Round the Churches 2011
Another year, and another attempt to visit some of Kent's fine Churches and raise money for their upkeep. Some Ragstones- Peter, Rosemary, Ruth, Robert and Jane plus the youngsters Alex, Lorna, Jessica and Adonis came along. And especially this year, Sophia, not just joining us along the way, but in her own personal bike trailer courtesy of her Dad. It was christened her carriage and she played the princess very well, while Dad struggled up the hills.
Another change was the route, not our general doddle round the Marsh but visits to Smeeth, Brabourne and Brook. This was suggested, as Peter wanted to visit Brook, where a Church History course was being held.This also gave us a chance to say hi to Mick, who was attending it.
We started at Lympne, then rode to Aldington and from there to Smeeth. A magnificent Church with an amazing Norman doorway adorned with carved heads. Local worthies of the time perhaps or maybe a rogue's gallery? There was a hobbies exhibition in the Church and since someone's hobby was definitely cooking, we were somewhat delayed, as we all tried the cakes.
Then on to Brabourne, another magnificent building with a large Norman square tower It must have been a wealthy area in the past although only a small village now, and hiding under mats in the side aisle are brasses, depicting some of the former inhabitants.
All these delights held up the ride somewhat, but we just managed to get to Brook by lunch time. This Church has a range of medieval paintings, as well as a magnificent tithe barn now a museum. Mick had time to say Hello before returning to his tutor and fellow students. We then found the Honest Miller for a prolonged rest in the warm sunshine and something to eat.
The end result was a delayed departure and while we passed close to Wye, Hinxhill, Sevington and Mersham churches, we just cycled straight to Ruckinge. We were greeted warmly and enjoyed yet more cakes. By this time we were all rather full of cake and fortunately had transport back to Lympne although Alex and Lorna ,young and fit, made it by bike.
We all called in to see Ragstone Norman at Bonnington Church, to admire the flower festival and for once not to eat any more cakes! I am ashamed to say we only tallied six churches this time, too much food and not enough miles. Next year we will have to do better!!