Ride to Crossness Pumping Station

 

Eleven of us set off from Bromley South on a beautiful sunny Sunday morning, our route taking us through Chislehurst, through a few bridle paths, eventually coming out on the A20, crossing over a footbridge and on towards Welling where we stopped for our morning tea break.  Then it was onwards to Thamesmead along the Abbey Way, through Birchmere Park where we had to avoid the free running horses, to our destination Crossness Pumping Station.   We stopped here for lunch and spent a couple of hours visiting this fascinating place which was opened in 1865 to help deal with London’s ever increasing sewage problem.

The main interest here were the four rotative beam engines, each 71ft long and 75ft high, one of which has been restored and can be seen working.   At the moment the pumping station is only open on a few days each year, so we were lucky to be able to visit.

Rather than ride the same way home some decided they would like to follow the Thames Path back to Greenwich and then on to London Bridge for the train back home, while four were keen to ride home.  So we said goodbye to four of our group and seven of us headed off to Greenwich.   Luckily Eve’s daughter lives at Greenwich and is always happy to supply us with tea and biscuits, so we had a quick tea stop there before proceeding.   We hadn’t been going for long when we were brought to a halt when we heard a crash behind us and on turning round we saw Lynn on the floor, having been hit by a speeding cyclist going in the opposite direction.   Whilst stopping for Lynn to get her breath back we noticed that Albert had continued on and unfortunately we had now mislaid him.

Now down to six we headed for London Bridge and the train, as forty miles on some of us were getting tired.   Arriving at London Bridge without further incident we were reunited with Albert, who had taken to the main road and had been waiting for us for some time.

An eventful, but thoroughly enjoyable day, albeit about 10 miles longer than we were expecting.  Well done to you all and a big thank you to our leader Steve for organising and leading such a good ride.

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