June 2nd – A visit to Draycott is always a good opportunity to do Marchington, Woodroffes and the Needwood Valley through Newborough and Hoar Cross. This time I returned through Rowley Park, the Ridwares and Armitage, which made a change.
At Marchington, the frankly ugly 1740 church is still a remarkable piece of architecture, complete with the curious, over-door war memorial. The church at Woodroffes is also still beautiful, sat in splendid isolation under Marchington Cliff.
The ride ended with a spectacular sunset enjoyed on the old Hit Bridge at Armitage.
Another 50 miler, and a great weekend’s riding.
May 19th – At Pipe Ridware, the former St James church, closed in 1983 became the charming and well-loved Ridware Theatre for a further 20 years before finally shutting around 2015. This tiny performance space barely held 60 but put on some great shows.
Sad to see it closed and decaying. I hope a new use can be found for it.
July 15th – I snatched a ride out at 3pm, and headed for Hoar Cross. I rocketed through the countryside of Longdon, Handsacre and the Ridwares, only stopping at the old church at Pipe Ridware to take a quick couple of photos. The pretty little building is now a theatre whose latest show was only a few days ago.
I continued to Hoar Cross, and returned via the Needwood Valley,with the countryside looking gorgeous in the hazy, hot summer sun. I was hurrying a 35 mile journey and didn’t stop to take many photos, but it was a lovely, fast ride.