Grantham welcomes Queen Eleanor cyclists as they raise £15,000 for homeless charity
Cyclists visited Grantham on Saturday as part of their annual pilgrimage to the 12 sites of the Queen Eleanor crosses.
The group of 30 riders hopes to raise about £15,000 for the homeless charity The Connection at St Martin’s, based in central London. This was the ninth Queen Eleanor Cycle Ride.
The group started at Harby, near Lincoln, where Queen Eleanor died in 1290 and then visited the 12 places where her husband Edward I decreed that crosses should be placed as her funeral cortege made its way to London.
The group visited Lincoln Cathedral before making its way to Grantham, where the cross was originally built in St Peter’s Hill. It was destroyed 350 years later by Cromwell’s army in the Civil War.
One of the ride’s organisers, Keith Busfield, said: “The key word of the weekend was hot! The tarmac was starting to melt and we had a number of exploding tyres.
“Everyone, though, finished the ride in spite of punctures, snapped chains, etc.
“Leaving Grantham proved a slight potential challenge as the hill out to the A1 was closed until 15 minutes before we left St Peter’s Hill due to the factory fire.
“Some people had more of a challenge getting home from London than others. Peter Watson, one of the cyclists, had an ‘interesting’ journey home to South Wales.”
Peter posted on Facebook: “The most difficult part ... Trafalgar Square to Radyr. Marvellous phone map got me nearly to Paddington before battery died. Engineering works so train rerouted. But still in time for the last train.
“25-minute wait so considered cycling back, but instead caught the wrong train and cycled five miles home from the wrong station, Llanishen.
“Home just after midnight.”
Grantham Civic Society arranged for a commemorative stone plaque featuring the head of Queen Eleanor to be made in 2015, paid for by public donations. It was unveiled on the wall of the Guildhall in August 2015.
If you would like to take part in next year’s 10th anniversary cycle ride, visit www.queeneleanorcycleride.org.uk