“Variety is the spice of life,” so the saying goes, and if this be the case many members of the Nelson section of the Cyclists’ Touring Club are suffering from a surfeit of good things. This i1s due to our participation in the first camping rally of the North-West lLancashire D.A., held last week-end at Brock, a small village situated on the Lancaster road, about eight miles from Preston. The good things provided for our entertainment included a lantern lecture, field sports, the opportunity of meeting old friends and making new ones, and finally for those who awakened soon enough the chance of viewing a thirty miles tandem race, though this latter event was not provided by the C.T.C.
Being one whose occupation mnecessitates working on Saturday afternoon, it 1s necessary for me to make special arrangements for camping, so my partner takes the tent and all heavy items of equipment, while I follow on, travelling light. This system I find very satisfactory.
Leaving work, I proceeded towards my destination via Higham and Whalley, alternately putting on my cape and taking it off as the showers of rain necessitated, until, tired of the weather’s vagaries, I told the weather clerk to do his worst, and put 1t away for good. Fortunately, he took pity on me, and the sun came out.
At Whalley I turned along the Preston road, but, finding so much traffic bound for the illuminations, I forsook this road at the first opportunity and proceeded by winding lanes to Ribchester and lLongridge. Here, feeling anxious for the safety of my fellow members, I took the Broughton road, which goes close by Whittingham Asylum, but, fortunately, they had taken another route, and are still at liberty.
Reaching Broughton, I again found myself amongst the "petrol fiends,” and they vied with each other in chasing me to my destination. Dismounting from my machine, I was greeted by an old friend, "Rota,” of the “Northern Daily Telegraph,” who was busy making notes on the assorted types of tents, cycles, ete., which were pouring in.
On investigation, I found my partner just putting the finishing touches to the tent, so I congratulated myself on the time taken for the journey.
After replenishing the inner man, the assembled campers proceeded to the lecture hall, where "Wanderer,” of Leeds, gave an illustrated account of a camping tour "Through France to Andorra,” the little Republic situated in the Pyrenees between France and Spain. The lecturer kept his audience interested in describing the many beautiful scenes seen on the tour, and the difficalty he had in making known his wants in very bad French to the farmers and catering establishments on the way.
The lecture over, the audience dispersed to their tents, some to sleep (?) and others to keep them awake by engaging in community singing vound a huge camp fire.
The following morning, being awakened by the occupants of the next tent, who were riding in the tandem race, I washed in the brook — a process which made some of the onlookers’ teeth chatter. A good breakfagt soon induced a little warmth after my dip in the icy water.
Then, finding that the race was just starting, I strolled through the fields on to the roadway, and cheered the competitors impartially as they hurried by. After seeing their return, and finding that the winning couple had done the distance in just over one hour and a quarter, I made my way back to camp, along with other spectators, for the sports. These consisted of one hundred yards running, threading the needle, boot and shoe race, tug of war, and high jumping. The last two events proved to be the most interesting of the lot. Mr. Hudson, of Nelson, who is a Councillor of the club, then made a short speech, congratulating the organisers of the events, and distributed the prizes to the winners.
The assembled campers afterwards proceeded to make tea, pull down their tents, and departed according to the distance be traversed to their respective home. My partner and myself had tea, then packed up and made our way homeward by Inglewhite, Longridge and Whalley, thus ending another week-end which will remain in our memories for a long time to come.