School hosts 500 Cyclists from around the UK

After six weeks of students from around Europe and China staying at the School for a programme of academic English lessons and sports activities, the College was filled with cyclists from around the UK enjoying all that Shropshire has to offer as they cycled each day around the county.

CTC, the national cycling charity, travels around the UK and this year landed at the School for a six day period to hold its 134th annual ‘Birthday Ride’ holiday.

With a combination of boarding accommodation and camping on offer, there has been a daily flurry of activity at the College as over 500 cyclists, all members of CTC, have been fed and entertained each evening.

Leaving the College each morning, routes have taken the cyclists in every direction for tours around Shropshire and beyond. With a choice of four levels of tour and stopping at tea rooms in village halls run by the WI and in churches run by volunteers, as well as restaurants and public houses, the cyclists have visited many local attractions, some travelling in excess of 70 miles on their round trips.

Whilst during the day, Big School, the College’s large assembly hall, has been the location for CTC’s central administrative base and first aid post, each evening it has buzzed with activities. For many of the participants, after a hearty supper in the Dining Hall, there has been a choice of entertainment. A Shrewsbury based choir, Jigsaw Sounds, a Jazz Band from Whitchurch, The Jazz All Stars, and the comedy group, Three Men in a Bow Tie have all entertained the visitors. On the final night, Big School also saw a barn dance with music provided by the local Ceilidh band, Five Speed Box.

A cycle through the town was organised on Friday afternoon with the help of the Ellesmere Chamber of Commerce and Carnival Committee. Starting at Wharf Head and returning to the College for the annual Birthday Rides Tea Party, over 300 of the cyclists took part in this event.

As Peter Mathison, the local CTC Holidays volunteer organiser from Shrewsbury, explained, ‘This event has been in the planning for the last 15 months. The Ellesmere College Enterprises team and Ellesmere Chamber of Commerce have supported us at every stage of the planning process and the team on the ground during our stay at Ellesmere College have been very responsive to the needs of individual cyclists, from extra pillows to providing them with local knowledge. We thank them for their hospitality as we move on to plan next year’s event elsewhere in the country.’

20th September 2012  Back to News