CONTACT: SPRING 1965
Sutton Park was our venue for our ramble last December, where, after a good roast turkey dinner, a map reading and initiative test was held. With a rich prize as bait, we attacked the course with vigour and determination. How I envied the winner as he scooped up his reward.
It is not far as the crow flies from West Heath to the Lickey Hills, but, as only birds can fly, we had to find some alternative method of travel. What better way could there be than walking. Despite rain, sodden fields, plodding winding lanes, battling against a gale force wind, the rain beating down on our faces, we made it. We ate a short lunch, including hot soup, in a windy hollow near Lower Bittell Reservoir after about four miles. After lunch coffee was consumed in Cofton Woods, a little further on, whilst some friendly horses relieved us of our dessert. Whilst climbing the Lickey Hills we did get a glimpse of the sun, at which the smallest member of our group, who shall remain nameless, was so shocked that she stumbled and promptly took the quickest route down one of the hills, only to find that she had to scramble up again.
We arrived at the "Old Rose and Crown" earlier than expected, so went back to the hills once more to face yet more wind and rain. Oh! What fun! How we enjoyed our mixed grill and even looked forward to work next day.
We went to Bewdley and the Wyre Forest for the last of our Winter Rambles. In contrast, it was a glorious day, the sun beating down from a cloudless sky. We all felt good to be alive as we left the beaten track just outside Bewdley, and headed for the forest. The day was spent in traversing the paths, returning to Bewdley for high tea via the Severn river bank. Lunch was taken beyond Dowles Brook. We crossed the fast running brook in the old fashioned way at which our nameless member saw fit to wash her feet in it. This, however, was expected as she always puts foot in it.
There are plenty of games you can play in the forest, even when the trees are bare - with an improvised bat and ball, that is. After lunch and a few attempts at cricket above a fifty foot drop, a brisk walk back to Bewdley was necessitated by a lost ball in order to be in time for tea.
If you too would like to pursue a worthwhile occupation on one Sunday of the month, if you enjoy your work and play, then join us on one of our rambles. We will keep you on your toes.
CONTACT: SUMMER 1965
March might be the month during which we herald the coming of Spring, but unhappily such an occasion was not celebrated by the Club this year. However, early in April, we put our best feet forward to Lydiate near Redditch, for lunch, picnic style, at the Fox. Then, on by the quiet country lanes to Tardebigge resting on route for a short game of ball to keep ourselves fit. We were not alone in our game as we found later, for they were playing ball when we followed the path across Blackwell Golf Course.
What a wonderful meal awaited us at Blackwell, here justice was well and truly done. Being "devils" for punishment, the thirteen of us walked another three miles over Lickey Hills to Rednal and the bus home.
It was from Alcester on the last Sunday in May that we set out on our next ramble. Crossing the old railway site of the Redditch to Evesham line we headed for Ragley Hall Estate. Not wishing to intrude upon the Marquis of Hertford at Sunday lunch we skirted the boundary to be joined by a canine friend. We were unable to get away from him but he outstayed his welcome when we had to cross a field where sheep were grazing. Next Sunday's joint being more important than man's best friend, a firm stand was taken until our authority was respected and the dog returned along the path towards Ragley.
Having been delayed considerably we took a late lunch alfresco, at Rous Lench, where we arranged to meet some of our colleagues who were unable to come all the way with us. The village of Church Lench, our next port of call, delayed us only long enough to pause for a visit to the church. Then it was full speed ahead for Evesham and a cream tea - Now the girls will have to walk!!
Hope to see even more of you on the next ramble.
M J Davenport
CONTACT: AUTUMN 1965
It was just after mid-day, one Sunday in June, when we jumped off the 'bus at Martin Hussingtree, on the main road to Worcester. From the back garden of the 'local' a footpath led us to Oddingly, where, just beyond the village the M5 Motorway stretches its ugly arm across the countryside. By means of an underpass we were able to hasten away from the scene of the tragedy.
We had our picnic lunch at Dunhampstead, sitting by the side of a cornfield near to the Birmingham - Worcester canal. This was an ideal spot for lunch. Two miles further on we came to Huddington Court. The Court itself is now a private residence se we were unable to look around. The quaint little church, however, was well worth a visit, being of great historical interest. In the graveyard we found the last resting place of a fugitive from King John's Army defeated at the Battle of Worcester. Onward to Hanbury for a good hot meal then a little friendly rivalry as the Club split into two groups in a race back to Birmingham, those going by way of Droitwich winning easily. As a consolation the losers found time in Redditch to practice a good Olde English Tradition of Aleing in a nearby Hostelry.
Our ramble in July was from Hopwood to Henley-in-Arden. There is some beautiful countryside on our doorstep, and some equally pleasing hostelries such as the Coach & Horses at Weatheroak where we stopped for lunch. For once we broke our rule of reconnoitring the route beforehand and paid for our folly by being forced to struggle through undergrowth between Beoley and Mappleborough Green. Beyond Mappleborough everything was smooth going, but nevertheless we arrived long after our scheduled time. We were most thankful to find, not the expected 'burnt offerings', but a splendid meal awaiting us.
We must apologise for not having our usual moonlight in August, but unfortunately the Hotel that was to provide breakfast suffered a Staff shortage and was unable to provide a meal. Next time we may not be so lucky, but I think we have learnt our lesson.
However, many more rambles to come, so -
Don't be a SQUARE - Enjoy your FRESH-AIR.