Saturday 21st July dawned bright and sunny, promising to be a hot day with temperatures reaching 30º. A nice day for a visit to Mildenhall Lodge, the penultimate trip of the cycling challenge.
The route once again covering new territory to the west of Bury St Edmunds through seemingly flat countryside, but in fact was uphill for the first 13 miles!! But that does mean its downhill after that, allowing Bro Andy the opportunity to get ahead of Bro Nick who was making a concerted effort to take the title for the most moaning on a visit…..The heat not agreeing with him.
However, this was the hottest week of 2018 and probably the hottest day out of all the cycling visits to Lodges in the 4 years. Apart from the heat the journey was uneventful and pleasant. However, after 25 miles Bro Andy did begin to worry as to whether Bro Nick was hallucinating with the heat when he announced that there was an Oasis ahead…..and then it appeared….in the form of the Bull Inn at Barton Mills where a cold pint of Peroni revived Bro Nick!
With a little over a mile to go and medicine administered the cyclists arrived in Mildenhall at the Bunbury meeting rooms, to be greeted by both of their stalwart supporters Brothers Cliff Sargent & Stephen Martin-Halls, both of whom have been extremely supportive throughout the last 4 years.
The cyclists were warmly welcomed by the Brethren of Mildenhall Lodge. Worshipful Brother David Clarke, Deputy Provincial Grand Master was also in attendance on his first official visit & to Bro Nick’s surprise he was asked to be in his first provincial escort, which gave him 20 minutes longer to change & cool down. The Worshipful Master and Brethren of Mildenhall Lodge presented a demonstration commentary on the First Degree which was executed superbly.
Brother Andy sadly was unable to dine due to heading further North into Norfolk to attend an important family celebration. After the Festive Board Bro Nick gave the response to the visitor’s toast. The visitors had included Bro Ben from Georgia USA, who was todays demonstration candidate, it was his first UK Lodge meeting as he is just beginning a tour of duty with the US special forces. Also, Bro Anders from Oslo Norway who is spending his summer in Cambridge.
Finally, the Master presented a cheque to Bro Nick in aid of the RMBI festival. This was the last “visit” to a Lodge, the next and last cycle trip being to Sportsman’s Lodge of Suffolk of which both Andy & Nick are founding members.
So thank you Mildenhall Lodge for you warm welcome and your support. And of course, thanks for the last time to Brothers Stephen Martin-Halls and Cliff Sargeant, both who have turned out many many times to support the cyclists. And without their help this challenge would have been so much more difficult.
Miles to date: 2184
Lodges visited: 69
Lodges to go: 1 – Sportsman’s Lodge of Suffolk
Money Raised from Lodge visits £18,690 – The Target of £15,000 has been achieved!!