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The Mitcham Ghost Ride
The Halloween weekend in 2005 saw the first ever Mitcham Ghost Ride, a cycling tour of some of Mitcham's spookiest locations organised by the Pollards Hill Cyclists.
The ride was, by all accounts, a great success. So much so, in fact, that there are plans to make this an annual event!
See the pictures on Flickr.
Visit the Pollards Hill Cyclists website.
Read PHC co-ordinator Mark's report on the day's activities below:
|MITCHAM GHOST RIDE
40 people!!! The rain held off, we had our first Chopper, our first recumbent and at the height of the ride, 40 people! What a result!
The Ghost Ride was the Halloween version of our popular family ride. We had some good press in both local papers and did a fairly substantial leafletting campaign of parked bikes. Seems like it paid off.
Using stories supplied by James Clark, the author of Strange Mitcham, we toured the quiet roads and traffic-free routes of the area and stopped to listen to the spooky stories on the way. Our first stop was just round the corner, Pollards Hill itself, part of a pentangle of mystic London landmarks on on a leyline between St Mary's church in Beddington and St Mary's church in Addiscombe.
We heard about the various ghosts on Mitcham Common (including the ghost of a motorway - the M23 would have crossed the common if it was built), the grisly events at Rose Cottage and after our refreshment break in Beddington Park, the tale of the ghosts of Sir Walter Raleigh and Queen Elizabeth I at Carew Manor and the adjacent churchyard.
We used the Wandle Trail from Beddington Park to take us up to Merton Abbey Mills where the group started to thin as the night was drawing in. Those that were Pollards Hill bound enjoyed a dusk ride down the newly resurfaced Myrna Close LNR railway path whilst others peeled off to make their own way home.
Next year, if we can get some money in, we hope to repeat the ride but use professional storytellers and actors who can bring the stories to life.
We'll probably make it a day ride with a lunch stop instead of squashing it into an afternoon. Stick it in your diaries now!