Coping - this week with London LDWA

Coping - this week with London LDWA
Coping - this week with London LDWA

It felt pretty weird at the weekend to be sitting indoors when the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and apart from a nippy breeze it was the perfect day for a long, sociable walk (as opposed to the one mile solo trot to a largely bare-shelved Tesco which I had the dubious pleasure of visiting for supplies). For the foreseeable future, though, until we're back to normality, we're going to have to find other ways of keeping in touch, especially if even the joy of walking on our own is going to be barred to us to keep our communities and ourselves safe.  Our Facebook (LDWA | Long Distance Walkers Association - London) is already busy with members posting news and photos what they're managing to do in these unprecedented times - please use this as a resource to stay connected with each other (and provide the Newsletter editor with something to fill space during these barren weeks!). 

Another good way of keeping in contact is a WhatsApp chat group. I'm in one already with a few of my friends from boarding school, and it's much more spontaneous and chatty than email. There is, too, the old-fashioned way of just picking up the phone (most of us still have landlines along with mobiles) and enjoying a long conversation. These are challenging times for everyone, but I hope that we can all still get out for some kind of walk, and that later on in the year we'll all be able to walk together again.


I have just taken possession of a bundle of old London Group Newsletters, kindly posted to me by veteran LDWA member Keith Chesterton, who 'inherited' them from the late Tony Youngs. They are delightful. Top of the pile is Newsletter No.16: September 1999, and the editor tuns out to be our own Colin Saunders. His editorial column is called Colin's Cackle. Maybe I've missed a trick here, and should call this Julie's Jabberings.

These Newsletters are going to provide fascinating nuggets of LDWA London history, as well as reminders that some things haven't much changed at all - Forthcoming Events announced that on  Sunday September 19 the Founders Challenge Marshals Walk was going to take place, led by Bill Thompson. Tuesday September 21 promised a  Social Evening at Lord Moon of the Mall. Said pub seems to have been London LDWA's headquarters back then; there was a Social/Planning Evening scheduled there on Tuesday October 31, and a Social Evening again on Tuesday November 9.

Contributors included some members sadly missed but fondly remembered, like Kathy Lo Raso, Don Bolton and Sylvia Nargarkar. Maybe Colin can tell me if the September 1999 issue contained the inaugural Sylvia's Guide to Tea Shops, which began with the introduction:

Those of you who have had the misfortune to be with me at a tea stop will know that I am very fussy about my tea! Therefore I thought it helpful to give you some advice on tea stops which I have visited.

Sylvia's recommendations in this issue were Brockham Church ('Every Sunday a different village organisation, such as the Pastry Cooks Guild, provides tea and cakes - and at unbelievable prices!') and, for those walking the South West Coast Path, Worth Tea Shop in Worth Maltravers, Dorset ('Tasty scones, lashings of cream and jam').

Happy days, eh?


Back to the present. (Below) Gavin Fuller was among those who managed a suitably socially-distanced walk at the weekend while it was still permitted. You can see more photos of his SW London peregrination on our London Group Facebook.


social distancing by gavin

PHOTO Gavin Fuller



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