Report to members of the London Group of the LDWA on events and issues in 2020-21


Report to members of the London Group of the LDWA on events and issues in 2020-21
Report to members of the London Group of the LDWA on events and issues in 2020-21

Normally, we would aim to have an AGM of the London branch of the LDWA around this time of year.  The AGM is a great opportunity to get together, discuss plans and recruit members to the Committee as some of the existing officers’ 3 year term comes to an end.  Running it as a zoom event would not be satisfactory.     Your committee proposes deferring this year’s AGM to a date in the summer when there is a better chance that our usual walks programme will be up and running and that we can meet in person.  In the meantime, here is a very brief picture of our activities in this very difficult year.

Marie Heracleous, the walks secretary, has worked within the constraints imposed to fight the pandemic and, for a few months, London branch LDWA walks, even if in small groups, went out every weekend. 

Chris Blackwell and Jean O’Reilly put in a lot of work in an attempt to get last year’s Capital Challenge and Founders’ Challenge off the ground, but, in the end, both had to be cancelled. Your committee is working on plans, regulations permitting, to run these this year in some form. Please look out for further news in ‘Julie’s Jabber’.

Miraculously, on 12th September, we did manage to hold a celebration of our 25th Anniversary consisting of a number of separate walks all finishing in St. James’s Park.  We are grateful to Colin Saunders for organising this and to the walk leaders involved.

The quiz night organised by Barry Arnold, hosted by Ali Pretty and featuring redoubtable quiz master Gavin Fuller was a highly successful virtual social event which we will repeat on Sun. 14th February.  barry.arnold082@virginmedia.com is the person to contact to register.

Gavin has been working on the website, storing details of walks completed this year and retrieving and storing the walks undertaken in previous years.  To date he has completed this task back as far as 2008.  The Facebook page has also proved a real lifeline between users – a means of sharing how we are coping - often on solos walks in our neighbourhoods.

Now here’s something to look forward to!  Beach of Dreams is a 500-mile pilgrimage to the future that starts in Lowestoft on 19th June and culminates in Tilbury on 25th July, led by artistic director, Ali Pretty and Guardian Journalist Kevin Rushby. They are inviting 500 participants to walk with them and share their dreams for the future, by creating 500 silk pennants.

LDWA are a partner in Kinetika’s project following the success of Silk River in 2017. Peter Aylmer and Colin Saunders are assisting with the mapping and we are looking for LDWA walk leaders to assist during the walk itself. Please contact ali@kinetika.co.uk if you are interested in volunteering on the project.

Chris Hedley has continued to represent us at the meetings of London walking associations.  They are working on creating a network of walking routes which will be well signposted and advertised and, easily accessible to the majority of Londoners.

Members of Committee. The existing members will remain in place until we are able to properly recruit for the two places that would otherwise fall vacant this year.  The two positions we will be looking to fill are that of Walks Secretary and the Newsletter Editor.  If you would like to put your name forward for either of these, please let us know.

Currently, there are 503 primary members of London branch, of which  some 60  have joined in the last year.

 All the best, Minna Graeber.  Joint secretary with Barry Arnold.

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