Tuesday, 16th June, Brocton to Lapley, 9.2 miles
It is my luck indeed to discover that Lesley, in her capacity as assistant to the County Bridleways Access Officer for the BHS, was involved in the creation of the Sabrina Way back in 2002. She is now one of the Wardens for the Cannock Chase area, amongst many others things she is involved with. She rings the owner of Teddesley Park and asks if I might be allowed through, as the Staffordshire Way turns out not to be a bridlepath even though it says so on the map! He kindly agrees to let me ride through the park with the assistance of his workers to open gates and guide us pass the young cattle in the last field.
As we are leaving Lesley’s place, Tommy deposits a big pile of poo right at the entrance to her property. Not a fitting thank you for the wonderful hospitality we have received but the usual nerves getting the better of him. Normally, I would have turned back to go and pick it up but on this occasion, I have already psyched myself up to enter the traffic on the A34 and I might have bottled it if I had turned around at that stage. Lesley had even kindly shown me the road by driving me up it beforehand to prove it was wide enough for traffic to pass us and would save me a few miles from having to make a detour to avoid it. (Sorry again Lesley).
I guide Tommy out into the traffic and we make it the mile or so up to the Bednal turn off without too much trouble. When we get to Teddesley Park, as promised, Craig and Kevin are there to meet us and we begin our ride through the park, the boys in the truck, opening gates and fending off the attentions of inquisitive bovine youngsters for us. When we get to the last gate, they have to resort to the bolt cutters to open it.
Job done, and safely through, I thank the guys who have been really helpful and ask them to pass on my thanks to their boss before heading towards the M6 underpass. This is such a major arterial road but we pass underneath it as if it’s something we do every day, Tommy thankfully oblivious to the enormity of what we have just done.
From there onwards, it’s fairly straightforward to our next destination, Lapley, a nice easy run today.
Our host, Kate is still working in the hospital when we arrive but she kindly invites us to get settled in
and I spend the rest of the afternoon catching up with email, blogging and washing, whilst Tommy is getting used to traffic passing by his field in this lovely sleepy village. Kate leads an interesting life filled with children, three of her own and many more from other countries who become part of this lovely extended family, and horses. We find a lot to chat about over another delicious supper. Her husband is away receiving prizes for his own work.