It soon comes around and it’s become part of mine and Ian Belk’s ride outs. Any excuse to get an old bike out. Me on my Ex Army BSA B40WD and Ian on his Lambretta. 

The weather looked good all week with the sun coming out. How wrong they were, no sun and only low clouds and super light drizzle that you didn’t notice until you ride a bike when visor, glasses and googles soon mist up. Ian was late for sausage sandwiches at the farm blaming having to stop to keep wiping his glasses!

This year we headed to Rotherham, easily parking right next to the park where theres a big memorial and gardens laid out. The first thing we saw was the presence of armed police! How times have changed! There was hundreds held back by fences leaving the professionals to do the service. Listening to the sermons I was quite surprised at how many youngsters was there and people with well behaved dogs! Last year we went to Mexborough this is a much bigger affair and well organised.

A quick walk around the gardens gave us a well learnt stretching of the legs to find our first Victoria Cross memorials of the day. WW1 Thomas Norman Jackson and George William Chafer with Falklands VC Ian John McKay.

From here we took to the roads and drizzle to pass our local WW1 VC Thomas Jackson in Swinton and Mexboroughs VC William Hackett. By now the roads are quiet but you could see attendees walking around in uniforms and Sunday best. Driving passed Denabys memorial there was more reeths laid with the cemetery not far away with commonwealth graves from WW1.

Dodging the pot holes on the main road we stopped at Conisborough Castle and the memorial gardens. These are always worth a stop over with easy parking. There’s been some money spent there with lots of things to see not just on remberance Sunday they are there all year round. This year theres a new massive poppy on the grass and more poppies over the road. I did’nt go this year but they held a service in the week with poppies lighting up the castle walls.

Heading off into the Sun set – umm more drizzle we went to our old mountain biking area down Sprotborough hair pins up the hill to pass Douglas Barder’s old house at the vicarage. Then around the bends heading passed Cusworth hall to head to Arksey to find our 7th VC of the day Thomas Bryan. 

How we found the grave is beyond me, the cemetery is a big, Ian visits graves and knows common wealth graves which are scattered all around, we literally walked passed it heading to a memorial for people killed by a bomb dropped on a street near by in WW2. And then theres the memorial for a pit disaster from Bentley pit in the 70s.

By now we’re cold, wearing summer air flow gear and a piss pot helmet wasn’t a good idea! So off again, around the corner and into the pub for a coffee. Once warmed up we headed through the countryside to Cadeby for our final 8th VC of the day WW1 George Harry Wyatt. Another coffee in the pub over the road then only two miles home to change, pick up the dogs and head to the pub for a Sunday afternoon.

The more you look, the more interesting things you find in South Yorkshire and theres always an excuse to ride a bike or two and we only covered 20 miles!