West London Ramblers


Summer Newsletter 2015

Hello, West London Ramblers, 

As West London celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, I’ve been looking back at our early programmes, in the hope of being able to reproduce our first walk in this current one. It was on Good Friday, 8 April 1955, and was to Wargrave, Shiplake and Henley-on-Thames. Apart from train departure times, that was the only information given! So I have put a walk on at the end of June which covers those places – but in a different order and almost certainly by a different route. There were more social events than rambles in those early days, so possibly information was exchanged then, but a 5-page ‘Introduction for New Members’ states that walks are between 12 and 15 miles, a sandwich lunch would be needed, and tea booked for the party.  This sounds a little like the holidays I took with CHA and HF in the 1960s and 1970s.

Some things have changed, but not our love of walking. Many members spend their holidays walking, possibly with HF, which is still going strong, and with Ramblers Holidays, which offer a wide choice of holidays in the UK and abroad. Please don’t forget that if you, as a Ramblers member, book  a holiday with Ramblers Holidays, under their ‘Walking Partnership’ scheme WL  group will get a donation, but you have to ask for it.


And speaking of holidays – there is plenty going on within the group. A few people enjoyed a weekend in Ely last month, and a group of us are about to leave for 4 days walking on the Isle of Wight. The long weekend on the South Downs being organizedWL members near Ely Cathedral

by Elizabeth Jackson (26-29 June) is still open to participants, with accommodation in Seaford or possibly Eastbourne. 

I am thinking of arranging a few days in Bath,  probably 19-23 October. There should be plenty of good walks around there, as well as sightseeing for those who want to mix their pleasures. Please contact me by 18 July if you are interested.



David Slater will be inviting members to join him again in Malta next spring (5-10 April – more details in the next programme) but at the moment he is throwing his energies into organizing a group holiday in the Peak District, 3-10 September 2016

WillersleyCastleHotelThis is at the Christian Guild Willersley Castle Hotel, near Matlock, Derbyshire, 10 minutes from

Cromford station, and in the heart of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. The hotel is offering us a 7-night half board package, with a packed lunch on walking days, and walks of 7-8 miles with a leader. A standard en-suite room is £553, but other options are available. To keep the 

group manageable, it will be restricted to 20 people. A deposit of £20, payable to West London Ramblers, is required by 10 August 2015, with the balance payable by July 2016. Please make sure you have cancellation cover, as sums paid are not refundable. Please check availability direct with David, who will give any further information and collect deposits.




Ramblers Worldwide Holidays, who have been visiting this area for 30 years, have set up  a site where donations can easily be made via the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC). They were matching donations up to £10,000, but this target has now been well passed.  Members can still make their donations via www.ramblersholidays.co.uk (01707 331133) or directly through DEC (www.dec.org.uk/Nepal/ 0370 60 60 900)


But life as a rambler is not all holidays. One of our Bucks Area Committee is seeking to recruit a few volunteers to help with footpath work, initially installing gates, and a piece on this will be in the next South East Walker. Please look out for it.



And to finish with, a photograph of the excellent display board which Maureen, our new Publicity Co-ordinator, made for our stand at the Selborne Society’s Open Day in Perivale Wood at the end of April. Some of the committee and another member were there all day, and as well as enjoying the bluebells were able to talk to a number of people, including MP Stephen Pound, about rambling. We hope to do something similar at other events in the future. Does anyone else have a gazebo to lend?


The bluebells were fantastic


Newsletter February 2015

Hello, West London Ramblers,

and happy walking to you all in 2015.

A good number of people gathered for our AGM and Christmas social in December, and the evening saw some changes in the Committee. We said goodbye and thank you to Tom Berry after his many years as our all-seeing, all-doing Secretary. Martin Harris took over as Secretary (retaining his posts as Area Representative and Footpath Secretary) and I became Chairman (retaining the job of Holiday Co-ordinator). Alan Ross continues as Treasurer, Sue Williams as Membership Secretary, Pete Grist as Webmaster and Neil Marsland as Walks Organiser.  Jackie Gower comes on board as Programme Co-ordinator, Maureen Brook as Publicity Co-ordinator, David Slater as Social Secretary and Sue Aldridge as another Area Representative and general assistant. Margaret Spooner will continue to help and advise until she sets off on her travels later in the year. We feel we have a strong Committee covering diverse skills; if you have suggestions and comments to make to us, or topics you want us to consider at Committee meetings, please contact any of us.

 Setting off after the Christmas lunch in Shoreham

Setting off after the Christmas lunch in Shoreham

 Ramblers affairs

Martin drew our attention to the fact that Central Office is currently reviewing the way Ramblers is governed, and is inviting our comments on its

proposals. WL committee had already decided not to attempt to provide a group comment, but responses are welcome from individual members. The document can be found in the Members Area of the Ramblers website, under Latest Member News.

It is worth checking the Members Area  at regular intervals. There is a section devoted to Membership FAQs, and individual members can also gain access to the online Routes Library as well as to the central Map Library – both good tools for aspiring leaders.

You may not realize that Ramblers is now 80 years old, having been formed on 1 January 1935. At present, it has 114,000 members in around 500 groups spread across 50 areas of Britain. Most of us

think of Ramblers as an organization which provides us with planned walks and leaders, but the news

coverage of this anniversary is likely to concentrate on Ramblers’ work in campaigning for rights of way – without which we would have no paths to walk.

An anniversary nearer home is our own 60th birthday. Yes, the West London Group was formed in 1955 and has been going steadily ever since. The minutes of the inaugural meeting are in our archives, and show that it was held on 20 January at the Hammersmith Constitutional Club, with Mr V.M. Morecroft in the chair and 70 members present. Some social events were planned, and the first walks programme ran from April to July. To start off our celebrations, our new Social Secretary has organized a walk on 17 May from Kew to Hammersmith, followed by lunch at the Kalamari Greek Restaurant in Chiswick High Road. Details will be found in our walks programme but please phone David by 14 May to book your place for the meal. There will be further events later in the year, and we are certainly open to suggestions. I have been told that the first group holiday was to the Isle of Wight, so that seems an appropriate place to return to this year.

WL members toast in the new year in Holland Park

WL members toast in the new year in Holland Park


West London members have a strong tradition of going on holiday together, and for many years most of these events were organized by Bert Neale and the late Ken Royce. Recently, several other people have come forward with offers to arrange something, and this is all to the good. In July, 18 of us had an excellent time walking the Northumberland Coast Path – see my piece in the current South East Rambler for a short report.

 On the beach near Bamburgh Castle

On the beach near Bamburgh Castle

There are already several plans for holidays in 2015 which members will have received in the programme.

 I do hope you will find walks to suit you in the attached programme. (If there are gaps, it is because not enough leaders have come forward – please consider whether you could help out; more experienced leaders will do a walk-out with you – just ask.) Be sensible about choosing walks which are within your capabilities, check train times before setting out and remember to carry water and some food with you at all times.

 Best wishes for a year of good walking.

                                              Margaret Lydamore

Monday, July 23, 2018