Saturday, 31 December 2011


Possible T E Lawrence link Akaba

Today, Saturday 31st December 2011, I was contacted by a lady called Betty of Weaverham, Northwich. Her uncle, a Mr Gerald Preston served with the Royal Signal Corp in Arabia, or Mesopotamia, or possibly Aquaba itself, during WWI. Mr Preston named his house in Greenbank, Northwich, 'Akaba'. I went to see 'Akaba' today (see photo). I hope to meet with Betty later this week to learn more about Mr Preston, his war service and his possible connection to Lawrence. It may even be possible that there is a Lawrentian head dress in her family. But however it may now be lost to posterity. Will see.

Friday, 30 December 2011


"Do not go anywhere unless you know where you are going". Not sure who originated this quote, but it was delivered to the RWWH's Leader's Conference, in Cambridge December 2011 by John Carter of 'Wish You Were Here' and 'The Holiday Programe' fame.

A very good tale

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Ramblers WW Holidays - odd snaps

My room at Robinson College, Cambridge. Leaders conference, December 2011.

My room at Robinson College, Cambridge.

Ramblers WW Hoildays Leader conference. Lecture hall.

Group of RWWH guests having lunch on 24th December 2011. A finer bunch, I have not met.


Yesterday, Wednesday 28th December 2011, on my way home from Buttermere in the Lake District I stopped off to visit the Laurel & Hardy Museum in the town of Ulverston. It was marvellous to see and I whole heartedly recommend a visit if you find the chance.

The last ever photo of Laurel & Hardy together. A treasure.

Andrew Wright with the statue of Laurel & Hardy in Ulverston, Cumbria.

Thursday, 22 December 2011


'Wisdom hath builded her worthy house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars', The Bible.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

A Thought from "Great Thoughts"

"You can not dream yourself into character: you must hammer and forge yourself one", said J.A.Froude. Wishful thinking will not take us far on the way to self-mastery. Determination to build definate characteristics into life is needed. And this must be followed up with persistent striving.

Published: Northwich Guardian, Friday, Jan 5th 1934, page 6

Tuesday, 13 December 2011


On 15th January 2012 I will be setting off on a long trip called 'Across the Equator to Zanzibar'. It will be a journey using different modes of transport and travel ranging from bus, train, foot and principally bicycle. It will involve upto 1,000 miles of cycling. The ultimate objective is to reach the fabled island of Zanzibar off the coast of Tanzania. The trip will hopefully raise donations for the 'African Support & Assistance Project'.
The aim of ASAP is to raise £50,000 to finance the building of a new school in the remote land-locked African kingdom of Lesotho. ASAP is based at Mid-Cheshire College. There is approximately £42,000 in the bank already and prospects are good of gaining the remaining funds. Many enterprizes are taking place to raise funds. If you would like to donate to ASAP in can be done by texting ASAP11 to 70070 or by sending a cheque made out to 'The African Support & Assistance Project' to:
John Reilly (ASAP),
Mid-Cheshire College,
Chester Road,
TeL: 01606 720515

Tuesday, 15 November 2011


To my dear readers, sorry Ive been away for a long while. 2011 has been a rather quiet year on the travel front. Just a trip Washington, a week long cycle tour in Belgium and a week youth hostel wardening in Pembrokeshire at Newport hostel. I have been very conscious of the economic situation and the need for belt tightening. However, life must go on and in 2012 I am planning a number of bold initiatives on the travel and adventure front which I hope to share with my readers through this blog.

In 2012 look out for 'Across the Equator to Zanzibar' and the Registers Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (known as RAGBRAI).

Many thanks


Monday, 14 November 2011


I would like to thank the number of people who have made encouraging comments about this blog. It has cheered me enormously. I feel that I may be emerging from a difficult period which involved what I think could be described as writers block. Thankyou again.


Friday, 26 August 2011


Dougal, thanks for your comment and greetings. Things are fine, just taking bit of a rest. Washington was having a heat wave when I was there in June. Much too warm for long distance cycling. Sadly I didnt photo the trip very well so the photos are mainly of familiar Washington sights. I know Washington pretty well now though. The trip was a learning experience which I can regard as a rec for something more successful in the future.
I have recently done a short tour in Belgium where I visited Flanders WW1 battle sites and also stopped off in Brugge to visit a friend. I was maily wild camping as usual with one night at a backpacker hostel in Brugge.
I hope you are doing well with your geology studies.
Also my college has blocked blogger on its system so it is difficult to get time to upload lots of photos. When the mood takes I will pick up the blog again.
How are you doing? I am still working on the lines of getting on with Ramblers Holidays. I have ML and first aid and I am working to get group experience. It is a long road.
Best Regards

Thursday, 30 June 2011


I have finally devised a route and scheme for this expedition. It has taken 8 days of mooching and research. I will escape Washington by taking a train to a place called 'Point of Rocks' in Virginia. It should get me into the sticks and on route to the holy grail of Gettysburg. I feel at last I have found my feet. I just have to do a bit more adjusting to the bright hot weather. After Point of Rocks I go to Harpers Ferry then Antietam then Gettysburg before pushing south for reach and inviting objectives. :-))

Friday, 24 June 2011


Am still in Washington with its humidity. Yesterday I made the long hike to Arlington cemetery. Also visited Fords Theatre where Lincoln was shot. They have the actual gun used on display at the Theatre museum.

Everything here is a little more pricey than I had expected. Yeserday I survived on the hostel breakfast and a couple of hotdogs.

Today the Capitol and the Smithsonian Air & Space museum. 24th June 2011

Thursday, 23 June 2011


I am staying at the International Youth Hostel in central Washington. It is the most expensive hostel I have ever used at $40 per night. I will be staying 3 nights before attempting to escape the city. I may have to use a train to clear all the mad traffic and freeways which surround this city.

Today is a walking day, to do some sightseeing.

Thanks for the greetings Dougal, hope you are well.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011


Cycled through the night from home to the airport. It was not a good idea, I should have taken the train and slept at the airport. I have a middle seat on the flight Heathrow to Washington..not the best. Will just muddle along. Best wishes and love to all my friends 22/06/11

Tuesday, 21 June 2011


'The American Civil War Battle Fields Tour' has been on the table for most a year untill here it is. I booked a flight from Manchester via Heathrow to Washington gateway to the battlefields and sites in Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, South & North Carolina and Georgia. As well as the sites there the Apallation Mountains which entice a visit. Washington itself is worth some days with Congress, Smithsonian, Fords Theatre, Lincoln Memorial and Arlington Cemetry.
I am well packed, my carriage is the Dawes Karakum bicycle so eminently suitable to last years JOG-LE.
The big factor I dont know about is the traffic conditions and my ability to get about without too much hassle or cycling on freeways.
I am flying in the lap of British Airways luxury. Plan is to get to Washington Youth Hostel on the night of the 22nd and find a space waiting for me. May God help me.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Reached Nottinghamshire - 9th April

The river at Bakewell. Daffodils in the village of Baslow, Derbyshire. I stopped for a scone at a tea shop here.
Last nights camp near Mansfield.

I am not so fit and the cycling is slow going, but I will push on.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Reached Bakewell after a 10 mile ride from camp-8th April

The Cheshire plain on the horizon.
Highest pub in England at 1690 feet above sea level.

Crossing the moors.

Packing up at my camp site outside Buxton, not a great camp.
Ashton by the water
Ashton by the water.
The famous original Bakewell pudding shop.

Trip is going well. Last night I was camped by the road just outside Buxton on a piece of rough ground. It was spongy. Am here the library in beautiful Bakewell anticipating my breakfast in a cafe. Will push on later in the direction of Chesterfield.