Choir walking group

A walk on the wild side

Only the hardiest choir walkers arrived at the Fleeting Brook in Caterham on December 11, ready for a noon start. Heavy snow had been falling for a couple of hours, and was forecast to continue.  Phil Willis and Dave the Navigator had walked from Caterham Valley while others braved the slippery roads by car or bus.

The valiant six

Walking through Narnia

Seven walkers who gathered at the Kingswood Arms ready for a 12.30 start on November 27 were disappointed to learn that dinner was off the pub menu.  Over 100 golfers had already eaten breakfast there ahead of a charity day at the nearby club and were due to return and exhaust the kitchen's capacity before nightfall.  Undaunted, the group adopted Plan B, namely to drive back to the Rambler’s Rest halfway stop after the walk.

The wardrobe.....

A tale of three pubs 

Our late autumn walk from the Old Bell in Oxted on Monday November 6 was preceded by fevered negotiations with a miserable Mine Host, who had to be persuaded to accept a booking for a dozen or so diners in his deserted pub at 5pm. Fortunately former landlord Martin Perkins gave him the guvnors’ masonic handshake and clinched a deal.

Enjoying the late autumn weather

The most excited walker during the negotiations was Phil's German Shepherd Suki, who was trying to herd the group together and get us started. She persuaded us to head off westwards along a short stretch of the A25 then turn into the manicured grassland of Tandridge Golf Club.

Ups and downs around Downe

The walking group broke new ground again as ten members left the Royal Oak in Green Street Green, near Orpington, on Monday 23 October and set off up into the High Elms Country Park. As we crossed High Elms Golf Course, Martin Perkins reminisced, through a golden haze, about some of the wondrous golf shots he had played there. 

The ten starting walkers in the autumn High Elms woods

Retracing fateful steps

On September 25, nine walkers gathered at the Whyte Harte Hotel in Bletchingley and set off southwards. They soon were in the area where innumerable on- and off-road ambulances assembled on that fateful winter solstice day in 2015 when Martin Perkins broke his ankle.

The walkers pause for thought

The parish with no beer 

Navigator Dave was keen to take the group to the beautiful Marden Park, an area in which he had run for many years, but this required some creativity due to the dearth (i.e. zero) of pubs in the parish of Woldingham. The solution was to meet at the familiar White Lion in Warlingham, from where the group drove a few miles to the Gangers Hill car park on the crest of the North Downs to start the walk.

The walkers at Marden Park (photo Mike Pardon)

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