Monday, 21 July 2014

Thank Goodness foreigners speak English.

Canterbury Cathedral seen
from Duke's Meadow
Cycling back from fish & chips at Sandwich with MyMateJohn today, I caught up with Katrin and Lisa, two Flemish speaking ladies from Belgium. They are on a five day cycling tour to London. Fully equipped with GPS they are accurately following the Sustrans route to London. To save them the bother of peering at the little screen, we accompanied them to Canterbury, taking them via Duke's Meadow for the classic view of the cathedral.

The 1945 OS map showing the
Canterbury & Whitstable Rly.

Then on to the Crab & Winkle Way which is the old trackbed of the first fully steam hauled passenger railway in the world, which opened in 1830 between the port of Whitstable and the city of Canterbury.  

When we arrived at the Winding Pond, I told them the truth. It seemed only fair. Although the line was the first fully steam hauled passenger railway in the world and the Stephensons, (George and Robert) built the locomotive Invicta to haul the trains, it was not powerful enough to get them up the hill out of Whitstable so a stationary steam engine was installed in Clowes Wood and provided with a long cable with which it hauled the trains up the slope. The Winding Pond was dug to provide water for the boiler of the engine.

Katrin and Lisa at the Winding Pond in Clowes Wood.

Thank Goodness foreigners speak English. 
I could never have explained all that in Flemish.


  1. We were very happy to reach Doddington and even more happy to reach London, Ilford, the next day! On wednessday we thought we deserved a day of rest with shopping! On thursday we took the train back to Dover! It was a very exciting and nice holiday with very interesting people! Thank you Martin and John!

  2. Hello Katrin & Lisa,
    I am so pleased that you enjoyed yourselves. That route to London is long and not particularly pretty. I think you did the sensible thing by taking the train back. Next time you come, you could stay in Kent. It's a pretty county with plenty of things to see.
    Best wishes and happy cycling,