Events in 2016

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Shropshire Winter Rambles

12th-14th February 2016

The walks undertaken during the 2016 February Ramblings' weekend were a little gentler than the usual challenges, and in areas not usually walked by the Society.

After Friday night's meal at the Station Inn in Marshbrook, Saturday was spent walking Hope Bowdler (426m), before spending a leisurely time in the 'secret room' of a local coffee shop - with cakes to die for. For Saturday night's meal, we once again met at the Station Inn. On Sunday, we followed the Three Woods Walk, which starts & ends at the Discovery Centre in Craven Arms.

It was a very pleasant weekend of walking, eating and chatting, in reasonable weather for February.

Pam Kirkland


Whitby Annual Gathering 2016

8th-10th April 2016

On the evening of 8 April, 2016, 85 members and friends gathered at the Saxonville Hotel in Whitby, this being the weekend location for the annual Gathering of the Society. Before our buffet meal in the hotel restaurant people socialised and looked at the Book Fair and merchandise stall. Entertainment followed the meal with a film about Whitby and the surrounding area, made by Alan Bowman. After this Robert Wilkin gave a very interesting talk about his experiences of mining in the North East. Next morning, a rainy one, 41 intrepid hikers were ferried off to Goathland for their walk onto the moors and Roman Road. The remaining 44 weekend attendees went up to Whitby Abbey, exploring the ruins, visitor centre and St. Marys Church close by. After that a welcome coffee and cake, away from the rain, was enjoyed in the café there. Later everyone met up at the Mallyan Spout Hotel, in Goathland, for a light lunch and then on to the North York Moors Railway in the afternoon. Unfortunately, due to engine problems that morning, our train was a diesel instead of the steam we had expected. Once everyone had relaxed after the day's activities they gathered once more for the usual Fabulous Feast. Mike McGarry later presented a quiz followed by Jenny Aitken's entertaining play involving up and coming thespians from the Society. A fun evening! The final part of the Gathering weekend was the AGM on Sunday morning. During the meeting 4 new recruits to the Society committee came forward and this was a fitting conclusion to a successful Gathering. The next Gathering, in 2017, will be in Brighton.


Exploring South Shropshire, including Downton Gorge

13th-15th May 2016

The weekend event started in traditional fashion with a get together in a pub for a feast - at The Station Inn at Marshbrook - and the following morning the 30 members and friends gathered again in Carding Mill Valley. The main group left in perfect walking weather for a 6+ mile walk that was new to everyone. It started with a scramble up the exposed rock of The Pike, and then, by a slightly easier path, up to the Portway via Haddon Hill, with fine views in all directions, including across to Peter's reservoir (Hatchholt) earlier. Mechanical problems with the shuttle bus meant that others couldn't meet up with the main group as planned but the walk continued up to Pole Bank before returning to Carding Mill via Yearlet. Tea in the back room of the Chalet Pavilion was followed by a fascinating talk, 50 Years on the Long Mynd, from Peter Carty of the National Trust, which gave us a very interesting insight into how the NT (and others) look after the Mynd. We all met again that evening for a good meal at the Green Dragon in Little Stretton. Sunday morning saw us at Forge Bridge ready to meet our two Natural England guides who each led a group along Downton Gorge, giving us a real feel for the locations of The Secret of the Gorge, as well as much information about the history of the area and its natural environment - it's a National Nature Reserve, only open for pre-booked tours at limited times of the year. Our morning was not without its own adventures, but we finished with a delicious BBQ lunch nearby at the renowned Old Downton Lodge - still in glorious sunshine.


Exploring Seawitch Country

14th-16th October 2016

Approximately 30 Society members gathered on the Suffolk coast to enjoy a weekend of exploring ‘Sea Witch’ country. On the Saturday the walk was a circular one from Southwold across the marshes to Walberswick, taking in Rose’s route to see the old red water mill; some members shortened the return leg by catching the ferry over the River Blyth. On Sunday there was a shorter morning walk in and around Orford; this was a challenging trek as the wind was gale force. Evening meals took place in Southwold and on the Saturday this was over the rough sea of Sole Bay in a restaurant on the pier. The weekend ended after the Orford walk with lunch at the Harbour Lights where not surprisingly there was no Bert Hawkins as landlord. A thoroughly enjoyable weekend.