Locked and Boulted from Paley Street to Hambleden

Locked and Boulted 

The Defence Section

Continue until you come to a cross roads that has Kiln Hill to its right, turn there towards White Waltham, and then turn right again.In the village go left by the war memorial, which is next to the cricket pitch, along Butchers Lane.

Around 500m a gap on your right leads to gates and a wire fence. This is the boundary of White Walham Aerodrome with a perimeter road just past the fence. The immediate section has been given over to crops, but beyond is one of the busiest light aircraft airports in the UK. You can see hangers and planes in the distance. During WWII White Waltham was the HQ of the Air Transport Auxiliary which was responsible for ferrying planes from
White Waltham Aerodrome
factory to airbase. Since Germany knew where the factories were, to minimise the risk of destruction, planes were flown from the factory to Maintenance Units where final fitting of items like radios occurred. Often these units were hidden in woods and the plane would land in a field.One in eight of its pilots were female and the ATA was possibly the first British organisation to offer equal pay, which it did from Summer 1943. Maidenhead Heritage Centre has a permanent exhibition about the ATA.

Not completely flat, Butchers Lane takes you up to the A4. While it's not very busy here take care as you turn left and then soon right for Warren Row.  You keep on the road, turning sharp left ,while Pudding Hill keeps straight. About 100m on from that junction is The Warren Row Bunker. It was first developed in WWII as a secret underground factory for the production of aircraft components. It consists of tunnels fifteen to twenty feet wide and about 600 yards in length.  From 1958, during the Cold War, it became a Secret, Regional Seat of Government. "Discovered" by Spies for Peace, an anti-nuclear group in 1963, it continued in use until 1988. It is now used by a wine company.

The bunker main entrance
A short while further on the left is St Paul's Mission Church. Still in use, it was bought as a kit in 1894 for just over £100. Tin tabernacles - churches made of corrugated iron - were erected in large numbers during the second half of the nineteenth century. There are relatively few survivals.
St Paul's  Mission Church

At the end of Warren Row, on your right, is Velolife which is a coffee shop for cyclists and repair place. Unlike pubs which don't open until 12:00 you can get drinks and snacks here staying within event time limits, though it is not an Audax control. It can be recommended for its excellent coffee.
Velolife

The gentle climb continues for a while then you reach an almost flat section which leads you to the T junction with the A4130. Turn left and soon right to Aston. You get a long descent from here - there are a few potholes, mainly about halfway down, and gravel in the middle of the road.  Turn left next to the Flower Pot pub and after a few meters climb, there's a metalled track on the right with a gate. Wiggle you bike through the kissing gate and cycle to the lock.

The pound lock was first built in 1773, with Hambleden weir dating back to Medieval times, though the current one is recent, rebuillt in 1996. Hambleden is a major venue for canoeing. The weir has underwater flaps that can be adjusted by air filled cushions to improve wave conditions. If you  are lucky you will see a grey wagtail and if you are very lucky, a Kingfisher. You need to walk across the lock gate and then along the weir towards the mill, which is now flats.
The lock and weir

The mill

Grey wagtail










































More about the ride                                  Enter now
<

No comments:

Post a Comment