Saturday, 19 October 2013

Better Late than Never


My heads been s'where else since I was informed Cycling 4 All was finishing for 6 months!! I'm not going to talk about it, because I'm sounding like a bitter woman, and I'm not bitter.....a tad sensitive maybe?

I arrived at lunchtime, long story but I knew I'd be some time and didn't want to leave Holly all day. (that was boring and unnecessary!!) So I arrived at 12, clutching buties for everyone. But I say everyone? There was only Graeme, Andy and Myself. Steve was in the woods playing with his chopper:D. And Jetsetting Dave Brenen is in Germany? So after a fairly uneventful - Never been uneventful, and sad day before, with no one really mentioning BIG premature closure.

At 3.30, after everyone really pulling the stops out and fitting around my needs and wants. Graeme Symmons, and myself began our journey along Penistone Rd, through Kelham Island, near The Courts. The Markets, Pons Forge, in by Hallam University, reaching my destination, of the Winter Gardens, where I was meetring my friend for a bite to eat.

Eeeek I cut things fine, and then was horrified to find that Simon Gellers phone was unobtainable!!! Quick thinking!!! I phoned Dave Holiday, who I know would have been at the meeting if it wasn't 300 miles away from his house.

We rendezvoused , and, access to the main Conference Hall, at the Town Hall, was a piece of cake. I had no idea, what to expect from the meeting or who would be in attendance. And I still don't have much idea!! I just, I just spoke from my heart, occasionally. I didn't say too much. Other than be a visual reminder, that folk with disabilities, DO cycle, and for some it's a necessity, as I reminded them, I cant walk very far or safety reasons.   But I can cycle miles, safely....eventually. At the end of the meeting I excused myself, and left with Simon, to catch the 19.14 train to Dore Station. It takes 6 minutes by train, with an extra 20min at Dore to home.

We arrived at the Station, to be met by a fantastic guy, who I have nominated for an award for his customer relations. His name was Paul Fletcher from Northern Rail, we moved to platform 8, and he escorted me, and having a word with the Guard on the train, to make sure, he understood who had given Authorisation for the journey. Which was the Station Manager, Richard?? a friend of Dave Holidays. Ziggy the Trike, was an absolute breeze to manoeuvre  on and off the train, but I did have a lot of help.

So a MASSIVE thank you to everyone for making my journey home from Hillsborough, soo successful. :)


  1. Actually Caroline, Richard A is a bit higher up than the station manager, and I asked for the contact details, but he was good enough to take the time to set it up himself. Interesting though, that he seemed to know a bit about Wheels for All already and I'm hopeful that working with Northern, East Midlands Trains* (they actually run Sheffield Station - and have the 'real' station manager there), and Cross Country, we can get some of the WFA inspiration spreading out across the UK through the rail network. As a wrinkled former BR graduate trainee (I was interviewed for my job by the great Dick Hardy - who still has some reputation with older railway staff) you'd be surprised at who's had me bending their ear about those 'mobility aids' with pedals, and the great opportunities they offer their disabled users (sorry PRM's) in taking a more active role in the community, locally and nationally.

    *East Midlands Trains has a nice idea, that one Thursday per month, the senior managers, right up to the MD David Horne, get out of the office and do 'front line' jobs alongside the regular staff - selling tickets, serving meals, doing customer service on the station. So you never know who you might find next time you pass through the station.

    I'll need to get Simon or Mick Nott to let me have a copy of the minutes of that meeting.

    I hope that once you get settled with trains you might have a try for some buses. The company that runs the hourly bus to Bakewell and Matlock (218) has some bright and innovative guys working for their operations in Nottingham/Derby and Loughborough with Mr Mango and Captain Kinch (go look it up) now if that buzz creeps up to Sheffield there could be some interesting developments.

  2. PS Interesting comparative journey times - it take me 25-30 minutes from Sheffield Station to Totley in the bike, and Dore to Totley (up the hill - just under 10 minutes) so yes I can see how slowly you would be going up the main road and even more slowly via the quieter route with slightly more hill climbing (I'm generally keeping pace with the bus or actually overtaking the cars in the rush hour - don't think you'd manage that without a mahoosive training and fitness regime).

    PPS If Hillsborough is shut what's to stop you simply meeting folk who have their own adapted bikes socially and informally somewhere like Millhouses for a ride around?

  3. Hurrah! Was that a one-off or will you be able to catch the train into Sheff from Dore too?

    And what was the meeting at the Town Hall about?

  4. Hello all, I think Caroline's problem is going to be getting on/off at Dore rather than on or off at Sheffield. There are no staff at Dore and the Pacers that are frequently used on the Hope Valley route are not DDA compliant - although ironically once on a trike is no problem, there were three encumbrances on so with my Brompton that made 6. So the guard will have to know who she is and help her on with the trike. However, Caroline has the Customer Service number Cycling between Dore Station and Totley Rise was certainly an eye-opener - she tells me she usually uses the pavement & I don't see why she shouldn't, her trike is essentially a mobility device anyway.

    I'm meeting up with Ian & Les from NRCF on Tuesday and Caroline is on the agenda. You can read my report about #sotm at and suggest you contact Greg Challis for meeting minutes - greg.challis at, I'm sure you know what to do with the 'at'.

  5. Thanks Simon, I will contact Greg. I only travel on the Pavement at night, or in Rush Hour. I do love the freedom, of the road, and actually feel ok with it in the day light. Or when I've picked up speed. I'll expect my ears to be burning then? :)