Group News

Report from the Chair 2008

I write this report at a time when most of us are planning future hostelling trips. It appears all wrong to me to be doing this in April on Grand National Day. This type of exercise should be carried out at the end of the year as the days shorten, not when British Airways can process your travel bags at a rate of 12,000 per hour and lose them in a huge warehouse in the name of progress. They celebrated this achievement.

Last year was one of celebration for the group. The group founded in 1937 had a birthday. Black Sail was a wet walk but enjoyable all the same. John led the Brecon weekend in warm weather. I arranged a weeklong walk in the Hebrides only to find that the accommodation had been cancelled unbeknown to myself. An anxious thirty minutes in Glasgow hostel at the reception desk worked out bed nights to fit in with the booked ferry sailings. The first walk was without a map in gale force winds and horizontal rain.

Slaidburn weekend was another wet one. I took along a red and yellow parasol that was very handy to keep off the heavy rain even though I very nearly did a Mary Poppins flight on a few occasions. I camped under it in the thunderstorm. Well it did have built in lightning conductor and I wore rubber-soled boots.

In August we had a birthday party at Kings hostel, which was also of the same age. This was truly a group event as everyone buckled down in order to make the occasion a memorable one. The party was held outside in the dark by a bonfire. The chairman was seen brandishing a knife and also cake in kitchen roll, as excellent confection baked by Rob. This was after the walk up and down Cader Idris.

A week was spent in one hostel in the Lake District. The view from the walkway to Keswick hostel was one of flooding. The river below was over the banks.

The Christmas weekend was spent in that 600-year-old former maltings. I never did find out the reason why there is no Bank of Wales. Alcohol flowed during the meal following which there were two surprise awards. One to Sarah for managing the oversight of all the catering requirements, of a bouquet of flowers. The second to Dave our trustworthy Hon. Treasurer for long service, of a pewter pint tankard with malt whisky to accompany, organised in secret by Mick. Stella is one knows her alcohol and folks’ needs.

In warm weather earlier this year, a pleasant time walking was experienced at Holbrook farm in Edale.

All in all an excellent year’s activities although day walks were few and very far between.

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