LDWA 50th Anniversary 18-19th June

The LDWA encouraged groups to celebrate its 50th year with events, activities and walks.  Inspired by the Cotswold Wardens Cotswold Way Relay run in 2021, different wardens leading a section of the Cotswold Way on consecutive days, Bristol and West organised a 52 mile continuous walk: The Cotswold Ring Relay.  We had a range of leaders for different sections and continued through the night.  The idea was people could do as much or as little of the walk as they were comfortable with.

We started from Winchcombe at 09.00 with 8 walkers.  I led through to Staunton where 2 other leaders took over.  I walked back to Winchcombe.  From now on I was the support vehicle with water, apples, mini cheddars, and army peanuts.

Four walkers dropped out at Broadway and went for afternoon tea.  Five walkers continued through to Moreton where the current two leaders stopped and another leader took over (she had actually been walking from Winchcombe), and two other joined in.  It was, of course, raining.

But they had the most amazing sunset, apparently caused by a wave of Saharan dust.

I moved on to Stow and sat in the car listening to the rain thundering on the roof.  At 22.30, five head torches appeared.  They were two hours earlier than the estimated time, (in the planning I had thought maybe fish and chips at Moreton, in the rain, forget it).

Two pulled out as planned, and one who had joined at Moreton became a 'floater'.  He was sorting his own transport, driving to different towns, walking backwards and forwards.  As one walker put, 'he kept popping up everywhere'.

Back at Winchcombe I contacted the next leader to come earlier.  I drove her to Guiting Power for 03.00.  At 03.02 three head torches arrived.  What timing.

Two walkers set off, the floater doing his jumping about and I took the planned retiree home; she had wanted to do her first night walk (in the rain).

I met the two remaining walkers a couple of miles out of Winchcombe and walked back with them, one of whom had walked the whole 52 miles with a smile on her face despite the rain.

We were a small group, but people enjoyed it.  We did good.