Don Mathew's book 'Cycling Through Suffolk: A
Tour in 1996'; the design and illustration by Borin Van Loon, with many
reference points in cycling, environment, local history, Suffolk pubs,
and food. Not to mention weather, road conditions and the people met on
the way. Don is a Suffolk man, born and bred: historian, cyclist, bon
and transport campaigner.
The book is available from Amazon.co.uk at £4.75.
Thatcher at work in Glemsford, Suffolk; for environmental reasons the
is using the shorter-lived straw as thatching material rather than the
and more durable Norfolk reed. The large number of thatched houses and
comprise one of Suffolk's greatest treasures.
An extract from the Introduction:
is a record of a cycle journey I made round Suffolk in 1996.
Its impetus was a feeling that, having lived mostly in London for
years, and also made changes in my working life, I had somehow become
off" from my roots. Also, living in the far north-east corner of the
County, much of it felt a mystery to me. At the same time, having
hard for a number of years I felt I needed a complete break of some
This in no way pretends to be a "Guide to Suffolk". Indeed, I
did not deliberately did not visit places with which I was familiar, so
no mention is made of some of the best known and attractive places,
as Bungay, Dunwich, Orford, Southwold,Walberswick and Westleton.
Nor were these notes made at the time with with an eye for publication,
they were for my own satisfaction, to provide a permanent memory of how
it felt to travel at that time and place...'
On the corner of Silent Street, Ipswich (which some believe takes its
population depletion during the Black Death, but is more likely related
to the straw laid on the road to muffle horse hhoves and carts passing
nearby Curson House when it was used as a seaman's hospital), lies an
building, which stands close to the birthplace of the right-hand man of
Henry VIII, Cardinal Wolsey - whose patronage could (until his fall
grace) have turned the ancient town into a second
Don's bicycle leans against the boarded-up shop front. This building
a disused chemist's shop when Borin first moved to Ipswich in 1979;
at the time after twent-two years, it's a crying shame that it took so
long forsomeone to make full
use of this nationally important property. Thanks, at last, to Ipswich
Building Preservation Trust. Er... it's an estate agent's shop.
'An appealing book in all sorts of ways. Full of quirky detail and the
of discovery. It shows that exploration is a state of mind. Highly
for all those who, like me, and Don Mathew, have fallen for the subtle
of a lovely county.' Michael
'A delightful little book and
full of surprises.' Ronald
'A well-crafted chronicle of a
traveller on a mission, entertaining,
enlightening and embracing uncomfortable truths' Keith
Anglian Daily Times
' "I do some political lobbying
for Sustrans, the bicycle lobbying
movement," he said.
In the 1970s, he edited East Anglia's alternative newspaper, the "Waneney
Clarion", and was involved in
the "hippie fairs" of those
heady days. His tour included return visits to the sites of fairs at
and Rougham, "retracing times past", and reminiscing with people
he knew then.'
(Extract from the interview/review published in 'Suffolk'
[NB - Borin first met Don at The Last Barsham Faire, held at
near Barsham, Beccles in Suffolk (close to the Waveney valley) in 1976;
both of them garbed as grubby medieval peasants taking up temporary
on the soon-to-become-waterlogged site. Becoming a regular writer and
for the 'Waveney Clarion' over
the next few years, Borin has always
been an enthusiastic supporter and participant in community press
Mike Weaver, a fairs veteran from those days, has a site commemorating
and Borin's late friend Mick Sparksman's 'Coypu Comix' - it's listed in