Newsletter

July 2021

The End of Covid Restrictions

Today most of the restrictions in force in England have been removed.  The situation in Wales and Scotland is different.  As a club we would advise you to be aware of the current advice, and to follow it where you feel it is appropriate. 

Walks Programme

The walks programme resumed after the lockdown in April this year.  Although we tended to stay local and with restricted numbers, many members were able to attend.  Several of the walks followed paths publicised by the Rusland Horizons organisation, and I notice that our members followed our Footloose walks by organising further walks for other groups along the same routes.  Their excellent web site www.ruslandhorizons.org provides maps and advice about their walks, and I recommend it to all.

More recently we have been able to expand the numbers we cater for, and officially there are no restrictions on the number of participants we can accept.  Walks have continued and generally attracted 8 to 12 participants.  In the last month we have had walks round the wells of Silverdale organised by Dianne Clubb, round Sedbergh along the river organised by Sarah Walker, (where incidentally we just missed a flock of kingfishers!), and a fine limestone pavement walk with Simon Hughes to visit the Norber Erratics. 

It is clear from experience, that although we can now share cars, and accept all-comers to the walks, things are not going to be normal this summer.  The most recent walk in Eskdale, illustrates the situation admirably.  We started our walk at 10:00 am, by which time there were only odd parking places still available.  There were lots of people swimming in the Esk, but very few up on Crinkle Crags or Hardknott which were our destinations.  After the walk, we discovered that the Woolpack was only serving refreshments to residents because the owner did not have enough staff to serve visitors, and we had a long wait for a drink at the next pub which was very busy.  However, the views were stunning and the mountains are still magnificent.

Anecdotes from club members and friends in general, confirm that the lakes is very busy, especially in the central areas like Ambleside, Windermere, Grasmere, Langdale and others.  We need to be aware of the problems we are likely to face, in particular, car sharing will help and it some cases a starting time earlier than 10:00 might be desirable.

The walks programme is on our web site and the next events will take place round Torver, along two rivers at Appleby, over Simpson Ground and Back Redding Allotment, with an evening walk round Sizergh on the 12th August.  Each of these is an easy-to-moderate walk.  For those of you who need something more stretching, there is a walk on the Howgills on 15th August. There is no restriction on numbers and you do not need to book on the walk in advance with the walk leaders, so it would be good to see the number of participants increase.  We need to recover our energy and renew our friendships – so let’s get out.

Committee

We did not hold an AGM in 2020 for obvious reasons, however, there will be one in late November / early December this year.  There are currently 7 members on the committee: Phil Walker, Jean Savage, Sue Brearley, Ann Wilson, Tony Mayo, Norman French and me.  Half of us have served our allotted 3 year term.  I have not yet consulted the committee members about plans to stand for re-election, but the club is dependent upon a small number of folk to continue operating effectively.  If half the committee declined to seek re-election, where will their replacements come from?  So if you want the club to continue, please think about coming forward to be a committee member or help in other ways.

Walks Planning

Phil has asked me to thank all those who have helped him to fill the walks programme for July – September.  As a response to the Covid restrictions, we have ceased holding our quarterly walks planning meetings.  We intend to resume them, because they provide an opportunity for active members to get together, and get the walks programme off to a strong start, making it easier for Phil to complete it.  The next meeting will be arranged for early September.

Christmas Social / AGM

We are hoping to hold the Christmas Social and AGM at the Eagle and Child in Staveley this year.  We have made enquiries and we await a reply. 

Edinburgh

There are several important things to do before the event in Edinburgh.  Final payment of the balance of the cost is due and Sue has sent out an email requesting payment. Please respond promptly with your cheques when you are asked.

We plan to eat our evening meal in the hostel instead of going out for a meal together, and the balance of £116.27 includes both continental breakfast and 3 two course evening meals.  This is because we do not know what the situation in Edinburgh will be during October. It may be very busy and difficult to find venues.  However, the hostel management will require us to select what we wish to eat in advance.  Once we have the menus, Sue will circulate you with the choices. Collating this is a big task for Sue, so please respond promptly to when asked.

Scotland May 2022

John Davies been contacted by 17 members who are interested in the proposed holiday in Western Scotland in May 2022.  This is sufficient for us to be able to go ahead and plan the event.  If anyone has not contacted John this is the time to do it (winander@aol.com)

Victor Middleton

Club members have joined generously to support the memorial and a total of £265 has been raised.  This is more than the memorial is likely to cost, and we will therefore consult with Deb Middleton to identify some additional way of commemorating Victor’s work.

Membership

The club now has a membership of 63, down from 83 before the Covid epidemic.  Many of those who have decided not to renew their membership, are those who have moved away or lived well outside the local area, such as those living in Scotland, the South of England and further afield.  Others who live more locally, have different reasons for leaving, but as the membership grows older, we must expect the tide to ebb.  There is good news however, and 3 new members joined recently, while our web site continues to attract enquiries from potential new members. 

Comments, observations, complaints?

If after reading this newsletter you have anything you wish to comment on, please let me have your comment at wenty2d@gmail.com

Derwent Donaldson

22/07/21