For the second Club outing of a weather-blessed Easter weekend, seventeen ramblers alighted at Christs Hospital station for a sunny walk through bucolic Sussex countryside. First we entered a sylvan glade with the nascent River Arun running through it and ubiquitous wild garlic. Fields of bluebells then followed before we reached the old Shoreham to Guildford railway line, now a foot & cycle path called the Downs Link. Fringed with dandelions in places and with views of the Low Weald, this took us to the old station house at Slinfold where we walked into the village and stopped at the Red Lyon pub for lunch. Feeling refreshed, we headed back to Christs Hospital via a different but no less attractive route. Unfortunately the leader had not done a walkover for this section and we went astray at one point. A forced march followed to try to catch our hourly train but luck was not with us so a prolonged wait on the platform was necessary. Distribution of mini-easter eggs by the leader alleviated the glum faces to some extent but he was not entirely forgiven!
On Saturday 14 March, just ahead of the more stringent advice on social distancing, the Club held its AGM at Better Bankside. With the increasing threat of coronavirus, the organisers had thought long and hard about whether to go ahead and email reminders had been sent out about the importance of hand washing, so I was expecting a much reduced attendance. In the event 36 members turned out, only two down on last year, and this in spite of a few older members sensibly deciding to stay at home to reduce their risk of infection. Perhaps we all had an inkling that would be our last physical gathering for a while. Hilary, in the chair, began the meeting with tributes to Solvig Starborg who had died in January and Ian Gordon who had passed away last May. Both had been AGM regulars. Continue reading AGM 14 March 2020→
Fifteen of us set off from Balcombe station, prepared for a day of mud. We knew what to expect & were prepared, we are not fair weather walkers nor dilettantes but, thankfully, the worst was over. No one fell over, slipped into a river or had to be pulled out of a mud lake with ropes, in fact it was a lovely day! A lot of the walk was in woodland with little two-plank bridges over streams but there was some lovely meadow land too. We also passed a gorgeous and super friendly grey tabby who got a lot of attention from the group. The staff at the Royal Oak pub in Handcross were also very friendly, did pretty good chips & I saw a massive fish arrive on someone’s plate so they are clearly generous with their portions.
Pam & Harriet had had to finish the last 2 miles on the walkover in the dark by the -pathetic- light of a mobile phone so we were interested to see what it really looked like. Nice, actually with a strange & huge rock outcrop split by tree roots where no one would expect to see such a thing. We got to the station in good time & weren’t so covered in mud that we elicited looks of disgust from other passengers.
I’ve led this walk in the past and did a walkover in February expecting it to be straightforward. Unfortunately a combination of a wet winter and construction traffic for a new water main meant that large sections of the afternoon walk were verging on the impassable. I devised some slightly less glutinous deviations and hoped for drier weather in the intervening weeks. No such luck. A respectable 15 of us got off the train at East Grinstead on a dry morning with promise of occasional sunshine later. Passing through the town centre with its interesting mix of historic buildings, we headed east, through mostly woodland. Continue reading APRIL 2018 EAST GRINSTEAD→
The Polytechnic Rambling Club – Walking with friends