CONTACT: SPRING 1966
The Club has embarked on and enjoyed another series of Sunday rambles during the last few months. As on previous occasions our walks have taken place in areas to the south and south-west of the city; this direction has been preferred because of the softer, more rolling nature of the countryside, trees and woods are more plentiful than in the north and east and meteorologically the temperature is a degree or two warmer.
The rambles of the last quarter have taken us almost entirely into Worcestershire: first to the Clent Hills where the weather was warm and the walk short so we could appreciate an unexpected visit of Indian summer. In November our walk to the Lickeys from West Heath was, by contrast, taken in cold misty conditions. In January our destination being the Lickeys again, we started from Redditch and explored the narrow lanes en route. Finally in February, greeted by temperate conditions, unusually mild with showers of late-spring intensity, we visited the Wyre Forest - on this occasion we encountered deer, goats and a fox!
During 1966 we hope to cover the more unexplored parts. If any member of the Staff have any ideas for an interesting route, or a more varied programme, we should be delighted to hear from them - also there is always room for new members.
R L Mann
CONTACT: SUMMER 1966
Although only two rambles have taken place in the last three months both turned out to be very enjoyable days; the destinations being the heights of Shropshire and Worcestershire respectively. As hours of daylight have prolonged and the summer season is now upon us we have ventured further afield than usual. This results in considerable travelling to and from our destination and public transport has proved both unsuitable and wearisome, particularly the 'bus journeys which are slow and uncomfortable. Rail travel also has provided us with little scope for choice of walking country and trains have run at inconvenient times. So alternative arrangements have been made and the use of private transport has proved to be an excellent substitute on our last two rambles. Attendances have increased but it is too early to ascertain whether this is due to the different travelling arrangements.
Early in the month we visited the Clee Hills and, owing to the nature and high altitude of the countryside, fine weather was essential and we were amply rewarded. The hot and sunny weather with just a light breeze produced a sun tan which remained for long time afterwards. Through the heat haze a memorable view was obtained of the countryside.
Our second outing took place in cool, blustery conditions, but nevertheless a bright day which was ideal for a strenuous walk on the Malverns. Arriving there an hour before the 'bus there was plenty of time for an occasional game of football - which often had amusing consequences. In order to produce some variety into our rambles we have many rests and stops during the walk so that the least hardy amongst us do not get too tired.
It will be stated on future circulars whether or not private transport will be required. I must take this opportunity of thanking those members and non-members who have provided their own transport in the past.
R L Mann
CONTACT: AUTUMN 1966
The third period of the Rambling Club year has produced two more rambles which, because of unforeseen circumstances will be long remembered by all who attended.
In the past we have struck, on average, reasonable weather with many more fine Sundays than wet ones and when the weather has been bad, it has been easily forgotten. Our rambles have proved mainly uneventful; unexpected happenings being rare. Any casualties or illnesses have not been too serious and after treatment by our excellent staff of unqualified doctors, the casualties have soon recovered. In July the walk was fairly heavy going, especially as it was hot and humid, and the dislocated ankle of the sister of one of our members provided us with extra sweat and responsibility: this occurred when she jumped from a tree stump to some uneven ground. On landing she fell and was unable to move. Immediately our party split into two groups; one searching for a 'phone for an ambulance and the other carrying the girl to the nearest road. Two hours later she was safely in Kidderminster Hospital and, thanks to the efforts of everyone concerned things did not turn out as seriously as was first feared.
Our August ramble was taken from Coughton to Henley-in-Arden in the most severe weather we have yet experienced. It rained heavily from start to finish but, as always, spirits were not dampened, although one mystery will always remain with the Club. Where did the Secretary disappear to before the start? Only he knows .........
I am pleased to note that attendances per ramble are increasing again - it is also good to see one or two new faces. If anyone is interested in joining I shall be pleased to give them any information they require.
R L Mann
CONTACT: CHRISTMAS 1966
The production of two editions of CONTACT in the closing months of the year closes the door somewhat on the scope of material for this article. November is usually a dormant month for the Club as this is the month when we hold our Annual General Meeting. Unfortunately, however, this year it was postponed at the eleventh hour and will now be held in January. Since our last meeting with the readers, therefore, we have only pursued the delights of the countryside on one occasion. This was an exceptionally fine but cool day in October when our venue was Clent.
As always happens, we never go by the direct route; we always seek out the unknown. This time we went by way of Kinver Edge, making our way up the steeper edge of course. The coolness of the air did not deter us from having our picnic lunch on the side of a country lane. After all, the sun was shining, the sky was blue and the ferns were inviting.
Broome was our next haven of rest, for it was here that the less hardy amongst us wanted to brush away the cobwebs on the village seat (by snatching forty-winks). Needless to say, some of us had to scratch our itchy feet. We arrived at Clent just as the shadows of night were descending on the countryside.
At the cosy farmhouse I made short work of my ham and eggs. In fact I was just as quick in polishing off the ham and eggs of some of the members who had lost their appetites. Perhaps the unfamiliarity of the surroundings and the age of its contents put them off. I certainly made hay that night - and the sun was not shining; the cake disappeared in no time at all.
Upon reflection I am happy to say that the Club has had a good year. Membership is increasing and the younger members are showing the same keen enthusiasm as shown by the die-hards. This is greatly admired and it is to be encouraged. Let us hope that an exciting programme in 1967 will keep alive in them the spirit of wanting to get out and about.