The 2003 Annual General Meeting Event took place over the weekend of the 7th to 9th March at Blaxhall Youth Hostel in Suffolk.
This traditional hostel - once a village school - offers newly modernised accommodation. As well as great cycling and walking country, you'll find estuaries, coastline and forest. Visit the RSPB reserves of Minsmere and Havergate. Culture Vultures will enjoy a visit or a concert at Snape Maltings.
At Blaxhall we had a fine weekend's cycling in great countryside on quiet roads, an excellent annual dinner and very amusing after dinner entertainment but the attendance was very low.
For Ros and I, it began badly with a long wet drive to Blaxhall and very heavy rain as soon as we arrived delayed the start of our late afternoon circular ride via Orford. Although it was still raining a little when we eventually set off, it soon stopped and the sun came out and it was a very pleasant sunny evening with a quite spectacular sunset as we returned to the hostel.
Saturday dawned fine, and Ken and Margaret Saunders led us along quiet lanes to Framlingham for coffee and Rendham for lunch. By the time we left the pub the morning brightness had disappeared and there were a few spots of rain before we reached the hostel. However, the timing could hardly have been better as it rained heavily during the AGM.
After a thoroughly enjoyable and sociable Saturday evening, Sunday turned out to be the best day of the weekend, fine and sunny and really quite spring like. As most people were setting off immeduately for home there was no official ride planned so we decided to explore the coastal towns of Aldeburgh and Thorpeness before reaching the vanished town of Dunwich by lunchtime. Once one of the largest town, sixth or tenth depending on when you count, and one of the most important ports in England the old walled town has now disappeared into the sea as the low cliff on which it stood has been eroded away. Now only a small village remains and there can be little doubt that in time it too will vanish. After an excellent lunch in the village pub we went down to the beach to view the fragile cliff-face and then visited the museum to learn more about Dunwich's fascinating history before returning via Saxmundham to Blaxhall and then the drive home. The recently refurbished hostel at Blaxhall was a fine venue for the AGM and a very convenient centre for an excellent weekend's cycling. It was such a pity that so few members joined us.
report by Peter Hallowell