On leaving Wickford at 9 o’clock going straight to elevenses I spotted three SEG members already at their meeting point. Having arrived at Terling and no sign of the Chelmsford Group I went to explore a road called The Dismals. I don’t know the origin of the name but the lane was pleasant enough and leads up to the cricket ground passing a swimming pool, children’s playground and a nursery on the way.
Part way through my coffee at Owls Hill Tea Room four riders from Chelmsford turned up. On leaving the tea room Dave R led us through the village and then stopped to show us Lord Rayleigh’s pump. This once provided the water supply to Terling Place, the residence of Lord Rayleigh, and consisted of an undershot waterwheel in the River Ter, which drove a three cylinder pump. Further round on our culture tour we viewed Terling Place across the fields. Dave explained the estate once had a large herd about 600 cows. Most of the farms on the estate are now arable. Dave also mentioned two of the Baron Rayleighs were well known physicists and made a number of discoveries.
After a pleasant ride in winter sunshine we arrived at the Fox and Hounds at Cock Clarks at about 12:30 to find SEG members already seated. We grabbed the remaining seats in the room before the Havering Group arrived. Adrian and John D had ridden there solo and Brian and Janette came by car making the total of nine Chelmsford members.
Most riders were interested in getting home in daylight except for a few from SEG who were still enjoying the beer! On our way home John B and I came up behind the Havering Group. They were doing a steady relaxed pace and we followed them through East Hanningfield until a couple pulled over for a toilet stop.