I had been warned of thigh-high lakes of mud, the entire Mole valley being impassably under water & dangerously slippery, steep chalk paths but, despite all these very inauspicious omens, the walk was lovely. We had to bypass the Stepping stones at the bottom of Box Hill as they were under water but there’s a perfectly good bridge not far off so we used that. Continue reading WESTHUMBLE TO LEATHERHEAD – SATURDAY 9 JANUARY
Eleven polyramblers set off from Buxted, in dry weather though with rain forecast. We made our way out of the village and then through fields and woods towards Poundgate, with the occasional stretch of lane, and pretty views. It was a good time of year to be doing the walk as the trees were turning and the colours were lovely. Towards the end of the morning we had to cross a golf course, which we negotiated successfully, helped by the fact that there were surprisingly few golfers about. Shortly after we arrived at the Crow and Gate pub, our lunchtime stop.
Rain started while we were in the pub and continued for a bit, but then the sun came out. Our route took us through fields and woods again – at times following the Vanguard Way – and there were more good views. We arrived back in Buxted with time to spare, so some of the party went to the pub by the station, and others waited at the station itself.
Photo by Pam
Geoffrey reaches 60, having completed over 37 years of club membership!
It was over 10 years ago when I moved to Flitwick. That year, being in a rural location as I am, I thought it fitting to hold a 50th birthday ramble with party to follow, included as an event in the club programme. This worked well so I decided to do same for this year, having reached 60. This time I added on a morning coffee and chat pre-ramble.
Although the programme stated “train arrives at 11.11 where Geoffrey will meet the party”, it was only about 10.40 when my sister remarked there are some people coming to the front door. I opened the door to be unexpectedly greeted by Siew Tin, Siew Kee and Kim and cakes (!) etc – they had travelled together by car. I let them in and so started to prepare coffee. 20 mins later I set off to the station, Harriet then texted to say she and Nigel would be on a later train due to a missed connection at Blackfriars. At the station the train arrived at 11.10 and about 14 polyramblers disembarked so I led them back to the coffee party. Harriet and Nigel were a wee bit lost in Flitwick, and I collected them from the local paths half an hour later.
After leaving Woking station and town centre, 16 Polyramblers were soon walking along the quiet (apart from the interruption of cyclists) Basingstoke Canal. The canal is bordered by trees and the autumn leaves were covering the water. We reached St John’s lock and, soon after, we crossed to the other side of the canal that meandered alongside woodland. We had lunch at the Nag’s Head pub and then made our way to Brookwood Station where we met our guide ‘on the other side’ of the railway. We did a tour of the cemetery led by a member of the Brookwood Cemetery Society. The weather was suitably grey for such an activity but it remained dry. We learnt that the cemetery opened in November 1854 and was the largest in the world. It had its own railway and a private station outside Waterloo station. In the cemetery, there were two stations to serve each part of the cemetery: one for the Dissenters and one for Anglicans. The tour concentrated on the Victorian era but the cemetery continues to serve all faiths and many nationalities. It was designated as a Grade I Historic Park and Garden in 2009. The cemetery has many majestic trees, many planted when it was opened – such as the giant sequoias – and is a haven for fauna and flora. Our guide took us to the grave of famous people including Caroll Gibbons – famous musician, John Singer-Sargent – famous artist, Dr Robert Knox – anatomist and Edith Thomson who was hanged for adultery. We stopped at several beautiful memorials and mausoleums to learn their story. In the grounds, there is also St Edward Orthodox Church and we were welcome by a member of the St Edward Brotherhood, the monastic community that serves the Church and shrine of St Edward the Martyr. We only skimmed the surface of Brookwood Cemetery; it is a very extensive place. Our guide was knowledgeable and our visit was very interesting. There is also a large military cemetery but this will be for another visit.
This year’s Autumn Weekend to Northumberland proved very popular with thirty-four members in attendance. We arrived in Berwick-upon-Tweed in glorious sunshine and had a walk round the very impressive Elizabethan fortifications. The weather was mainly overcast for the rest of the trip but it remained calm and dry until just before we headed home on the Monday. Continue reading Autumn weekend in Northumbria