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Topic: Free bike tour of Mad Jack country  (Read 1429 times)

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Free bike tour of Mad Jack country
« on: June 10, 2019, 12:31:22 PM »
This is probably a long shot, but I thought I’d put it out there anyway.

First of all, who is ‘Mad Jack’?



Jack Fuller was a village squire during the Georgian era, and a builder of follies; his handiwork is still scattered around the rolling terrain in my patch of East Sussex.

He was a staunch Conservative (not much change in the political landscape), elected to parliament thrice, and in addition to the less-than-honorific now welded to his name was known as 'Hippopotamus' due to his almost 22 stone. Underneath his bust in the church is the inscription: "Nothing is of use which is not honest.”



He ended his political career in a torrent of wild commotion during a parliamentary debate of a disastrous military campaign in which he more or less lost his wits and had to be taken into custody by the Sergeant at Arms. Somewhat calmed afterwards, he turned a new leaf and devoted the rest of his life to cultural pursuits, including the patronage of acquaintance J.M.W. Turner.

He’s buried here:



Yes, that’s a pyramid, a mini-me to its Egyptian big brothers.

Now that you know a bit about Jack, on to the tour. What I’m offering is this. If you like cycling, you’re welcome to turn up at Etchingham station (75 minutes down the line from London) some fine day at our mutual convenience for a guided tour of the area.



You’ll need your own bike. This isn’t a sporty ride (ie, there’s no rush), which is why I didn’t post in the sports section, though you’d need to be reasonably fit to go up the hills which make it so pretty. {There's no shame in walking your bike up the steep bits.}

This would be tailored to the rider(s), anywhere between 15 to 30 miles, through some very fine countryside indeed. The literal high points would be Jack’s aforementioned follies, though granted the only one we'd get a really close look at is the pyramid, sitting atop a honking big hill.

We’d swing by Bateman’s, which Rudyard Kipling called home for many years,



and could ride out to the lovely and very castle-y Bodiam Castle (go ahead and google it, you’ll see what I mean).

Roger Daltrey also lives hereabouts, and although we’re not exactly mates, I could show you his country pile, as well as the mansion which used to be jointly owned by Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck. For Anthony Burgess fans, there's the house where ‘A Clockwork Orange’ was written.

Note that I’m not a professional tour guide! I’m just a guy who likes riding bikes and who has picked up some local knowledge after living here for a while.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2019, 07:27:09 PM by ohio2england »


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Re: Free bike tour of Mad Jack country
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2019, 05:33:48 PM »
Wow, sounds fantastic! I wish I lived closer to you.


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Re: Free bike tour of Mad Jack country
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2019, 07:55:29 PM »


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Re: Free bike tour of Mad Jack country
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2019, 10:04:02 PM »
I will never be able to ride a bike that far, but that sounds wonderful!

Sent from my Pixel C using Tapatalk



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Re: Free bike tour of Mad Jack country
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2019, 08:22:45 AM »
That's really a great offer!  There's a real possibility we may be able to do this.  I'll let you know.

Have you ever been to the canoe rental place near Bodium castle? It's really nice to rent a canoe and head up the river for a picnic.

Also, did I mention I once spent the night in Roger Daltrey's caravan? What an amazing water bed.


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Re: Free bike tour of Mad Jack country
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2019, 11:35:50 AM »
Also, did I mention I once spent the night in Roger Daltrey's caravan? What an amazing water bed.

We are going to need to hear that story!  ;D


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Re: Free bike tour of Mad Jack country
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2019, 01:53:54 PM »
In short, I found this "Glamping" site on air b n b and they had this cool airstream trailer.  It had shag carpets and guitars on the wall and a water bed.  We were apparently the first punters to stay there and the owner said he bought it from Roger Daltrey. I've not seen it advertised again though.

This place was just down the road from the Vineyard pub.


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Re: Free bike tour of Mad Jack country
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2019, 01:32:07 AM »
I’ll come back with a post better illustrating the possibilities, e.g., if you wanted to see both Bodiam and Daltrey’s digs (we could knock on the door and see if he’s got any other caravans for sale), which are at opposite ends of the patch I’m covering, that'd be a longish ride, depending on your definition of longish. You’ll have to let me know what you’re comfortable with, including what sorts of roads; it’s reasonably quiet, but there might be, for example, a short stretch of busy A-road.

I’ve never been to the canoe rental place – I’ve never even seen a canoe hereabouts! They must be slipping under my radar.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2019, 01:41:55 AM by ohio2england »


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Re: Free bike tour of Mad Jack country
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2019, 08:01:31 AM »
It's the Bodium boat station, can't remember the name of the town except it has a station for the steam train.


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Re: Free bike tour of Mad Jack country
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2019, 08:22:32 AM »
This must be what you’re referring to, in nearby Northiam. I see a Canadian Canoe listed (as well as a Hobie Mirage Eclipse – “Walk on Water. Magic!”). Did you paddle over to the castle?


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Re: Free bike tour of Mad Jack country
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2019, 09:56:35 AM »
My version of an Ordnance Survey map:

Here’s a proper map, showing elevation, of a basic 14mile+ route going by the follies & Kipling's place. This could expand to 30+ miles to include everything mentioned, the castle being the farthest thing out.

I’ll check in here from time to time (notifications don’t always seem to work), but can also be contacted at london2hastings@gmail.com, which is another ride I do on occasion…
« Last Edit: June 15, 2019, 08:37:13 PM by ohio2england »


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