THE HISTORY, LIFE AND TIMES OF
THE WEST ESSEX GROUP OF THE RAMBLERS
RAMBLING ON AND ON AND ON…….
The third instalment of the history, life and times of the West Essex R.A. group entitled RAMBLING ON AND ON AND ON .... BY Eric Barker introduces many innovations as the decade of the 1990’s beckons and which continue to this day. The group would become ever more versatile in its efforts to encourage active participation in the attraction of the countryside.
The above scheme was introduced for discussion at the Annual General Meeting in November,
1989, with the object of conducting a survey of all rights-
Inevitably, changes in personnel have taken place. However, despite vacancies occurring from time to time in different parishes, the scheme continues to prosper and for over 20 years vigilant reports from individual adopters assist in bringing to attention problems encountered.
Frank Holzman took over the task of Coordinator after the sad and sudden passing away of John Holness in May, 2002. Towards the end of the 1990's, Frank’s notes as Chairman included a report in detail of the group’s Working Party with the repairing and upgrading of footpaths. The working party met on the second Tuesday in every month in conjunction, until recently, with Epping Forest Country Care. These reports have become the concluding notes with the introduction of the WEP in April, 2002 under the heading of “Finally Frank”. Some Thursdays are given over to “small jobs” and many members have displayed their talents and energy in sometimes inclement weather conditions. Those who are adopters and lead walks, occasionally use the opportunity to check their particular parish patch.
The programme for 1990 contained the usual mix of regular rambles with one of the
notes section welcoming 4 new leaders:-
On the social scene, a 20th anniversary country dance/supper took place at Theydon Bois village Hall on Saturday, 7th April. John Ingram was the M.C. Exactly 5 months later, Derek and Brenda Ford organised a quiz evening/ploughman’s supper at the same venue. Bill and Phyllis Govey provided the catering with assistance from other members. 86 attended the former function which was deemed an outstanding success.
When dad took early retirement in 1981 he said that all he wanted to do was walk and walk and walk, and so he did!! He was one of the founder members of Brentwood Ramblers but he also led for four other groups, namely Chelmer and Blackwater, Chelmsford, Ilford and of course West Essex.
He would walk six days a week and he and mum went on walking holidays at least six times a year with all the various groups.
He kept meticulous diaries of every step he took and where he took it, keeping a running total of the mileage and in which district he was at the time, all in grid references and graphs. He also encouraged others to keep a Boot diary which many still do to this day.
His most active year was 1990 when he logged 2569 miles and as if that wasn’t enough, in his spare time he was a Caller at various Barn dances and many a happy evening was spent at Theydon Bois Village Hall with Dad leading West Essex members a merry dance (so to speak!)
Sadly he died suddenly in 1996 whilst walking out a walk for one of his groups. We always said he would die with his boots on but perhaps not that soon.
He is still sadly missed and his name is often brought up on many walk even now.
The above, a tribute from one of his daughters, Dianne, and included in a letter
for the archives, is self-
Dianne is currently an active member and Co-
THE CHRISTMAS LUNCH, 1990 ONWARDS
This event took place for the first time in 1990 at the “Dukes Head”, Hatfield Broad Oak following a short morning ramble. The “Crown”, Broxbourne and the “White Hart”, Abridge were the venues for the next 2 years. From 1993 and for 5 years thereafter the “Maltsters Arms”, Willingale, hosted some 80 members before closing its doors as a restaurant in 1999. The group “went local” for the following 5 years at the County Hotel, Oak Hill, South Woodford (twice), the Roebuck Hotel in Buckhurst Hill and Gilwell Scout Centre also on two occasions. During the second visit to Gilwell, in 2003, a presentation took place for Fred Matthews whose 80th birthday had occurred earlier in the year. The “Golden Fleece” Manor Park, opened its doors to the group in 2004. This location was particularly familiar to participants gathering for the start of the annual Centenary Walk each September in Capel Road nearby. The social room of Hornchurch Football Club provided the facilities in 2005 since when the Waltham Forest College in Walthamstow has acted as host. Festive Fare has varied greatly over the years. However, the college with its willing and professionally enthusiastic staff has genuinely welcomed the group in pleasant surroundings with the bar conveniently placed......
Group members with one exception have led the walks beforehand. On the occasion of the visit to the football club at Hornchurch, actually located in nearby Upminster, Ron Lockhart was the person in charge. An opportunity is thus provided to recognise the one leader who has “guested” for the group consistently. Leading since 1997, Mill Green and Navestock Side in particular have featured in his list of walks on a regular basis.
Three members have attended every one of the 20 lunches to date:-
Shortly before that first Christmas lunch the Annual General Meeting was held at the Hermon Hill Methodist Church, Wanstead. Gerald Bateman succeeded Gladys Williams as Treasurer who wished to stand down. Brenda Oakey became Minutes Secretary.
BOXING DAY OUTINGS IN THE 1990’s
Chingford station continued to be the meeting place with Corinna Penny leading for
the first four years. In 1991 and 1993 over 40 people attended. Paul Phipps and
Jenny Rodwell organised a car pick-
Francis Staines led the final four years of the decade, an eight mile event each time from Loughton station. In 1999, the Festival of Winter Walks was extended to include Millennium celebrations on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd January, 2000, dates which have remained since.
The notes section of an early programme in 1991 prepared by Frank Holzman included
Derek Ford organised an Easter trip to Hartington, Derbyshire and a month later Jeff Maitland led a weekend at Bakewell in the same county. Ann Kidd was in charge for a coach outing to the Chilterns, Ivinghoe Beacon and the Grand Union canal, and was the leader and organiser for long weekends to Rogate in West Sussex and Sparsholt College in Hampshire in May and August, respectively.
Socially John Ingram was the caller again at a Barn Dance in April. On Friday, 11th October, following a morning walk from Theydon Bois station led by Bill Govey at which 68 people were present, a lunch followed in celebration for three of the senior members of the group, Bill himself (80), and Arthur Glidden and Len Masters, a year younger. Both events were held at the Village Hall in Theydon Bois. (Eighteen years later, another trio would celebrate similarly at Upshire, albeit at the age of three score years and ten.....)
Five weeks earlier, Arthur had been one of 10 members who had completed the Essex
“100”, the oldest on the walk. Fred Matthews’ 1991 Annual Report noted quote:-
THE THAMES WALK
DAY 1 Thames Barrier to Vauxhall 13 miles
DAY 2 Putney to Kingston 13 miles
DAY 3 Kingston to Chertsey 11 miles
DAY 4 Chertsey to Windsor 11 miles
DAY 5 Windsor to Marlow 13.5 miles
DAY 6 Marlow to Shiplake 12 miles
DAY 7 Shiplake to Goring 15.5 miles
DAY 8 Goring to Dorchester 12 miles
DAY 9 Dorchester to Oxford 18 miles
DAY 10 Oxford to Newbridge 13 miles
DAY 11 Newbridge to Lechlade 15 miles
DAY 12 Lechlade to Cricklade 10 miles
DAY 13 Cricklade to Source 12 miles
NB (1) We are not walking the section from Vauxhall to Putney (5.5 miles) since this departs from the river for a considerable length. Purists may wish to walk it themselves!
(2) Convenient bus/train transport to London up to Goring. Thereafter, transport to be organised and dependent on numbers.
(3) Day 2 – 8.2.1992
With the virtual completion of the Thames Walk as a new “National Trail”, members were invited to gather at the Thames Barrier for the commencement of an historic journey of some 175 miles finishing at the Thames Head Spring in the foothills of the Cotswolds. This first leg, which attracted an attendance of 46 and walked on Sunday, 8th December, 1991, was the first of 11 stages during the next 18 months with the final approximate distance of 30 miles being completed at the end of October, 1993 with a weekend away. The indicated stages distributed by Brenda Oakey, the organiser and leader together with Frank Holzman, would eventually differ slightly from Dorchester onwards.
Over 13 years later, the route was repeated in 13 stages from 11th March, 2007 plus a long weekend away again, based on that occasion at Swindon from 10th to 12th October 2008, to complete the walk. On this latter occasion, leading each stage was undertaken by various members. A committed task, with long journeys involved, leaders surveyed and walked the route in different ways, one member sleeping in his car overnight and completing the particular mileage the following day.....!
Other members went to extraordinary lengths to complete the whole route, unable to
participate on the particular day allocated. Using the two-
The 1991 Annual General Meeting resulted in further significant changes to the committee.
Harry Edler became a dedicated Treasurer and, serving for the next 15 years, would
prepare and present the groups’ accounts in a concise way at meetings. John Holness
joined the long-
In 1992, a one-
A small party of seven walked a 23 mile south/north route through Thetford Forest from an area near Lackford organised by Harry Bitten at the end of April. A month later 93 attended and enjoyed a Barn Dance at Theydon Bois Village Hall. With membership of nearly 800, capitation received from Area totalled £567.40 for 1992. A repeat map reading and compass course took place in the autumn after a successful venture in a private house 12 months earlier. Frank Holzman and Ann Kidd instructed a full attendance in two theoretical evenings followed by a Sunday outing for practical work. Peter Spence replaced Ann in due course and the event remained popular for many years resulting in some members eventually becoming leaders. As an experiment, the Annual General Meeting was held in Theydon Bois on a Saturday afternoon at the end of November preceded by a morning walk, a system that was adopted for some time afterwards.
The year became significant for the setting up of a new group in the area, the geographical boundaries of the Boroughs of Redbridge and Waltham Forest forming the Redbridge group. A public meeting was held in August, 14 people attended an inaugural walk and, with the assistance of some current West Essex group members who seconded themselves to the new group, the Redbridge Ramblers gradually became established. A close liaison remains to this day as current programmes show.
Copped Hall Estate finally became acquired by the City of London Corporation being
therefore totally open for public access, Len Alcott formally welcomed four new leaders
at the beginning of 1993:-
In response to members’ requests, a system of walk codes was introduced in the programme
for April to July, 1993, ie:-
A – 12 to 14 miles. B – 10 to 12 miles.
C – 8 to 10 miles. D – 6 to 8 miles
E – 4 to 6 miles.
1 – brisk pace. 2 – medium pace. 3 – leisurely pace.
4 – slow pace.
The above would remain in force for many years, the descriptions becoming more detailed in recent programmes.
Fred’s Annual Report for 1993 noted membership had exceeded 800.
Early the following year, much of the notes section paid tribute to the sad passing
away of Bill Govey in August 1993. A detailed history of his life reflected the
working party team under his direction. In due course, a plaque appeared alongside
that of John Standon at the Ladder stile and later a seat was constructed in his
memory near Warren Wood. Meeting and marrying Phyllis during wartime service in
the 1940’s, they originally walked the countryside on their own, joining the West
Essex group during the second year of its formation. An annual “Bill Govey Walk”
took place for a few years thereafter and members crossing a good stile or bridge
would be heard to comment:-
The above thus ended a 20 year association, an influential person carrying out many
varied tasks. Meanwhile, within a few months another member would equally impress
in time with organising standards conducted in a style of his own. The last ramble
listed in the December 1993 to March 1994 programme took place on Thursday, 31st
of the latter month, a B 2 outing meeting at the car park at Coggeshall. In charge:-
Following the successful conclusion of the Thames Walk, the Ridgeway Long Distance
Walk was organised by Brenda Oakey, an approximate 85 mile route walked in 7 stages
commencing in April, 1994. A long weekend away nearly 12 months later completed
the exercise. The 21st outing with the Hassocks Field Society took place in July,
Harold Markham being the coach organiser on this occasion. Ann Kidd took charge
of a joint Redbridge Ramblers/West Essex group 3-
The Chairman’s message later in the year brought notice of the formation of a new
group in the Harlow area which was officially launched early in the following year.
Named the Stort Valley group it became the thirteenth of its type in Essex and the
three hundred and eighty first in the country at that time. Membership of the West
Essex group totalled 930. Frank Holzman and Ann Kidd were the tutors for a Map and
Compass course in October. Applications were over subscribed, 25 being the limit
due to lack of space at the meeting place ...... During the year, Gordon Ayres had
wondered if there would be a demand for short (3 to 4 mile) ambles. The response
was good. Fred Matthews led the first, from the “Blue Boar”, Abridge on 5th December,
with Len Alcott and John Holness following similarly from different meeting places
before the end of the year. These were coded F4 in the programme. By good fortune,
an extension of accommodation at the “Maltster's Arms” at Willingale enabled 80
members the opportunity to book for the Christmas lunch. 1994 thus became an ever-
Unfortunately, the single-
1995 marked the 25th year of the formation of the group together with the 60th anniversary of the Ramblers’ Association. The occasion was celebrated with an Open Day at Chingford as shown.
A short introductory walk took place locally, led by Harry Bitten on the following day.
The first booking slip prepared by John Francis appeared. He had agreed to organise
three stages on selected summer Sundays, with a weekend away in the autumn, staying
at Seaford in Sussex, to complete a five day walk of the Vanguard Way, an approximate
62 mile route. £8 covered the cost of the coach for each daily stage, £40 being
the estimated charge for the weekend. Pick-
John Ingram was again the caller for a Barn Dance in March, Harold Markham took charge
of a three day walking event at Bognor Regis and six nights/five days for a similar
trip to the Lake District in May and September, respectively. Following the interest
of members with the Map and Compass Course in October, 1994 a similar evening took
place in the autumn of 1995. Gordon Ayres was Frank Holzman’s fellow tutor with
assistance from Peter Spence and Bill Linnell. The last named became a member, with
others as previously mentioned, who seconded themselves to the Redbridge Ramblers
on their formation. Already a West Essex group leader, he continued to carry on
in that capacity for both groups for many years, in addition to being a one-
My best ever walk with the Ramblers
It was during one of the winters around 1990 when Frank Fuller was in the West Essex programme to lead a walk from Albury in Hertfordshire. There had been a heavy fall of snow several days before the day of the walk, but on the day, roads were reported to be clear, so I set off hoping not to be disappointed.
When I arrived at Albury, or more precisely Clapgate, Frank was there and waiting to see who turned up. At 10.30 there were six of us, including Frank and he told us the kind of walk we could have in the wintry conditions. All fields, footpaths and bridleways were covered with snow, it was bitterly cold and everywhere looked grey. It was the kind of day that Charles Dickens would have considered suitable to cast his heroine out of the house into the merciless world.
Frank said that if we did a walk he would aim to be back by 2 p.m. in case the weather closed down, so the pace would be brisk which should keep us warm.
I remember the gentle ascent from the valley bottom on a snow covered footpath with a hedge to our right, then moving up through tall trees. The pace was not fast enough to make us breathless, but it left no time to follow our progress on a pathfinder map, so I am unable to recall where we went. During the whole walk we saw no one else, no birds, no animals, wild or domestic, we seemed alone in a grey and white world.
Frank changed the general direction of the walk with a turn to the left shortly before
stopping for a fifteen minute break so the walk must have been anti-
After our short break we resumed our walk at the same brisk pace but easier as it was mainly downhill back to the River Ash, where we arrived at 1.50 p.m.
Frank Fuller was a quiet, slightly built man and a brilliant walk leader. It was only at his funeral that we found out that during the war he had served as a lieutenant in the Royal Navy, sailing in minesweepers. No wonder he was such a brilliant navigator.
Bill has not been able to provide an accurate date from his records. A research of Len Alcott’s diaries has revealed an outing dated Wednesday, 22nd March, 1995, a walk graded C2. The interest in Frank’s leadership is evident from the above. His walks were always well supported.
Further to the response for ambles, more history was made with the inclusion of evening
F grade outings, the first three of which took place in the summer of 1995 as listed:-
Monday, 7th August. 1900 hours. The “Owl”, High Beech,
Walk with pub supper. Don and Irene Poynter
Friday, 18th August. 1900 hours. The “White Hart”, Moreton,
Walk with pub supper. Don and Irene Poynter
Monday, 21st August 1930 hours. The “Royal Oak”, Stapleford Abbotts,
Evening walk, Cyril Scanes
Although similar walks were not organised on a regular basis for some years, the seeds were sown for future reference, with a gradual increase of events during the summer months since the coming of the new Millennium. Current programmes indicate this.
The 1995 Annual General Meeting, held at the Methodist Church, Hermon Hill, Wanstead,
on the afternoon of 18th November, after a morning walk led by Harry Bitten, resulted
in significant changes. Len Alcott wished to stand down from the position of Rambles
Secretary after 17 years in office. Len Duffin succeeded him. John Francis became
Assistant Rambles Secretary with Len Alcott and these headings appeared in the December
1995 to March, 1996 programme which had been prepared some weeks before. In a tribute,
Frank Holzman’s Chairman’s message concluded thus:-
Sadly, Len Alcott passed away in hospital three days after the Annual General Meeting. Thus John Francis “carried the baton” as Len Duffin’s assistant immediately. They had inherited a difficult situation regarding leaders, particularly on Saturdays. (Page 4 of the WEP issue of August 2010, refers.) Len Duffin had been a regular walker with the group since the late 1980’s, John’s tenure was just commencing. Twenty five years after its formation, the group faced a challenge in 1996 .......
An Open Day took place on Saturday, 16th March, 1996 at Budworth Hall, Ongar with
again an exhibition featuring the many activities of the group. A computer displayed
pictures and photographs, members having been invited to contact Ted Ward (Publicity)
or John Holness (Adopt-
HOW I CAME TO JOIN WEST ESSEX R.A.
I was finishing work at the end of April 1996 and wondering what I was going to be doing with my days. In March of that year there was an advertisement in the local paper for an Open Day for West Essex Ramblers. This was to be held in Budworth Hall, Ongar.
Being a keen walker, I went along to see what was on offer. I was impressed at the organisation of the day, the extremely friendly people who explained how the group worked, so I joined West Essex there and then.
As soon as my employment ended I went on my first walk on 9th May, 1996. This was a 12 mile walk led by Rodney Sell, starting from High Ongar Bridge. I thoroughly enjoyed this day. Everyone was very welcoming. From this day, I have walked most weeks and been on several holidays with the group.
In a handwritten note for the archives reproduced above, Audrey Carson was that person.
Although not becoming a committee member or officer at any time, she has been a
regular supporter of the walks, a versatile leader, using her computer skills on
the WEP and assisting, like many others, in the catering side of the social events.
The last few words relate to holidays. Audrey has travelled far and wide, home
and away and is one of half-
Rodney Sell was a regular leader at that time before eventually emigrating to New
Zealand. He became remembered by walkers of a certain era with his knowledge of
the service tree, one of which is located adjacent to the cul-
Harold Markham repeated a three day booking at Bognor Regis for the May Bank Holiday
weekend. Under his direction, six days were spent at Patterdale in the Lake District
at the end of July and a long weekend took place in Bournemouth in mid-
Peter Spence was elected Assistant Secretary to Fred Matthews at the 1996 Annual
General Meeting, Administration was increasing. The December 96 to March 97 programme
included particular events for 1997 as listed. This enabled members to make diary
notes in advance. Booking slips were included where applicable, to be posted to
John Francis or Harry Edler as appropriate:-
SOCIAL, HOLIDAY, and PROVISIONAL LONG DISTANCE WALKS PROGRAMME
JANUARY 1997 – OCTOBER 1997
1. Saturday 15th February Quiz Evening
2. Saturday 15th March Open Day
3. Easter, 28th March – 31st March Youth Hostelling with Derek Ford in The Peak District
4. Saturday 5th April Barn Dance
5. Sunday 20th April 1st Leg South Downs Way
6. Saturday 3rd May – Monday 5th May Bognor Weekend
7. Saturday 10th May – Monday 12th May Completion of North Norfolk Coastal Path Walk
8. Sunday 18th May National Footpaths’ Day
9. Saturday 7th June & Sunday 8th June South Downs Way Weekend Stages 2 and 3
10. Saturday 21st June/Sunday 22nd June Midsummer Day Night Walk
11. Sunday 13th July Annual South Downs Coach Outing
12. Saturday 13th September and South Downs Way Weekend
Sunday 14th September Stages 4 and 5
13. Saturday 11th October and South Downs Way Weekend
Sunday 12th October Final stages
14. Monday 27th October to Sunday 2nd November Lake District Holiday. Led by Harold Markham.
Mike and Joyce Whiteley took over the mantle of the quiz evening with a ploughman’s supper organised by Phyllis Govey. The former couple would become very active in the group after their respective retirements. Mike as Membership Secretary and latterly general Secretary. Each has led, and continues to lead walks of different types with distinction and enthusiasm. Their regular annual quiz evenings reveal a Mastermind touch and have greatly added to the social scene.
The group returned to Budworth Hall for the Open Day after the successful location of the previous year. Tickets were available from Phyllis Govey for the Barn Dance at the usual venue of Theydon Bois Village Hall. John Francis assisted Harold Markham with the South Downs Way and the Bognor weekend. Derek Ford led the Midsummer Day Night Walk, meeting at Epping station with cars for Fiddlers Hamlet for a 22.45 hours start. There was a reminder to bring a torch, warm clothing and food and drink. This was a joint B2 outing with the Redbridge group. A lift home was guaranteed .....
The programme for the first Saturday of 1997, January 4th, included an interesting initial outing, quote “10.30. Theydon Bois (on green by Avenue of Trees). Joint with Friends of Wansfell College. Arthur Thorne. F3.” The walk was repeated on the same day in June and November. In October, Arthur led on the first Tuesday. Perusing future programmes, the fixed date of “the first Tuesday of the Month” will be recorded as the history progresses. Walkers who attended the June 2009 ramble were invited to accompany Arthur and his wife, Joyce, to one of the local hostelries for a celebration drink on the completion of 20 years of leading from the same place each month, a remarkable record, parallel to that of Ted Ellis’ “last Sunday of the month.” However, by contrast, those who attended formed a category who wished to walk at a slower, social pace for a variety of reasons. Joyce has been a careful backmarker. Sadly, neither Arthur nor Joyce has enjoyed good health during this celebration year, but the date has been honoured each month up to and including October with the exception of September to complete 21 years, the abbreviated location being defined in recent times as Theydon Bois AoT.
Len Duffin and John Francis became concerned at the lack of leaders for Saturday rambles, at least one date in each month from August, 1997 until the end of the year bearing a “No Leader” sign. Unfortunately, this trend continued for the first half of 1998.
The Annual General Meeting in November 1997 marked the retirement of Fred Matthews as Secretary having served in that capacity since the meeting to form the group in October 1970. He was welcomed back to the committee after an absence due to his suffering a mild stroke earlier in the year. Peter Spence had acted as Secretary and was proposed and seconded as Fred’s successor. Fred spoke about the countryside improvement since the group’s formation and thanked those who had assisted. Brenda Oakey also stood down as Minutes Secretary.
Phyllis Govey’s report noted that there were 1006 members. Jaki Rowlands became social Secretary. She would serve into the new Millennium. After two or three abortive attempts, one of the highlights during her tenure was a visit to the Tower of London to witness the daily Ceremony of the Keys, after which the coach load of members were lavishly entertained with food and drink in the Yeoman's “Mess!”
It became apparent early in 1998 that Len Duffin wished to start a new life, moving
to an entirely different area and remarrying in the summer of that year. (page 3
of the August, 2010 edition of the WEP, refers.) John Francis became Rambles Secretary
with sole responsibility for the organisation of leaders for mid-
Meanwhile the Open Day took place in March at a different venue, many members convening
at Christ Church, Wanstead, setting out the usual display of the group’s activities.
On Easter Monday 13th April, Dianne Ingram led a memorial walk, a figure-
With a settled situation in place relating to obtaining leaders for three days each
week, it creates an ideal opportunity to record the huge work load undertaken by
the above over many years. Taking over the responsibility in the same year, 1998,
for the organisation of UK holidays, John has forwarded details thus:-
He had first attended the visit to Bognor in 1994, a 2-
During 1999, 2000 and 2001, John arranged breaks on the Isle of Wight based at Shanklin and 2002 saw him combining with Frank Holzman and Frank’s friend, Lionel, in the organisation of the Leland Trail in Somerset. He took responsibility for transport, accommodation and bookings while Frank covered the walking side. He was similarly responsible in the same year when members walked the Hangar Way led by Len Banister, staying at Havant. In September, 2003 arrangements were the same for a holiday on Dartmoor, Len in charge of the walking, John the accommodation etc.
Two years later, Sudbury, between Uttoxeter and Burton upon Trent, was the venue for an active holiday in Derbyshire, John and Joan Edler assisting Len on this occasion with the walking. 2006 found the group at Weymouth, Len the leader, John booking the hotel, transport etc. Swindon became the venue for his organisation of a long weekend which completed the Thames Path in October 2008.
John’s details describe incidences relating to some of the above:-
His further responsibilities have included the booking of monthly mid-
The final collating of the walks programme together with items for the WEP, is a further essential, three times each year following the last day deadline. Taking over from Len Alcott, he completes 15 years in office during the anniversary year, a long serving pivotal stalwart of the group .....
Brenda Oakey took charge of the organisation of the Cotswold Way, the first half
being completed with a three night stay at Winchcombe at the end of September, 1998.
Interested parties would provide their own transport to Gloucestershire and return.
Frank Holzman and Lionel led the walk. Two members led their initial walk on the
last Saturday of the August to November 1998 programme. Hatfield Broad Oak was the
meeting place for an all day ramble with a pub stop, 28/11 the date, Val and Alan
Weatherley the leaders. By an amazing uncontrived coincidence, they were in charge
from the same area almost exactly 10 years later, Thursday, 27th November, 2008,
At the 1998 Annual General Meeting, Ted Ward relinquished the position of Publicity after nine successful years in office. With his wife, Jose, he had also assisted Phyllis Govey with the programme “stuffing” every four months for much of that time. Len Banister replaced Ted and would put into effect immediate individual ideas to that office. Tributes were paid at the meeting for the sad passing away of Harold Lawrence and Frank Fuller by Fred Matthews and John Francis, respectively. With an extensive knowledge of the docklands, canals and rivers of the East End of London, Harold once arrived at a blocked path and saw a notice “Slow men working”. He remarked “Now we know why it is two months behind schedule.” He had served as a committee member for 15 years. Frank led group walks for 20 years, from 1975 to 1995. Often attracting larger than usual numbers, his walks always served a purpose. Mention was made of his popularity reiterating members’ thoughts recorded on previous pages, together with his war service.
The Cotswold Way was concluded with a five day walking break in April, 1999 and a
few days later the Open Day returned to Chingford, on this occasion at the Methodist
Church Hall, facilities which would be available for the group’s Annual General Meetings
in future years. Jaki Rowlands organised a Barn Dance with a fish and chips supper
at Theydon Bois Village Hall in May. The penultimate outing in July featured a linear
walk to the Tower of London from Mile End station which included a visit to the Ragged
School Museum. This was led by Stan Barratt, another member who took charge of many
similar outings with his extensive knowledge of London. Coach rambles took place
each month from May until October. That for August, Wednesday 11th, from Radwinter
near the Essex/Cambridgeshire border, would focus on an extraordinary phenomenon
not witnessed for a very long time:-
The above occurrence forms the ideal opportunity to bring this instalment to a close, the fourth and final one of which will bring the group’s history etc. Up to date. The new Millennium would immediately herald sudden and unexpected changes to the committee. Ingenuity would soon be required to deal with the Foot and Mouth outbreak. The bar would be raised to its highest level with the provision of a second mid week ramble. Eventually, the group would set foot (literally) in Europe ..... The WEP would offer a new social dimension for the West Essex.
|Grid Ref. & OS Map|
|Etiquette & Rules|
|Family Walk 1|
|Family Walk 2|
|Mile End & Olympics|
|Shakespeare's Way - Leg 1|
|Shakespeare's Way - Leg 2|
|Shakespeare's Way- Leg 3|
|Shakespeare's Way - Leg 4|
|Shakespeare's Way - Leg 5|
|Shakespeare's Way- Leg 6|
|Shakespeare's Way - Leg 7|
|Shakespeare's Way- Leg 8|
|Shakespeare's Way - 10, 11|
|Shakespeare's Way 12,13,14|
|London Loop - Leg 1|
|London Loop - Leg 2|
|London Loop - Leg 3|
|London Loop - Leg 4|
|London Loop -Leg 5|
|London Loop - Leg 6|
|London Loop - Leg 7|
|London Loop - Leg 8|
|London Loop - Leg 9|
|London Loop - Leg 10|
|London Loop - Leg 11|
|London Loop - Leg 12|
|London Loop - Leg 13|
|London Loop - Leg 14|
|London Loop - Leg 15|
|Norfolk Coastal Path|
|Brecon Beacons - Ross's View|
|Isle of Wight - September 2010|
|Weymouth - Ross's View|
|Crete Page 1 of 3 by JJ|
|Crete Page 2 of 3 by JJ|
|Crete Page 3 of 3 by JJ|
|Crete Mosaic Photos|
|Evia - Map|
|Evia - Ferry Trip|
|Evia - Karystos|
|Evia - Day 1|
|Evia - Day 2|
|Evia - Day 3|
|Evia - Day 4|
|Evia - Day 5|
|Evia - Day 6|
|Santo Domingo de Silos|
|History Part 1|
|History Part 2|
|History Part 3|
|History Part 4|