The Gayford Flyer (2021 date TBN)

Every year, in late summer, HCC organises and promotes a 'Sportive' - a signposted, organised ride over a fixed route starting at a fixed time. This is not a competitive ride; you may ride as slow as you like - enjoy our wonderful countryside! There are two distances available: 31 miles and 62 miles. Details of each are below.

Oswald Gayford was a locally-born celebrated pioneer aviator who, in 1933, set a time record for the flight from UK to South Africa. In a distinguished military career, he reached the rank of Air Commodore in the RAF at the end of WW2, having started as a basic Seaman in the Royal Navy in WW1. On the way, he was for a period Officer Commanding RAF Wattisham, our local, and still open (as an Army airbase) military airfield. More details are available here.

The rides take us to a number of locations relevant to Oswald's life, and aviation in our part of Suffolk.  GPX files are available from the links below.

Lancaster Route: 34 miles (54 km).This route visits Naughton (Oswald's resting place) and Wattisham, passes close to Elmsett airfield, and has a refreshment stop at the former RAF Rattlesden airfield.

Spitfire Route: at 60 miles (97km), our more challenging ride. On the way, this route visits Naughton, Elmsett Airfield, Wattisham Airfield, and Rattlesden (refreshment stop). It also goes close to RAF Lavenham. For pictures, past and present, of these and other local aviation sites, please visit the Airfield Research Group.

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