Julie's Jabber = This week with London LDWA

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

Hats off as ever to LDWA Publicity Officer Julian White, who has come up with yet another smashing idea. If you didn't see his post on the LDWA Facebook,here's the gist. The LDWA is launching two national groups (these complement local groups, they don't replace them), one themed around history and one themed around beer (soft drinks also available). 

They're open only to LDWA members and are intended to be communities within themselves. Initially, they're driven by social media and they will be online communities where members can meet others with similar interests.
However, when it becomes possible, planning will start on actual events based around the two themes of history and beer. So, there will be LDWA walks that cover interesting historical sites and walks with decent pubs on them. Some local groups have expressed an interest in offering these walks.
It's also hoped that members might be interested in a few days of walking along, say, Hadrian's Wall. So, this is all part of the theme of building our LDWA community and allowing people who want to the chance to meet new friends within the organisation. The history group is the first being launched, and if this is something that interests you, here's the link to join the LDWA History Group
At the risk of sounding as though I'm plugging my latest book, The Fleet Street Girls - well, I am, really, aren't I? - I've put my name down for a walk, provisionally scheduled for next summer, that combines both themes: a walk centred on historic and very beery old Fleet Street.


Last week's Jabber mentioned a non-LDWA walk from Witham to Danbury, led by Ron Williamson. It took in the now unused rural community church of St Peter's, Wickham Bishops, on route. These days St Peter's us looked after by a charity that rescues, repairs and campaigns for these now unwanted buildings,  Friends of Friendless Churches

They have an account on Twitter that I follow, and I tweeted them the non-very-good photo I took of the stained glass window we glimpsed through a crack in the door. They responded, to my delight, with the information that the old place is now the studio of an artist who works in stained glass. It's good to know that places like these can enjoy a new and useful existence.  


stained glass window wickham

How great thy art: St Peter's, Wickham Bishops




getting the hump rod

Last week's hot and humid weather was enough to give anyone the hump - or two

Rod Smith snapped some of the local wildlife on his one-hour walk from Holborn to Primrose Hill




Strange encounters of the Hoo kind


In what she calls her 'last hurrah before Grandmother duties set in', London Group secretary Minna Graeber walked in three stages from Hackney to Gillingham earlier this month, her camera capturing the industrial past of this part of the English coast along the way. The plan was to end Day 3 with a stay in a Hoo BnB. Here's what happened next: 

'3.00 in the afternoon is a bit a wobble point in a solo long distance walk.  It's still hot but you know you have to be in, preferably, within the next 2-3 hours. It was just at that point that I got a really strange call from my Air BnB host. "'Are you coming?" he said.  I assured him, yes.  There then followed a rambling conversation that went on for 20 mins.  It sounded as if he was drunk or high on drugs.  Shortly afterwards I reached the 6 Bells pub in Cliffe.  It was another 5 miles to my destination and it sounded as though I should arrive earlier rather than later.  I ordered a taxi and texted my host.  Round at his front door there was no answer to my persistent ringing and knocking.  "Oh," said a passing neighbour, "isn't he answering?  I suggest you go and speak to his mum and dad, they live just at the back."

'I walked round to find a lovely Sikh couple.  The man looked a dead ringer for Guru Nanak.  We chatted and they tried to raise their son.  "Tell you what,," I said, "I'll wander down to Hoo village and see what it's like.  Hopefully, he'll be here when I get back."

'In the village I looked for supper but it was an eat for the nation day and everything was booked out.  I had a couple of naans on a park bench and walked back past the pub. "Hey," shouted a man out the front. My friend says that if you give him time to finish his pint, he'll run you home. Actually, he's a bit shy with the ladies but he did say he liked the look of you when you were here earlier."  "Oh,"I thought. "This is complicated. What happens if I tell him I have no home to go to and am looking for a bed?"  I rejected this line of action. "Well thanks for the compliment but I think I can find my way home."

'Back at my host's parents they had not been able to find the missing man.  Don't worry," Charanpal said. "I am happy to offer you a bed."

'We parted the best of friends and I am looking forward to showing them around the Lee Valley.'  


minna spanish galleon perhaps

Above and below: some of the Kent coast's industrial past, and a non-industrial glass of fizz


minna submarine in dock



minna fizz end walk



You can see all Minna's photos of her walk at Hackney to Gillingham




Social walks update

London Group walks secretary Marie Heracleous attended last week's NEC Zoom meeting about possible adjustments to the current arragements regarding social walks. Here's her report


  • There was a big debate on the upper limit on walks - nothing was agreed, they are taking it away to consider as the views varied wildly. We should hear later in the week what they decide. Ultimately it will be the walk leader to decide how many people they can have on the walk based on the risk assessment (up to the upper limit). My guess is they will go for 15 but that's only a guess!
  • The risk assessment must be completed for over 6 people, when the rules change, although the assessment is going to be amended as some things had nothing to do with Covid. 
  • There is going to be further clarity on what is a MUST and what is a nice to have with the guidance and risk assessment
  • Risk assessment alongside the register MUST to be uploaded AFTER the walk
  • This document is going to Sport England to aide the discussion and to gain their agreement that we can increase the limit of participants on walk (they are planning to submit the application in 7-10 days and then agreement of that in another 7 days, so still some time away)
  • They re-iterated the need to upload the walks register to satisfy Sport England we will be track and trace compliant.

So in summary, lots of discussion and no decisions yet... its still 6 people for now...watch this space!


Missing emails

An ongoing problem for some London Group members is that they're not receiving either the weekly newsletter or emails notifying details of walks. We've taken this up with the NEC several times, but clearly the glitch hasn't yet been resolved. The only advice we can give if that members check their junk/spam folders, add the email address to their safe list/address book, and for people to forward the emails to other members (checking that the walks emails are going to primary members first).

The weekly Newsletter is also accessible on the LDWA London website.  






And finally...


Gill Struthers writes: 

I don't know if you consider trips out to Essex from London as 'going abroad' but a few of us Essex & Herts have been 'abroad' to Suffolk recently, walking the Suffolk East Coast train line in chunks of 23/26 miles - travelling up by train. Here's something interesting we found near Wickham Market...


E & H loo at Wickham Market

Talk about coming up smelling of roses... Heidi Miller with an interesting find in Suffolk



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