December 8th saw the cyclist getting ready for a cold journey to Stowmarket to visit Phoenix Lodge 516. Yes, you read right, cyclist.. as Brother Andy embarked on his first solo cycle for some time, Brother Moulton having work commitments due to the date of the visit having to be moved. Once again, a visit to Stowmarket should have been one of the easier journeys in the challenge. But in a similar vein to the previous journey the cold weather was to make it testing, the temperature forecast for -2º but with the wind chill forecast making it feel more like – 6º…The forecast was not wrong!
Brother Andy also had work commitments meaning he left as it was getting dark. The route took in some small dark country lanes and Brother Andy made sure he could be seen with lots of Hi-Viz clothing and no less than 8 lights on the bike. Residents of Lavenham and the surrounding area wondered whether somebody had stolen a Christmas tree as the mobile light show made its way across the countryside! The journey was uneventful as there was nothing to see in the pitch black, though Brother Andy did need to stop to retrieve a light that became detached and was hanging off the bike. Despite this, he managed to arrive in Stowmarket five minutes before the support van, safe but very cold with his toes turned to ice! Brother Nick was that support driver, so Andy still managed to get in all the moaning about the cold that he had saved up during the solo ride…! Brother Nick replied saying he enjoyed the heated seats in Andy’s Land Rover…
Both Brothers were warmly greeted by the Brethren of Phoenix Lodge, WBro Dudley Mason administering medicinal Glen Livet to Brother Andy. The ceremony this evening was a third degree and the Worshipful Master WBro Brian Evans carried out the ceremony ably assisted by several his officers, in an excellent fashion and Bro Arnel de Sola was made a Master Mason. The Worshipful master announced at the end of the meeting that the Charity Collection would be given to the cyclists in support of their efforts. Brother Andy was then invited to say a few words about what they were doing in support of the Festival and their progress to date. Following the meeting, the Brethren retired to the Festive Board where a most welcome Christmas Meal was served. Good cheer and interesting conversation flowed at the festive board and again new Brothers were met. Andy & Nick may even be joined on a future visit to the North of the county by two brothers wishing to don some lycra and cycle! Watch this space… At the end of the Festive board Brother Andy was presented with the proceeds of the Broken Column. In addition, the Lodge had also decided to donate half of the raffle proceeds to the cyclists making a very generous £184 donation to the 2019 Festival.
So, thank you to Phoenix Lodge for your warm welcome, your help and support of our challenge and for the generous donation towards the Festival 2019. Phoenix Lodge also provided the cyclists with their meals, which were most excellent. A really welcome and generous gesture. This was the 57th visit and the last of this challenge to the Stowmarket Masonic centre where the cyclists have been very warmly welcomed by all three Lodges there. If you haven’t visited Stowmarket before, do so, its very worthwhile and the food is great!
Thanks, on this occasion, go to Bro Nick Moulton for driving the backup vehicle and transporting the cyclist and WBro Dudley Mason back home safely.
Miles to date: 1779
Lodges visited: 57
Lodges to go: 11
Money Raised from Lodge visits £12,834 – £2166 to go to reach the Target of £15000