07 Sept, Hinton Ampner, (12,14)

Blog 7th September 2021 – Hinton Ampner- Civil war battlefield tour

Dearest SHABI’s

Its been a long time since we have enjoyed the hospitality of the Hinton Arms but the RM (Smashie) was assured of a warm welcome and food served till 9:00 so what’s not to like.

A good attendance was discouraged by strict instructions from the RM to pre-order prior to pedal off and almost everyone managed this with Dobbie being slightly slower than everyone else but nevertheless the entire Peloton including; Smashie (RM), Chuff (DRM), Faff, Dobbie, Whoops a Daisy, Captn Frackbladder, Slumpy and his carer Tonka, new boy Simon, Strangely, LBD and Genghis …. left the carpark on time at 6.30.

This is the point in the blog where we ignore the riding and concentrate on the riders, but on this night it was not about who had done what, to whom, and had they been arrested yet .. it was about the beautiful warm summer/autumn evening, riding on paths hardened by summer sun, with bucolic views across the farmland and riding with the finest bunch of chaps ever.

Fine Looking Idiots

We start by heading west along the A272 and turn right just as a rather pushy lady driver was trying barge onto the A272. A fine sweeping peloton manoeuvre made sure she had to wait until we had all passed. Towards Alresford and straight onto the Oxdrove tracks. Oh wonderful riding as we bimble on at a medium pace, the RM aware of a slightly longer ride requiring a slightly elevated pace to ensure no disappointment at food time.

A historical note now; Lamborough Fields over which we now rode were the scene of fierce fighting between the Parliamentarians and the Royalist troops in 1644. We enter Cheriton woods and the pivotal area of combat. To save you the trouble of looking up the details, the outcome can be summarised as a Parliamentarian victory and although militarily not significant, the resolve of the Parliamentarians was hardened towards a final military victory. If you want the detail http://bcw-project.org/military/english-civil-war/southern-england/battle-of-cheriton

Early SHABIs made their way around Sussex and Hampshire in a similar fashion to today's idiots

We arrive on Bramdean common and pass a young family with picnic and a kid on a mini trail bike complete with petrol engine. Many riders wistfully enquire if they could swap … but the kid said no and looked pretty tough so we move on.

We then come across Bramdean Common Church which is really rather beautiful; clad in corrugated iron and trimmed with decorative timber facias, its a real beauty. https://www.hampshire-history.com/the-church-in-the-woods-bramdean-common/

'Please don't let anyone have a mechanical tonight!'

The RM decided to pay his respects and to demonstrate how diverse he has become, prayed to several gods one after another. Many riders felt the strange contortions exhibited by the RM meant either the drugs need changing or he was having a fit.

Inside the church, looking a bit empty