Wiltshire LDWA Newsletter - May 2024

Wiltshire LDWA Newsletter - May 2024

Wiltshire LDWA

Hi everyone,

I hope those of you who volunteered at Sunday's Pewsey Downsaround (PDA) are suitably recovered following your stints either at HQ or at the checkpoints. It was lovely to see so many of you as I walked the 17-mile route. I volunteered to assist Paul Hopkins at registration, which appeared to go very smoothly with nearly 200 leaving the scout hut before I did. Dave, Jacqui, Sharon, Tony and I received a warm welcome at Checkpoints 1 and 4. Happily there was a piece of Janette's cheese flapjack at the former. I stuck around for the food in the HQ, which was also delicious and most welcome. Well done to everyone involved.


Sheena, Virginia, Sue and Adrian at CP1


From our 'star baker', Janette Armstrong:

"An army marches on it’s stomach. Well the PDA was a roaring success as always. Here is a quick report from the kitchen.

As always a busy day (following another busy day - thanks to Bea Therin and Jan Cox for finishing their baking and preparation at 10.00 on Saturday) starting at 0630hrs with getting the boiler going for teas and coffee and the mammoth task of packing up the food to the checkpoints. The first participant arrived at 0700hrs and the hall rapidly filled up (well it was pouring with rain and people were hoping it would stop); vast quantities of tea were drunk and figgy biscuits consumed and the fab three in the kitchen were pressed to keep up with demand. Andy Todd and Paul kicked most people out by about 0830hrs.

Then the real fun began - the annual “hope the vegetables in the stew are cooked in time” game. The usual additional handicap of thin pans and uncontrollable cast iron hot plates was in place and a rota of people spent two hours constantly stirring four vats of tagine. Several locals poked their heads through the window and said it smelled lovely. A last minute microwave session was employed by Bea and the first batch was ready by the allotted time of 1200hrs. Highbury and Pewsey running clubs were willing tasters; special mention to the runner who ran home, showered and came back for his lunch. Anyway they all seemed to like the grub so a vast sigh of relief. It was then pretty busy with one person on tagine and one one rice pudding duty with Clare Staff on her invaluable cleaning up after everyone duties. I floated around and made up the cous cous as needed.

Huge excitement as the first checkpoint boxes returned and had a few portions of the amazing ginger cakes (Angela Johnson and Jan) remaining. These were rapidly hoovered up by the participants. Disappointingly none of “Carol Holmes' famous fruit cake” or Bea's Welsh Cakes returned to HQ. At 1500hrs we had to send Andy out for more supplies and it finally tapered off at about 1800hrs. The last group arrived at 1945hrs practically carrying their mate (who had a bad dose of the “lean”) and a last lone walker appeared just after 2000hrs.

Food consumed:

30 large cakes and traybakes
18 loaves of bread
80 bread rolls
5 kg of cheese
100 scones
200 packs of crisps
200 other savoury snacks
20 cans of rice pudding and peaches
55 carrots and peppers
4 kg lentils
20 cans tomatoes and chickpeas
4 kg of cous cous
... and 20 packs of fig biscuits!

Many thanks to all those who helped on the checkpoints (especially those in the driving wind and rain at CP1), HQ, baking, organising and lifting, carrying and transporting everything around in advance, on the day and the days after. It takes about 25 volunteers to run the event and new volunteers are always welcome. It’s a great way to meet new people and usually a good laugh. We put a call out just before Xmas each year."

The committee is now processing the feedback from entrants and checkpoint volunteers. In my capacity as the group's secretary, I will ensure the points raised are included as agenda items at our next committee meeting in July, so any improvements can be made and reported back to our membership.

If any volunteers wish to claim travel expenses for the event please contact Dave Purdy at wiltshire.treasurer@ldwa.org.uk.

The organisers of the Bath Beat are planning to hold their next event on 26th April 2025. Expect our next PDA to take place the following day ... 27th April 2025. I'm now seriously considering walking the 35-mile route next year!



Forthcoming Walks


Finally, here's the usual look ahead to all the group walks and challenge events that are taking place this month within a 50-mile radius of Chippenham.

Date Name Type Mileage Organiser
Sun 5th May 2024 A Stroll Between Some Old Friends. Group 17 miles Wiltshire
Sun 5th May 2024 The Daisy Chain - The Dorset Skyline Walk no 3 Group 16 miles Dorset
Sun 5th May 2024 Well Again Group c20 miles Thames Valley
Thu 9th May 2024 Bluebell Walk Group 16 miles Wiltshire
Sat 11th May 2024 A Cotswold Caper Group 21 miles Bristol & West / Heart of England / London
Sat 11th May 2024 Ridgeway 40 Walk Challenge 40 miles (Non LDWA)
Sun 12th May 2024 Blackberry Vodka Walk - Event Details Updated Group 13.7 miles Wessex
Sun 12th May 2024 Dursley Hill walk & Tea Party Group 15 miles Wiltshire
Sat 18th May 2024 From the Archives - Torfaen Toddle Group 22 miles South Wales
Sat 18th May 2024 Winchcombe walking Festival 21mile Challenge Challenge 21 miles (Non LDWA)
Sun 19th May 2024 King Charles 11 Escape - Linear Walk Group 28 miles Dorset
Sat 25th May 2024 The Dreaming Spires of Oxford Group 20 miles London


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That's it for another newsletter. All our newsletters are available via the Wiltshire LDWA website. If you have anything to contribute to future editions, please can you get it to me by the 20th of each month. I look forward to seeing you out on our group walks this month.

Warmest regards


Secretary of the Wiltshire LDWA

Wiltshire LDWA - http://www.ldwa.org.uk/wiltshire