Newsletter - December 2019


Xmas Bells

Seasons' greetings from the committee of the Wiltshire LDWA


As we say goodbye to Lesley, I must begin by welcoming all the new members who have chosen to join us recently by taking advantage of the LDWA's introductory membership offer. I remember doing exactly the same 7 years ago!

In this month's newsletter:

  • Annual General Meeting (AGM);
  • Adrian's Shropshire Hills Adventure;
  • LDWA Local Groups' Weekend;
  • Pewsey Downsaround (PDA);
  • London Trivia #1; and
  • Forthcoming Walks



Annual General Meeting (AGM)


Details of the forthcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) are as follows:

  • Date: Sunday 1st December 2019 (following a walk and xmas meal)
  • Venue: Royal Oak, Wootton Rivers, Marlborough, SN8 4NQ

As per the 3-year rule in the group's constitution, the Walks Secretary role needs to be re-elected at the forthcoming AGM. Bruce Barclay has been invited to fill the role of Walks Secretary vacated by Andy Todd.

With Lesley Bellis leaving the group to move 'home' to Northumberland, the group has a vacancy for a new Chair. I understand that Graham Instrell has been 'invited' to fill this role.

No motions have been received.



Adrian's Shropshire Hills Adventure


From Adrian Crocker:

"This year's weekend away, held in Church Stretton and staying at the HF Longmynd House, was a great success. A group of 21 members were treated to some of the best walks and the best views of that area. Despite the forecast, the weather stayed fine throughout.

Our Friday walk of about 3 hours took us up Townbrook Valley reaching the Pole Bank then round and down to Little Stretton.

Saturday's 7-hour walk took us up Carding Mill Valley to join part of the Shropshire Way before branching off to reach the Stiperstones, and returning via the open moorland to the Shooting Box.

Sunday's walk took 6 hours, heading up Hazler Hill to Helmeth Hill and Caer Caradoc, before crossing to Willstone Hill then onto Hope Bowdler and returning to Little Stretton.

My thanks go to all the participants who made this an enjoyable social and memorable weekend.

Following the success of the Shropshire weekend, I am proposing that we go to the Lake District next year. The details are as follows:


Date: 19th - 23rd October 2020
Location: HF, Derwent Bank, Keswick
Full Board: 4 x dinners, 4 x breakfasts and 3 x packed lunches
Accommodation: Licenced bar. Ensuite rooms with tea/coffee-making facilities
Walks: 4 days walking plus evening activities
Cost: £330 per person (may be less depending on numbers of attendees)
Deposit: £75 per person to be paid by 4th March 2020
Please note: Places are limited to 20 people


My proposal will be discussed at our forthcoming AGM."


LDWA Local Groups' Weekend


I spent last weekend representing the group at the LDWA Local Groups' Weekend in Sherwood Forest.  Despite a horrible cross-country road journey, the weekend was very enjoyable. There were workshops on Friday evening to discuss matters such as:

  • No-shows on events;
  • Project 50, i.e. how to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the LDWA; and
  • Spending surpluses.

Madeleine Watson also gave a demonstration of the online toolkit.  There was a choice of walks on Saturday. I chose the shorter 15-mile route which began with a visit to the Major Oak and included a pub stop, where the beer was only £2 a pint!  During the walks we were asked to discuss the following:

  • The Local Groups Weekend itself, including venues for future events;
  • Communications between NEC, groups and members;
  • Social events; and 
  • Getting more volunteers.

Saturday evening was spent discussing how best to fund the future of the LDWA, led by David Morgan. Options included:

  • Saving money producing Strider magazine;
  • Reducing the NEC's costs;
  • Seeking lottery and other grants;
  • Adding a levy onto the entry fee for challenge events;
  • Local group donations;
  • Advertising revenue;
  • Special LDWA fundraising events;
  • Subscription increase;
  • Amazon commission; and
  • Bequests.

Sunday morning was spent in a meeting, where the following were discussed:

  • Governance, including GDPR and our dogs on walks policy;
  • Finance and insurance, including walks registers;
  • Information Technology;
  • LDWA 100s;
  • Marketing and publicity;
  • Events, including terms and conditions, no-shows; first aid cover; and members-only windows for entering challenge events;
  • Membership;
  • Local group matters, including getting volunteers, pace and distance of walks, and communications;
  • National initiatives, including emergency telephone coverage; and
  • Strider, including dates for walks submissions and whether social walks should be included at all!

A lot of hard work continues to go into the running of the LDWA at a national level, with a lot of hard decisions being made to ensure the LDWA is ready for the next 50 years. I look forward to attending next year. Special thanks must go to the event organiser, Julie Cribb and her daughters, Hannah and Naomi, for the delicious food they prepared.



Pewsey Downsaround (PDA)


Registration for this popular event has opened. For further information, please visit our Pewsey Downsaround 2020 - Information page.


London Trivia #1


With so many of you responding to John Walker's recent e-mail by signing up for the 4th Capital Challenge next April, I thought I would whet your appetites over the coming months with some trivia related to the areas you will be walking through.

Beatrix Potter was born in 1866, at No.2 Bolton Gardens where she grew up and started to write her tales. She must have wandered through Brompton Cemetery from time to time and read the tombstones, for a number of the names on them appear in her books, i.e. there is a Mr Nutkins, a Peter Rabbett, a Jeremiah Fisher and a Mr McGregor.

Among the others buried there are Samuel Cunard, Emmeline Pankhurst and John Wisden.



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 the geographical centre of Wiltshire.


Date Name Type Mileage Organiser
Sun 1st Dec 2019 Back up to the Dolphin Group 18ml. Wessex
Sun 1st Dec 2019 Goring to Pangbourne circular Group c20ml. Thames Valley
Sun 1st Dec 2019 Pre AGM Saunter Group 9ml. Wiltshire
Sun 1st Dec 2019 Up the Wessex and Down the Jubilee, before Dorset Group AGM - Event Details Updated Group 7.5ml. Dorset
Sat 7th Dec 2019 Christmas walk and meal Group c12ml. South Wales
Sun 8th Dec 2019 Agglestone Around Group 17ml. Dorset
Sun 8th Dec 2019 Christmas walk and lunch Group c14 or c12ml. Thames Valley
Wed 11th Dec 2019 Dadford doddle Group 15ml. South Wales
Wed 11th Dec 2019 Swan’s Way and Northend Group c14ml. Thames Valley
Sat 14th Dec 2019 Let's Go Plane Spotting Group 18ml. Bristol & West
Sat 14th Dec 2019 Let's Go Plane Spotting Group 18ml. South Wales
Sun 15th Dec 2019 Hidden Haunts of Suburbia Group 16ml. Dorset
Thu 19th Dec 2019 Alan Burton Memorial Walk Group 14ml. Bristol & West
Thu 19th Dec 2019 Thames Meander Group 18ml. Wiltshire
Sun 22nd Dec 2019 Around Greenham Common Group c17ml. Thames Valley
Wed 25th Dec 2019 The Great Christmas Day Escape Group 14ml. IOW
Sun 29th Dec 2019 Post Christmas Workout Group 17ml. Wessex



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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