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At 8:30 a.m. on Friday 17th April 2015, four members of St Augustine’s Lodge No 3713 and also Redditch Rugby Club, accompanied by 5 friends, set off on a bike ride from Redditch Rugby Club to Paris to raise money for The Acorns Children’s Hospice, a local charity that cares for terminally ill children in the Midlands.











                        Rob Gall, Bro Jon Hughes, Bro Chris Hemming, Gary Carter, Bro Mark Broadhurst,

                         Matt Kenny,  W. Bro Paul Buck, Ian Strutt & Matt Burke, ready for the off.


The 7 cyclists and two support drivers were facing a four day journey to the Eiffel Tower covering 320 miles. The Plan was for the cyclists to rendezvous with the support vehicle at pre-arranged stops along the route, typically 20 -30 miles between stops.


Day 1 covered the journey from Redditch to Reading, travelling via Stratford-upon-Avon, Shipston-on-Stour, Woodstock and Oxford, arriving at a Travel Lodge just outside Reading late afternoon. All were grateful to get off their bikes and recover, some with dread about having to do it all again in the morning


Day 2 saw the team depart the Travel Lodge at 7:30 a.m., in good spirits, for the next leg of the journey to Newhaven, via Guildford and Brighton, with a breakfast stop just North of Guildford for bacon and sausage buns and coffee,  arriving at the Premier Inn, Newhaven, late afternoon.

With the UK leg of the journey complete the cyclists had time to relax and recharge their batteries before boarding the overnight ferry to Dieppe. The Bikes and all the equipment had to be loaded into the support van for the ferry crossing and once the van was packed the team set off for the port, boarding the ferry at 10:30 p.m.


Day 3. The team disembarked in Dieppe at 4:00 a.m. and proceeded to prepare themselves for the next leg of the journey. This involved the cyclists stripping off and donning their cycling gear in the car park of the ferry port with temperatures plummeting to around -2o C. Fuelled by cups of coffee, instant porridge, Pot Noodles and energy bars the cyclists set off at 5:00 a.m. to negotiate the route through Dieppe and pick up the “Avenue Verte”, a dedicated cycle route to Paris, which mainly runs along a converted railway line. Having negotiated Dieppe and successfully found the start of the cycle track they made good time on a predictably deserted route in the cold and dark. As the sun rose the team rendezvoused at the first stop, an old railway building that had been converted into a cafe, only to find that it did not open until 11:30 a.m., which would mean a 3 hour wait, so breakfast plans were changed and after a fruitless search for somewhere open they had to settle for more coffee and instant food from the van, wrapped in any spare coats to try and get warm. Suitably refreshed they set off again, finally stopping for some bought food at the end of the cycle track in Forges-les Eaux. From here they were back on normal roads, which meant dealing with traffic, to the next stop at Gournay-en Bray. Not satisfied with coffee and energy bars from the support van, two of the cyclists ventured into the town, found a Patisserie and purchased cakes and filled baguettes. Now with sun shining the team, suitably warm and refreshed, set off for the last stage of the day to Gisors, arriving early afternoon at their hotel. After some welcome sleep they went in search of something to eat in the town.


Day 4. After a proper breakfast at the hotel preparations were made for the last stage of the Journey to the Eiffel Tower, departing at 8:30 a.m. There were no pre-arranged stops on this leg of the journey with the support drivers going ahead and finding a suitable site then waiting for the cyclists to arrive, when the next part of the route would be discussed. This part involved a few wrong turns and detours for both cyclists and drivers which resulted with the cyclists heading for the motorway at one point before being put back on the right track by the support crew. The next appointed meeting place was aborted with the final rendezvous being at the Eiffel Tower. Both cyclists and drivers were now on their own, and both got slightly lost while trying to navigate their way through the centre of Paris. Having finally found a parking space near the Eiffel Tower the two drivers walked the last few hundred yards to find that the cyclists had just arrived as well. Congratulations were shared and pictures taken before celebrating with a well earned beer or two.

  


Rob Gall, Ian Strutt, Bro Jon Hughes, Bro Chris Hemming, Bro Mark Broadhurst,

Matt Kenny, Matt Burke, W. Bro Paul Buck & Gary Carter.

Re-united at the Eiffel Tower on the completion of their journey.


The total amount of money raised to date stands at £5,000.00 approx. This combines money donated on-line, via a just giving page www.justgiving.com/Redditch-RFC-bike-ride and monies raised in sponsorship off-line. The just giving page is now closed

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The Annual Provincial Grand Lodge Meeting was again held at Stoneleigh Park on Saturday 16th May. This meeting was attended by 6 members of the Lodge with 3 members receiving promotions, W Bro Tom Fisher promoted to Past Senior Grand Deacon, W Bro Mike Payne, after his year as an Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, promoted to Past Junior Grand Deacon and W Bro Ian Hart, after serving 10 years as Provincial Tyler, being promoted to Provincial Junior Grand Warden. The meeting was attended by over 600 Warwickshire Masons with representatives of 7 other Provinces, either Provincial Grand Masters or Deputy Provincial grand Masters, being in attendance. The Provincial Grand Master addressed the meeting and outlined plans for attracting new members to Freemasonry stating that unless we change with the times then numbers will continue to fall and the existence of Freemasonry could be threatened.

   











    W Bro’s Paul Buck, Steve Roadley, Tom Fisher, Mike Payne & Dave Pellett                                                           W Bro Ian Hart   

                                 After the Provincial Grand Lodge Meeting                                                                    Provincial Junior Grand Warden

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The annual Provincial Church Service took place at St Mary’s Collegiate Church, Warwick on Sunday 14th June. This was again well supported by members of St Augustine’s and acts as a social event for the members.






     

                                                      

W Bro’s M Payne, D Pellett, G Cardy (Master), P Buck & T Fisher

At St Mary’s Collegiate Church

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