Only three stalwart Ragstones set off today, so it was decided to make it easy quick spin, then lunch, then quick spin back.The weather was glorious, Rosemary had a new bike.What more could we need for a fabulous day? Yes, a grand lunch at the Royal Oak at Brookland.
Rosemary went well on the new bike but had some difficulty with getting on and off, just as well none of the photos show the process. More practise should make for smoother manoevres. The Marsh was at its best, white May blossom everywhere, blue sky and sunshine. The chill winds of winter seemed months away and the cuckoo and larks were celebrating the surge of greenery as loudly as they could.
We followed the cycle route 2 most of the way there, and were pleased to see that the unique fish signs have been repainted. We stopped at the ruins of Eastbridge Church and pondered over the disappearance of the medieval village which once surrounded it. No sign of it at all now just fields and ditches.
We stopped briefly at St Mary in the Marsh another huge church with a tiny village surrounding it. Most of the Marsh Churches are the same including Brookland, once a large centre of population and now just a few houses lining the street and scattered farms. Inside the Church there are plenty of treasures- a lead font dated to 1150, wall paintings, an ancient clock, box pews and the original weights and measures kept for the annual check as decreed by Parliament in the eighteenth century.
Fortunately the Royal Oaks measures are generous, and three replenished cyclists did not emerge from lunch until just after three. We cycled quickly back through Ivychurch and Newchurch determined to prove, that Ragstones expeditions are not just about lunch!