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Monday, 12 December 2011

Trip out in London using the Boris Bikes 12th December 2011

We decided to use the Boris bikes as Richard couldn't get his bike up here from Canvey and thought it'll be safer to use their bikes rather then leaving our chained up in London.
We started our day off at Elm Park Tube Station, trains run every 3 to 10 minutes the sign says, half hour later still waiting the tube eventually arrives. We eventually arrive at Westminster Station, we walked along Whitehall and had a late breakfast at a pub. Afterwards we got out first Boris bike from the Strand. We set off towards Birdcage Walk.

Ok, so these bikes look Clumsy,heavy and uncomfortable, but how wrong were we!!! They were much worse!! They were Very Heavy,Very uncomfortable ,very slow, poor gear changes and the brakes well, you need to start thinking about braking half mile before you need to!!
We made our way up to Buckingham Palace, where we stopped for a few photos before cycling on.

We cycled round Hyde Park corner and into Hyde Park to visit Winter Wonderland, the bikes were docked, green lights came on indicating so and we walked off to Winter Wonderland.

We tried some silly hats on before moving on........

We took a few more silly pics

We then grabbed a German Beer from a bar, certainly not one of the best beers I've tasted.....

We then had a last look around before making our way to Knightsbridge for a look in Harrods.......

We walked over to Harrods for a look around, felt out of place in there I can tell you, Can't believe a plastic Harrods Bag is £18!!!

We had a look around the food Hall first............

Richard brushing up on his cooking skills

£15 for coffee,eh no thanks lol

We then left and went to get a second bike out, I got mine but Richards card was being refused. So a call to TFL was made and Richard was told his first bike was still out on a journey and was still clocking up a bill as it has gone over the free half hour rental!! After some arguing with a very unhelpful staff at TFL we had to walk back to Hyde Park. Thankfully his bike was still there was not secured!! But we had both seen it dock correctly, green light come on and it was secure before we left it. So secured we then tried to get another bike, again his card was refused and another call made , it still wasn't showing this bike being docked!! We took pictures and a video as proof. So as it stands Richard had to leave the bike there still clocking up a bill, which is as much as £50 for the day and potentially £300 for non return or over a day charge. Hopefully Richard will get a call soon and have his money reimbursed. This has totally destroyed any faith in using these poor quality bikes again and TFL should do more with customer services!!
We had no choice back to walk back to Westminster for a train journey home,after TFL had totally ruined what could have been a good day out in London!

A squirrel in Green Park

Another squirrel in St James park


Thankfully TFL have closed Richards Hire of the bike and no charges have been made!!! Still don't trust the system anymore and certainly don't intend to use them again! Good news though!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Bike ride to Brightlingsea and back 26th October 2011

On the 26th of October 2011 I left Highfield Grange Site in Great Clacton to ride to Brightlingsea, again still with old MTB ,cold and high winds I struggleed a bit with this ride.It was a 22 mile ride in all.

A cottage on the B1027 just outside of Clacton

Another great looking place on the B1027 just passed the St Osyth turn off.

A field full of not quite got a good enough zoom lol

I eventually came to Thorrington, this was a surprise addition to the ride, I haven't heard of the Thorrington Tide mill before and I'm glad I took the time to stop and detour slightly for a look.
A picturesque, medium-sized, timber-framed, tide-driven watermill, dated 1831, in the ownership of Essex County Council. This has a breast-shot waterwheel and 3 pairs of millstones. It is one of only a handful of tide mills still in working order in this country and grinds occasionally.

I continued along the B1029 up a steep hill, on top was the church of All saints Church in Brightlingsea.

All Saints Church Brightlingsea

As you can see, the weather started to look like rain, I didnt have any waterproofs with me and was worried I might be caught out. As it happened I managed the whole ride without rain.
I continued down the hill into Brightlingsea and towards the seafront.

Bateman's tower was built in 1883 by John Bateman as a folly for his daughter to recuperate from consumption. The tower is sited on Westmarsh point at the entrance to Brightlingsea Creek on the River Colne, and is often mistaken for a Martello Tower. During The Second World War the original roof of the folly was removed so that the tower could be used as an observation post by the Royal Observer Corps. In 2005, a restoration project funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund took place to restore the tower to its original condition, including the fitting of a replica of the original roof, refurbishing the interior of the tower and also painting the outside.
The tower is now used by many local sailing organizations to administer races. During race days, the public can visit the tower, whose new roof makes it a popular gallery from which to watch races.
Bateman's Tower is leaning slightly.
Batemans tower.

The anchor hotel and sailing club.
Public house and hotel. Designed in 1901 by George Henry Page of Colchester and erected on the site of earlier Anchor public houses dating back to the 1630s. Ground floor of Kentish ragstone rubble with upper floors faced in cement with eclectic timber-framing. C20 pantiled roof replaces Brosely tiles and octagonal wooden cupola (formerly leaded) with iron weathervane. An unusual mixture of Jacobean and Bavarian styles, square on plan of 2 storeys and attics with 2 windows to each main front. South and east fronts have 2 projecting gables with deep coving and elaborate oak framing and terracotta dragon finials. First floor has 2 elliptical curved windows, with elaborate Bavarian style fretted balcony but south front has one oriel and one two storey. French windows to balcony . Ground floor has one curved 3-light window and one 5-light window. Ground floor windows have etched glass. Others have stained glass to the tops. Elaborate Jacobean style pilasters to first floor. Ground floor has three stone round-headed entrances with keystone and reeded pilasters, double door and stained glass.
INTERIOR: well staircase with fretted balusters and Minton floor tiles, wooden bar fittings and black marble fireplaces

Looking back at The Anchor hotel, was hoping to catch the foot ferry to point clear, again this ferry had stopped for the season!

Jacobs Hall
Hall house with crosswings to left and right. C15. Restored circa 1919.
Exposed timber frame. Red plain tiled roofs. Off centre left and end right
chimney stacks to hall. Central stack to right crosswing and to rear of left
crosswing. The originally jettied crosswings now underbuilt. 2 storeys and
attics. Hipped dormer to right of hall. 1:1:1 window range of vari-light C20
glazing. 4 centre arched doorway to left of hall. Exposed halved arched braces
to first floor of crosswings and blocked mullions to crosswings. An interesting
feature is the C15/C16 red brick semi hexagonal stair turret at the angle of the
hall and right crosswing. it is crenellated with 3 bands of trefoiled
corbelling. The pyramidal capping shows signs of crocketting. There is a 2
light window under a square head at eaves level. The right return of right
crosswing has 3 panelled doors, surrounds with flat canopies, similar doorway to
left crosswing return. Original mullion windows now blocked to main frame. 2
storeys. The good quality heavy timber frame is virtually complete with the
first floor of the hall inserted C15/C16. Halved arched braces to walls. Arched
braces to tie beams, those to crosswings supporting 2 armed crown posts. The
hall octagonal crown post with moulded capital and base. C.A. Hewitt suggests a
date of circa 1460-70 for this. Original doors with 4 centred heads, one with
foliated spandrels. The inserted hall ceiling with moulded ceiling beams, main
beams carved with twisted leaves and foliate stops. Moulded and crenellated
wall plates. Large inglenook fireplaces that to east with a moulded lintel with
foliate spandrels. Known to have been the home of the Beriff family whose
memorial brasses in All Saints Church, Brightlingsea are dated circa 1496 to
circa 1578. A Cl9 shop was erected between the crosswings and was demolished
circa 1919 when the building was restored by Mr. Henry Havelock. E.P. Dicken
History of Brightlingsea, 1913.

82 High St Brightlingsea circa 1450
Cycling back out the way I came back up the hill toAll saints Church.

Views from All saints church, back down onto the estuary where the tide mill is located.Back down into Thorrington and back the way I came.

I eventually made it back in time for a swim with the kids :)