“I’m by no means happier than after I’m writing.”
~ Ed Hood, as spoken to Martin Williamson from the passenger seat, using alongside a degree path on the Excursion de France.
Pricey Readers – Our loved colleague and buddy Ed Hood suffered a significant stroke in February. We don’t be expecting Ed will make it again into our bunch, so we’ve began a GoFundMe web page to lend a hand Ed together with his long term. Learn the entire publish right here – and please believe donating.
** Click on this hyperlink to donate to the GoFundMe web page to lend a hand Ed **
We’ll be posting a number of Ed’s paintings from the previous 16 years, as a result of nice story-telling by no means will get previous.
Ed’s Native E-Motorbike Gravel Rambles: Our guy within the wilds of Scotland, Ed Hood, has been out on his native ‘off highway’ routes with Barney, his Ribble gravel e-Motorbike once more. He’s taking up the trip from MacDuff Fort and heads towards the birthplace of Alexander Selkirk, the true Robinson Crusoe.
The costal trail at first light
With the candy odor of ‘ganja’ wafting out of the home windows of a minimum of two of the Dysart Top Boulevard residences and into my nostrils, Barney Ribble and I activate for the Fife Coastal Trail all over again. The final time we headed east we completed up at MacDuff Fort so we’ll select it up there.
West Wemyss sea mine memorial
However prior to we do, we’ll prevent off at West Wemyss for a memorial that I handiest lately spotted. It’s in reminiscence of the 5 native males who, in January 1941 went out to stop a sea mine which had damaged loose from its moorings from drifting against the village however unfortunately misplaced their lives when the instrument exploded. Incidents like this weren’t reported within the warfare time press for concern of, ‘destructive civilian morale.’
Wemyss Non-public Railway
Simply throughout the best way from MacDuff Fort up at the major highway is a reminder of the times when South Fife was once on the center of the Scottish coal business. The Wemyss circle of relatives invested closely in collieries and their very own railways to move the black gold from the pit head to the docks at Methil – hundreds of thousands of kilos price of the stuff. From East Wemyss the Coastal Trail follows the flat and rapid line of the previous purple gravelled tram line to Buckhaven. In my lack of understanding I believed that the identify got here from one thing to do with deer – as in ‘greenback’ and ‘hind,’ which is what us locals name the city – ‘Buckhind.’ Nevertheless it in fact comes from Norse, a ‘hyne’ was once a haven between the rocks the place boats may well be safely hauled ashore and ‘greenback’ intended to ‘roar.’
Buckhaven in historical past
And there’s a reference to the biking Heartland of Belgium in that Flemish refugees, escaping non secular persecution settled right here within the sixteenth century. Buckhaven used to have superb seashores however as with Dysart seashores and the Frances Colliery, ‘redd’ from the lengthy long past Wellesley Colliery put paid to the golden sand.
Buckhaven sea mine plaque
The trail ‘is going city’ via Buckhaven however no longer prior to a reminder of any other 1941 sea mine tragedy, this time 8 deficient souls misplaced their lives to one of the most devilish units.
On the front to Toll Park the place your adventure throughout the city begins there’s a memorial to one of the most the city’s most renowned sons, Robert Dunsire who was once awarded the Victoria Go for bravery in 1915, rescuing two comrades from no guy’s land, wearing them on his again to protection below heavy enemy fireplace. ‘They didn’t weigh any longer than a sack of coal,’ defined ex-miner Dunsire; unfortunately, he didn’t live to tell the tale the warfare.
The place the previous Wellesley Colliery stood is now a carpark, overlooking the massive fabrication backyard, it was oil similar works however wind farms are the article now. There’s no plaque to mark the web site of a pit which gave employment to a couple 1,500 males. The Wellesley canteen was once open to public and at the faculty summer time vacations again within the early 60’s after I used to head out with my dad in his wee works van we’d prevent in there for sausage rolls and tea at knock down costs – existence was once more effective then.
Simply alongside from the web site of the Wellesley is the previous Swan Resort, the Swan is the emblem of the rich Wemyss circle of relatives who owned most of the native pits and railways prior to nationalisation. There’s a steep brae down from the Swan to Decrease Methil; one among Dave’s paintings friends reckoned there wasn’t a person alive may just trip a motorbike up that brae! He’d clearly by no means heard of the ones 60 kg. Colombian boys, albeit I needed to stroll it one time when Barney’s battery died on me.
On the east finish of Buckhaven and Methil is the Bawbee Bridge, crossing which takes you into Leven, a onetime Mecca for Glasgow vacation makers. It’s referred to as the Bawbee Bridge as a result of a Bawbee was once an previous Scottish coin and that was once the fare the ferryman used to price to row passengers around the River Leven within the days prior to there was once a bridge. The river rises in Loch Leven, which in a surprising feat of Victorian engineering was once reduced through some 4 toes, sluice gates put in and the river ‘straightened’ to offer a constant float of water for the 2 dozen paper and textile generators alongside the banks.
Leven Promenade was once the scene of Excursion of the Kingdom finishes within the 90’s and Scottish Milk Race finishes again within the 70’s; within the 1975 version Dave and I had been located at the Stanin’ Stane Street, the lengthy, instantly undulating highway which heads east into Leven from Kirkcaldy. On the head of affairs was once that past due, nice, stocky undergo of a person, Ryszard Szurkowski of Poland, glued to his wheel and attempting in useless to get some refuge from the squat type of Szurkowski was once large Phil Griffiths. Phil was once all the time fast witted with lots to mention – however no longer that day, Szurkowski had him at the rack, en path but any other degree victory.
Polish paratrooper memorial
Leven is not any stranger to Poles regardless that, the first Impartial Polish Paratroop Brigade skilled there prior to their involvement within the crisis that was once Arnhem.
Proceeding previous Leven takes you into the sand dunes which separate Lundin Hyperlinks golfing direction from the seaside. There’s a lot of it rideable; that may be ‘it all’ in case you had been Freddy Maertens and the Flandria boys again within the 70’s – however no longer in case you’re 67 years-old, even with an electrical motor within the rear hub. And with regards to the motor; some chap on FaceBook was once sounding off that ‘e Motorcycles’ are a curse, all I will be able to say is that it’s a pleasure to get to the highest of the village and to not have to prevent and fake I’m taking a look at my cell phone till the ache in my hip eases.
In not unusual with many seashores in East Scotland, Lundin Hyperlinks has concrete block anti-tank defences to thwart doable Global Battle Two German landings; albeit it’s so much additional around the chilly North Sea than it’s around the English Channel.
Sea struggle portray
For those who mission inland off the trail to Higher Largo you’ll be able to nonetheless see the canal dug through native legend Sir Andrew Picket from his house to the native church so he may just go back and forth through barge to the Sunday carrier. It’s been stated this can be a fantasy, however because the well-known photographer, Robert Capa as soon as stated; ‘by no means let the reality stand in the best way of a just right tale!’ What’s no fantasy is that Picket two times defeated awesome English forces in sea battles within the Firth of Forth in 1488/9 and was once referred to as, ‘Scotland’s Nelson.’
Lundin Hyperlinks runs into Decrease Largo previous the quirky and wonderful gate of native artist Alan Faulds.
Adventure’s finish for this secteur is on the Alexander Selkirk birthplace statue, the muse for Daniel Defoe’s ‘Robinson Crusoe.’ There are two variations of why the Scot ended up on Fernandez cluster off the coast of Chile; one is that he may just see that the send he was once aboard, the Cinque Ports, was once a ‘dying send’ and doomed so he requested to be put ashore. The opposite is that he was once a cantankerous fellow who his shipmates deposited there to do away with his consistent dangerous tempers.
Subsequent time we’ll cross west once more. . .
Steps at the coastal trail – A part of Ed’s determine. . .
# You’ll examine Ed’s adventure from time trial motorbike to Ribble e-Motorbike HERE. #