Errandonnee 5: the Leamington Licker

Date: 23 March 2017, around 5:30pm

Bicycle: 1987 BSA folder a.k.a. “Goldfinger”

Category: wild card (exploration)

One thing learned/observed: a statue of Randolph Turpin, middleweight boxing world champion 1951

Miles: 7.68

E17MTD: 20.68

Today I did manage to get back from work quite early, and after a quick coffee and a check of the map I set out for Warwick. I’ve never seen the centre of Warwick before despite living nearby for over a year and driving round the outskirts of it twice a day, so I thought it was time for a little recce. 

I took my iPad in a backpack, which is just as well as I got horrendously lost and found myself outside a hospital I wasn’t expecting. I reassessed the situation and found a route that took me through a residential area and then past the racecourse. I’d approached Warwick town centre from about the 5 o’clock position, but ended up going in from the western side having gone the long way around the top…

Anyway, the centre is, as you’d expect from a medieval town, a bit chaotic in its layout and hard to figure out. Immediately my eye was drawn to this chap:

The very last thing I’d expected to see was a statue of a world champion boxer! The magnificently named Randolph Adolphus Turpin. That’s a name to conjure with…

And it turns out the ‘ Leamington Licker’ (great nickname) won his title against no less than Sugar Ray Robinson, of “you never got me down Ray” Raging Bull fame.

Anyway, having studied the statue for a couple of minutes, I decided to find a cafe for a little sit down. I found a Caffè Nero, and found I had a full card for a free drink. Hot chocolate with all the trimmings. I sat upstairs and tried to plan my way back, and also tried to figure out what type of Dutch bike was parked outside:

“When I grow up, I want to have 28″ wheels and a coaster brake too!”

After finishing my hot chocolate I walked the bike back past a church to the main road. The church bells were playing out a tune which I didn’t know, but it was catchy. Turns out it was ‘Minstrel Boy’, and the bells play a different tune for every day of the week, every three hours. It was a lovely thing to experience. I tried to make out the meanings of the inscriptions, but my Latin isn’t good enough. I worked out 1394 in Roman numerals, which is the date the original 12th century church was rebuilt, before being damaged in the Great Fire of Warwick.

As I rode back I stopped to take a photo of the sun setting behind Warwick Castle, but it didn’t come out too well:

To the right of the picture is the church. It certainly was a nice way to spend the early evening, and I’ve now seen the centre of Warwick at last!


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