sue said their first goodbye but decided to stay for dinner, so we had a second goodbye later on. Alan and Ann had a quick swim before heading north to home. Mark and Pam also stayed for dinner before heading back to the wilds of Wales.
On Monday Roy took Richard for a game of golf, so called into the hotel to say goodbye to the remaining group. I took Christine for a walk around Attingham Park before meeting the golfers for lunch.
We were so lucky with the weather it was fabulous and with the rides and the company. Roy and I had a great time, We hope you all did as well.