At last I have got my laptop back with all the photos of the EN-A away weekend, so I thought it was time to update the website and show all those who did not attend what they missed.
The venue organised by Jim and Eileen Codrington was at a rather plush hotel and conference centre in Rutland called The BARNSDALE HALL, and what a find it was. Set in many acres of open and wooded land, golf, leisure facilities and, of course, an excellent restaurant.
The accommodation was second to none, and everyone was happy with the rooms that they were allocated. Sadly Peter and Julia Russell were not able to attend, as they were both unwell after a seven week holiday travelling the USA.
We all met on the Friday evening after finding that the restaurant and bar was at the top of a hill, behind the annex accommodation, a little hard for some to walk with a few flights of stone steps to but on finding a lift that took you from the ground floor to the second floor of the annex and then a small walk along a sloped path to the bar and everyone was happy again, the usual banter and consumption of beverages, as is expected from EN-A ensued.
Saturday morning after breakfast we assembled and left the Hotel for a small village called Lyddington, Jim had arranged for us to park beside one of the village hotels.
Jim and Eileen Codrington who had organised the days run out got us all together and explained that there was a national trust property called Lyddington Bede House, a few hundred yards away, so we all set off for a walk and to strech our legs.
This house was originally owned by the Bishops of Lincoln and was made into Alms Houses for the aged Bedesmen, or Ladies. Most of our group paid the entrance fee and went off for an hours exploring.
The inside of the house was very well restored and preserved, and you could see from the pictures and writings how hard it was to live in those times. Well worth the entrance cost.
Eventually it was time to leave and return to the hotel in the centre of the village where we had parked, and make time for a coffee.
We strolled along the small lanes to the village green, and found that the village was having its fete, they hoped we would all stay and put our wings on display, but sadly we were not able to stop, but we managed to get a few photos of the machines they were to display that were owned by the local enthusiasts. Just a few that had arrived.
We returned to the hotel and enjoyed a cup of coffee, before heading off to the next stop, but not before Gordon and Alison had returned to the fete to appear with a very large toy workshop bench and tools, for their grandson. once it was packed into their car we set off again.
Our next stop was at Launde Abbey, a residential retreat house and conference centre. Attached to the rear of the house is a small 12th Century chapel which inside was beautiful, and the windows were magnificent, Tummies were rumbling so everyone followed Jim to the restaurant where tables had been booked for us. A very good menu to choose from but most went for the soup or a baguette, both were very large plates with salad etc.
It was time to move off again to our next stop at something really different, a working windmill in a small village called Whissendine.
Whissendine Windmill was open when we arrived and the brave few went up the various steps to the top to look at everything working 7 floors in all (sorry its the bakery engineer in me).
After getting in the flour dust a few small bags of flour were purchased and the miller, we all called him Windy but his real name was Nigel, explained how the grains were processed into meal or flour. A very interesting talk, then a photo shoot outside as a Dakota flew over our heads with the D Day marking on the wings another unexpected sight.
It was time again to climb on the wings to head back to the Barnsdale Hotel for a freshen up and get ready for the evenings meal and refreshment consumption.
Maria and I broke off from the group as we entered the Hotel gates as we wanted to have a look at the very large reservoir, we stopped at a small tea hut only to be joined by Steve and Carol Hennigan who had the same idea, so we had a quick ice cream each (Steve paid) Thank you for that and we retuned to the Hotel.
A very well planned and well led ride out by Jim and Eileen Codrington, they had certainly spent a lot of time finding the route and venues to visit, and eat at. thank you for giving the Chapter Members a great days pleasure doing what we do best.
Next Years Venue is Booked for the 8th till the 10th May 2015, CUMBRIA.
See You All There!