All's well in Ashwell
PUBLISHED: 16:43 01 July 2011 | UPDATED: 19:38 20 February 2013
In the heart of north Hertfordshire a thriving Ashwell is alive with car, cycling and cricket enthusiasts, as Damion Roberts finds out
Cycle Club Ashwell
Hertfordshire Life spoke to 60-year-old Geoff Godschalk just after he had finished an 18-mile bike ride around north Hertfordshire.
There is nothing unusual about this Geoff is the club development officer at Cycle Club Ashwell and when he is not answering his phone to journalists he is usually found on the country roads around Ashwell through rain or shine.
Its a great way of getting out there and just enjoying the countryside, Geoff said.
We just enjoy riding. Were not the sort of club which has a rule book and were not sticklers for rules. We just get on with it, were a friendly club and we just get out there on our bikes and enjoy cycling.
The club, Geoff says, is based on a mixture of adults and youth and has 170 members after forming just 10 years ago.
We started with three, but weve added lots of members from Ashwell and the surrounding villages, Geoff said.
We didnt start out as a racing club but we do have some members who race though were not focused on just being a racing club.
We have seven acres which weve got a 25-year lease on and were building our own track and with our young members were well on the way to having a very good future to look forward to.
Mid-Life Crisis Car Club
A mid-life crisis club for car enthusiasts may sound like a male-only environment, but that is certainly not the case in Ashwell.
In fact Alan Gower, the chairman of Mid-Life Crisis Car Club, was introduced to the club by his wife and the majority of the clubs members are couples where both husband and wife take great joy in getting the most out of their and other members vehicles.
Ive been involved in the club for about four years or so, and the club itself has been going for the best part of 20 years, Alan said.
We have lots of members locally as the centre for the club is Ashwell and Hinxworth, but we also have others who live as far away as 30 or 40 miles and were all people who hold a keen interest in, or have interesting cars.
About four years ago I bought a Triumph Spitfire off eBay which is, it has to be said, a great place to buy cars as long as you do your research, and I think it was my wife who knew Robin Lipscomb who was on the committee and he mentioned the club and I joined.
The basic premise is that people should have a classic car, the oldest is about 1910, but we do have a broad appeal and a broad range of cars with the likes of Porsche Boxsters, Aston Martins and two-seat open Mercedes.
Were car enthusiasts and we aim to get out there once a month for events and we just make sure we enjoy what we do, and thats the basic common factor for all of the members.
Ashwell Youth Cricket Club
There are few man-made sounds that bring to mind summer in an English village more than that of leather on willow.
Katrina McCarthy is the secretary of Ashwell Youth Cricket Club and has helped to organise both competitive and friendly cricket in the village for the past three years.
The club is part of Ashwell Cricket Club and plays its cricket at the same venue as the adult team, Ashwell Recreation Ground.
Speaking about the club, Katrina said it was vital that sports clubs and societies gave youngsters the opportunity to get out and test themselves against their friends.
I think its about giving the youth access to these local facilities so they do not have to travel far to do the things they want to do, and enjoy the things they want to enjoy, Katrina said.
Its a structured environment where they can go and meet their friends in a constructive way, and they have coaches who are all going through their coaching courses and this gives them the opportunity to improve their game and to make the most of what the village has to offer.
The club has been running for 10 years and has members from the age of 10 to 18, although there are hopes that if they get enough players they can run an under-10s team this year.
We have under-18s playing league matches, and under-12s too, Katrina said. Playing in a league depends on how many players we have. For example, the under-14s dont play in a league because there arent enough players as youve got to remember were only a small village.
We are looking for more players, girls too, so if there are any out there wed love them to get in touch.
And if they do, they are sure to enjoy all Ashwell has to offer them.