Julie's Jabber - This week with London LDWA

Julie's Jabber - This week with London LDWA
Julie's Jabber - This week with London LDWA

Future events

Like all sporting bodies, the LDWA has cancelled all fixtures for the weeks ahead and we do not know when the prevailing restrictions will be relaxed to the extent that we can say for certain that events scheduled for later in the year will be able to take place. One of the items up for discussion in last week's London Group committee meeting (conducted via Zoom) was the Founders Challenge. Chris Blackwell, who has taken over as its organiser from Gordon Parker, confirmed that halls have been booked but that it would be best not to start taking entries till we know what is going on. This is in order to avoid the possibility of having to refund entrants if it's no go. In other words, until we get the green light, we can't progress the event, let alone work out how to ensure a safe environment for all participants. 

What will be the cut-off point after which organizing the Founders Challenge becomes impractical? The marshals' walk is due to take place in mid-September, so it looks as if mid-July will be when decisions need to be acted upon. The London Group  committee will meet on July 1 to take matters further, and until then we will have to go on existing in a state of uncertainty. 




LDWA London needs you!

London LDWA are looking for a volunteer[s] to help manage and promote the group’s social media presence with the aim of communicating better with group members and to promote the profile and aims of the group to the wider public to gain greater interest and new membership. The committee is especially interested in connecting with the younger age ranges where it is felt our future membership potentially lies.  If you think you can help then please contact ian.fairweather@btclick.com for more information.


antwerp arms spurs way





Even this horrible hiatus in normal life has its redeeming features. I have got around to doing something that I have been putting off for ages, namely sorting out the heaps of paper, some of them dating back years, that proliferate on my desk and every available bit of level space in my office (formerly known as the dining room). In this I am not alone. The wonderful Jill Green writes from her home in the Isle of Wight: 'I have been trying to clean up this place and all I do is find THINGS and make little muddles.' One of the Things she unearthed, and sent me, is a photocopied report from a local newsletter concerning a talk she gave about her walking life to the Godshill & Rookley Sunshine Club. I am not sure if the scribe who produced the report was hard of hearing or dozed off in the middle but it contains several hilarious inaccuracies, including the assertion that Jill's partner Jim is 'an Australian walker', that her father was Irish (he was, in fact, a Man of Surrey), and that she founded a Bat Hospital. 

Apparently Jill's son Fred, who lives in Godshill, thought she should point out to the aforesaid Sunshine Club their spectacular wideness of the mark, but as she says, 'The thing is, they all enjoyed my talk and I really didn't think it was necessary to make any fuss.' And indeed, as a journalist, I know it is all too easy to let inaccuracies creep into your copy, and have had my share of inadvertently traduced readers jumping up and down with rage at misspelled names and erroneous claims. However, for sheer getting-it-wrongness, nothing can beat this report that graced the Peterborough Standard in 1979. It has nothing to do with walking (although a football match does break out at the end), but in these awful times we can all do with a laugh and I defy you to read it all the way through without at least cracking a smile. 

Fremony at the library 




jim and jill at wittersham

NOT an Australian walker - Jim Catchpole with Jill Green at the Wittersham checkpoint on the 2018 Cinque Ports 100




While we are on the subject of Bats...

 International Bat Appreciation Day

will be on 17th April 2021, which also happens to be the date of next year's Capital Challenge. Of which we have good news, in that organiser Jean O'Reilly confirms that the venues for the start and end have been booked and the problem of overcrowding at the start solved with the booking of the whole of St John's Church, Waterloo rather than just the crypt.

Susanne Waldschmidt, mastermind behind all three Capital Challenge routes and author of their fabulously detailed route descriptions, has been 'virtually' walking them in lockdown. She writes: 


One of my bugbears has been the lack of distinctive names for the three Challenge Walks.  So until someone comes up with anything better here are the names  I have chosen for the three walks.


This is the original London Challenge walk which has taken place over the last three years.

As well as the usual parks, canals, meadows and woods, other quirky attractions such as Paddington Station and much more are included.



This walk is scheduled for 2021.  The first part of the walk explores London Docklands, staying close to the River Thames right up to the Thames Barrier. 

The character of the walk then changes and mainly follows the Green Chain Walk and the Capital Ring through a string of parks, commons, meadows and woods.


WINDMILL WALK           26.2 miles

This walk was scheduled for 2020 but sadly never took place. It is now scheduled for 2022.

This is a walk of two halves with half North and half South of the Thames. The walk includes exotic gardens, sculptures, lots of railways, strange animals and of course a windmill.


Susanne has also tried giving each walk a logo. Unable to find a simple one for the Thames Barrier - 'The ones on offer seemed rather complicated and over technical' - she has come up with this ribbon logo, which is actually the bit of the Thames between Limehouse and Thames Barrier which will be part of the challenge walk. She wonders if someone can come up with anything better, though to me it looks just right.

capital challenge thames logo



And finally...


thatch of the day

Thatch of the day
Another splendidly coiffed dwelling, this one captured by the camera of Ian Watson during a walk around the Cambridgeshire villages of Meldreth and Whaddon


That's all, folks!

London LDWA - http://www.ldwa.org.uk/London