Oliver Gadsby writes:- To celebrate the Company’s thriving connection with the Stationers’ Crown Woods Academy, and to raise funds for the Stationers’ Foundation and for the school, the Master led a group of
31 riders on a splendid 27-mile route along the Thames to Greenwich, on to the Academy in nearby Eltham, and back to the City.
The riders gathered at the Hall on a grey and damp Sunday morning. Instructions, maps and Stationer-badged hi-vis jackets were issued by Court Assistant Martin Woodhead, who had done a tremendous job in initiating and planning the event. The riders ranged in age from 13 to… somewhat more experienced, and the bikes included sleek racers, fold-ups and vintage treasures.
Martin led us along the Thames Cultural Cycling Route: a walk across the Millennium Bridge, and then a fascinating journey eastwards, past Butler’s Wharf, on to Rotherhithe, and over Deptford Creek. We paused briefly in Greenwich, and then had to work a little harder as we headed up through Greenwich Park, and on to the open spaces of Blackheath.
The route to Crown Woods led us through the streets and parks of southeast London, and the group was happy to be welcomed at the school by its Principal, Michael Murphy, and by Past Master Kevin Dewey, who now serves as Chair of Governors. Sandwiches were served in the mini-gym, where both the Master and Past Master John Waterlow were keen to demonstrate that they had plenty of energy for the ride back to base.
And so back to the bikes, back to Greenwich, and a northerly variant for the return to the City.
We descended by lift, bikes and all, down into the Greenwich Foot Tunnel, emerging for splendid views of Canary Wharf and the old streets of Limehouse as we found our way back towards St Paul’s.
And there came our reward: a fabulous barbecue lunch, wonderfully prepared and served by Marion and (Liveryman) Rodney Mountford. The Hall being booked for a weekend event, our venue was the lovely churchyard of St Bride’s, on Fleet Street. Rodney and Kevin did sterling work on the grill, and Marion was joined by a willing team of helpers. (Penny Woodhead, Valerie Locks, Kit and Anthony van Tulleken, Tim Connell and Camilla Waterlow certainly deserve our thanks, and there are doubtless many others who should be mentioned).
As the gathering drew to a close, the Master chose another precarious perch from which to offer thanks to all those who had made the day a success.
Over £1500 was raised by the day’s events, but all the riders urge anyone who has yet to make a donation to help double that number by the end of the month, by clicking on this link and following the instructions: http://www.bmycharity.com/themastersride