Registration is open for the Annual Queen Eleanor Charity Cycle Ride, raising money for a homeless person’s charity, which will tour through Woburn on the 200-mile route.
The 200-mile Queen Eleanor Cycle Ride takes in some of England’s finest country following the route of the 12 Queen Eleanor crosses. Riders will visit Lincoln Cathedral, Grantham, Stamford, Fotheringhay, Geddington, Northampton, Stony Stratford, Woburn, Dunstable, St Albans, Waltham Abbey, Cheapside and Charing Cross, with a final visit to Queen Eleanor’s tomb in Westminster Abbey.
Keith Busfield who is one of the team of organisers this year, said: “It’s been great fun, a chance to learn about the history, meet lots of new people, sample plenty of cake, practice my puncture repair skills and support a great cause.”
Money is raised through sponsorship, with funds supporting the work of The Connection at St Martin’s in Trafalgar Square, London, which helps homeless people. The registration fee covers all accommodation and food, with cyclists staying overnight in church and village halls. Previous years’ events have in total raised over £100,000.
Anybody who would like to take part in the cycle ride can register by visiting www.queeneleanorcycleride.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Back in 1290, Queen Eleanor, the beloved wife of King Edward 1, died in Harby, just outside Lincoln. So distraught was the King that he arranged for Queen Eleanor’s body to be carried from Harby to its final resting place in Westminster Abbey involving the long and slow journey to back London.
Queen Eleanor was loved by many. King Edward wrote: “Living I loved her dearly and I shall never cease to love her in death.” He arranged for her body to be embalmed and some of her organs were buried in Lincoln Cathedral, where there is a copy of her tomb in Westminster Abbey. Edward meanwhile ordered for 12 crosses bearing statues of the Queen - the Queen Eleanor Crosses - to be erected at places where the procession stopped overnight.
Most of the crosses were destroyed during the English Civil War. Three of the original crosses remain, in Geddington, Hardingstone near Northampton and Waltham Cross. And Queen Eleanor’s name still lives on in the names of roads, schools, pubs and the like up and down the country.
There are fragments of the cross in Lincoln Castle, a modern day replica in Stamford, plaques in Grantham, Stony Stratford, Dunstable and Trafalgar Square, and regular mentions of the Queen Eleanor roundabout in Northampton traffic updates.