We held our AGM on Sunday at the Villa, near Levens.  Fifty four members and guests attended.  This newsletter is a chance for those who were unable to attend to update with the news.

  • Safety in the cold weather

The last few days show that winter is now with us and there is snow on the higher fells.  In this weather you will quickly get hypothermia if you are injured or delayed because you are attending to someone else is injured. So please ensure that you take a space blanket or survival bag whenever you go out.  They are cheap to buy and light to carry, so if you haven’t got one then buy it before the next walk.

  • Membership and Finance

At the AGM Norman presented his report on the Membership and Finances.  This year he  has been busy with an welcome influx of new members. During Covid the membership fell to 55, but now there are 82 paid up members and 3 life members.  In addition to the increase in numbers the club membership is more active and it is good to see more new walk leaders.  We do need more walk leaders and it would be nice to see more folk coming forward offering to plan and lead walks.

With regard to finances the club started the year with a building society balance of £1,392.21 and ended the year with a balance of £1,359.90.  There is a discrepancy of £2.31.  The 31p is historic, and the £2 was incurred because a member paid in a cheque for the Bamburgh trip valued £2 less than the amount due.  The club will write off £2.31. So no big holes in our finances. 

  • The Committee

This year several members of the committee and the chairman are stepping down from the Committee, Sue Brearley, Jean Savage, and Ann Wilson.  John Davies has kindly offered to take on the role of chairman, and Helen House and Charles Brecknell have agreed to serve on the committee.  Ann Wilson has agreed that she will continue to look after our web site, although she will not be on the committee, which is most welcome.  The committee is now comprised of 7 members: John Davies (chairman), Helen House, Charles Brecknell, Sue Rigg, Tony Mayo, Norman French (Treasurer) and Phil Walker (Walks Co-ordinator.)

  • Walks in 2022

At the AGM Phil Walker gave a short but entertaining review of the year, here is what he had to say.

There was a walk every Sunday this year come rain or shine.  Walking activity recovered slowly from the covid lockdown but the pace picked up and latterly the programme has been oversubscribed, with a surplus of walks this quarter.  Some of these walks could not be programmed (and were recycled). 

There have been no shorter walks, and although these were a good idea, no one has come forward to lead them.  There was only one evening walk this year.  However the club has covered most of the Lakes as far west as Wastwater, as far east as Clapham, north as far as Bampton, and south to Bowland.  The walk in Bowland was led by John McCartney, who is hosting our walking trip to Spain in May 2023. 

The walk on July 31st to visit the memorial to Victor Middleton, was undoubtedly the most popular walk of the year with 22 participants.  Derwent persisted with his attempt to walk Crinkle Crags, and finally managed to do it, however only one person turned up making it the least popular walk of the year.

26 people led walks this year and it was encouraging to see contributions from new walk leaders including: Sue Rigg, David Bullas, Helen and James House, and Bianca Hanlon.

Eleven members led 1 walk, 6 led 2, 7 led 3 and 2 led 4.  Simon Hughes, and John and Enid, led the most but since John and Enid are a double act, Phil nominated Simon Hughes as the special leader of the year.  In recognition of this he will receive free membership for one year, but Norman should not worry about the funds because Simon is already a life member, and therefore he will receive an upgrade to life + 1 year.  Well done Simon.

In total 60% of the walks were led by 9% of the members.  The walks covered a planned distance of 472 miles, but if account is taken of the actual distances walked on Norman’s walks our total covered must exceed 500 miles.

This coming quarter there are 10 walks promised from leaders, which leaves a further 4 to fill the programme but Phil would like more than this so that he can produce a balanced programme.  Please let Phil have your contributions to the programme asap.

Overall, then, 2022 has been a very successful walking year.  We owe Phil a huge debt of gratitude for the hard work he puts into curating the walking programme.

  • Recent Events


Isobel Williamson organised a Crown Green Bowling event at her club, a repeat of an event held last year for the first time.  Happily this year’s event was enjoyed by all who participated and was a success.  Will bowling become a regular feature of the club’s annual programme?  Better ask Isobel. 

Bamburgh Trip – 14th – 17th October

The long weekend in Bamburgh was a splendid success.  This was originally set up by Sue Brearley and then co-ordinated by Sue Rigg.  A lot of work later and we had a great time, a near perfect hotel, several good meals, with reasonable weather and some fine walks.  Thanks are due to Sue and all who played a role in making the trip a success.

Christmas Social

We had a good deal of difficulty arranging the Christmas Social this year, as many venues refused to take our group fearing they would not be able to find sufficient staff.  However, Alex Borg the hotel manager at the Villa was pleased to take our booking.  We anticipated around 40 guests but in the event 53 folk showed up.  Pretty much the entire staff were mobilised to make sure the plates all come out together and we had a very acceptable Christmas Dinner.

  • Forthcoming events

Spain 14th to 24th May 2023

Our visit to Spain in May next year is going ahead as planned.  Although the trip is fully booked two members have had to drop out and been replaced by two from the waiting list.  If you wish to be considered for the trip you can ask Tony Mayo to be placed on the reserve list. at if you want to be added to that list.

  • Thank you from the outgoing chairman.

“Some are born great, some have greatness thrust upon them and others have stuff thrust upon them”.  In voluntary organisations mostly the latter, and so it was with me when I took on the role of chairman 4 years ago.  I had little idea what it would involve and it was a bumpy ride, now it is all a bit of a blur.  Covid at times gave it a surreal air, and finding a way through the seemingly contradictory regulations was a challenge but we managed most of the time.

On reflection I have enjoyed being in the role, and I hope I will continue to enjoy being in the club, and making a contribution where I can.  To the membership can I say thank you for putting up with me and thank you for the many kind comments that I have received from you during my tenure. 

Behind most leaders there is a team and I have been lucky with the members of the committee. I have received a great deal of help and encouragement from Tony Mayo, and Phil Walker, who live near me and were always available for a quick consultation.  Norman has been an essential member of the team, keeping the membership list up to date, and he has more than met the challenge of maintaining our accounts despite a stone age building society. 

Three members of the committee are stepping down this year and I would like to thank them for the splendid work they have done.

Ann Wilson maintains our web site, and deals with associated business.  She has decided to leave the committee to fry a larger fish with the Ulverston U3A.  It is a massive job, and I am not surprised she no longer has time for our committee.  Thank you Ann for your contributions while you have been a member of the committee.  

Jean Savage is taking a break.  She has not been well and although she is recovering she will need time before considering whether to rejoin the committee.  Jean has been a very active member of the club, and we will miss her enthusiasm and her wry cheerful sense of humour.   We wish her a speedy recovery.

Sue Brearley has been a wonderful colleague to work with.  She has made an enormous contribution in recent years.  Sue has been the co-ordinator of many of our successful social events.  Keeping tabs on who is coming, and who is not, collecting the cheques, taking down the orders, and much else besides takes a lot of organisation, time and patience.  All those who have enjoyed these events owe Sue a big thank you.

I am also grateful to those members of the committee who have joined in the last year or so; Sue Rigg, and John Davies.  They have already made a significant contribution with the trips to Mull and Bamburgh, I hope they will tarry a while, and help to keep the club going.

Thank you everyone.

  • Comments, complaints or contributions

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