Despite so-called “planned” engineering works causing travel disruption both on the trains and the underground, 30 of us met up at Liverpool Street station, 10 Polyramblers and 14 London Blind Ramblers. It was just as well the LBRs had brought some sighted friends to help guide them! We paired up and set off. The path was mostly smooth. Robin and Maria set a good pace. Birds tweeted in the brambles. Was that a Cetti’s Warbler we heard? We passed a couple with a child examining a greenish eggshell beside the path. They thought it was a duck egg which a crow had stolen from a mallard nest, broken open and eaten the contents. The A13 hummed in the background until we climbed the slope up to the riverside path, passing Tilda’s rice mills (one of Europe’s largest), which receives grain from Italy, Canada, India, Thailand and Uruguay. Continue reading Sunday 14th April Rainham to Rainham Marshes
Ten Polyramblers got off the train at Yalding, with unusually, equal numbers of women and men. It was somewhat misty but otherwise dry and mild.The club last visited Yalding a couple of years ago, when widespread flooding of the Medway had caused much damage to property and vehicles. Some expensive looking homes had been built overlooking the marina in the intervening period. We set off along the river, with me bringing up the rear as usual. After a few minutes, I found that I was alone, the rest of the group having turned off. Fortunately, I was able to see them in the distance and was able to catch them up after 15 minutes or so. No one seemed to have missed me. We headed across fields and through woods, passing Roydon Hall, which dates from the time of Henry VIII. It was looking a little sad, being currently unoccupied, but one could see that in its heyday it would have been magnificent. We walked through West Peckham, the churchyard having a magnificent display of primulae. Continue reading Sunday 7th April. Yalding to Borough Green
There were just four of us who alighted at Harlow Town, other club members presumably having mothers’ day responsibilities. The weather had turned colder overnight, with a northerly wind but it was thankfully dry. We followed the river Stort before turning north. our route taking us through woods and across pleasantly undulating farm land. There were reassuring signs of spring, with lots of birdsong and plenty of lambs and horses to lift the spirits. We remarked how few other walkers were out and about. There hadn’t been any rain for some time so what might have been muddy sections were easily negotiated. We passed signs for Henry Moore’s house at Perry Green, visited by the club recently on one of Dominique’s walks. We stopped briefly to eat our sandwiches, enjoying faint sunshine. Continuing, we reached the attractive village of Much Hadham and for another short stop in the Bull pub, sitting in a pleasant enclosed yard. Impressive plates of food were being brought out from the kitchen but sadly for us there was only time for a drink. We had completed more than half the walk, and the afternoon was slightly shorter, as we carried on, following part of the Hertfordshire Way. Continue reading March 31st. Harlow to Bishops Stortford
Rosie led twelve of us on this delightful leisurely walk from Carshalton Ponds and then beside the River Wandle in the spring sunshine, with cherry blossom, blackthorn, daffodils, marsh marigolds in the shallow waters of the river, birds chirping and singing all the way. In places the water of the river was calm, in others there was a strong current and it was easy to imagine the 90 mills that were operating along the whole length of the river in its heyday.
We came upon a young man wearing waders, standing in the water, up to his knees, patiently reeling in a big fish. From time to time we could see the fish in the water trying to disengage himself from the fisherman’s hook. Eventually the weary fish gave in and the fisherman scooped him gently into his net, removed the hook from his lip and held him up for all to see. His friend on the bank took a photo and told us it was a carp, probably weighing ten pounds! Then the fish was gently returned to the water and swam off. I wondered how often he had undergone such an experience!
Further along the river we were surprised to see a Little Egret paddling in the shallows. Where two branches of the river met, one calm and one churning, we sat on a wall to pause and enjoy the blue skies and warm air. There was hardly a breath of wind. In Ravensbury Park we saw five goslings sitting on the ledge at the edge of the river. Did they belong to the Canada geese in the river or the Egyptian goose which seemed to be guarding them? Just as well, because we hadn’t gone much further when we heard a goose quacking loudly and turned back to see a black dog near where the goslings had been. They had obviously taken the only option and jumped into the river, just in time!
The walk ended in Morden Hall Park, full of families enjoying pre-Mothers’ Day time in the sunshine. Many of them were playing on the grass but a lot of others were queuing in the tea rooms! Some of the group waited patiently for refreshments. Others made for the nearby tube station at the end of a very enjoyable and refreshing stroll. Thank you Rosie for a lovely day! Pam
38 Polyramblers attended the AGM in a new venue in London Bankside. Before starting with the serious business, Hilary, the Chair, presented Christine – who is stepping down as President – with a present and a card. Apologies were received, including from our two Canadian members. The minutes of the last meeting and the annual report were approved.