Choir walking group

Pub closed, disaster averted


Everything looked perfect as pre-ambling drinkers Martin Perkins and Dave Bannister stepped off the bus at 1.15 in glorious sunshine outside the Yew Tree on Reigate Hill on 1 October. Disaster: the pub was shut and no-one answered its phone.  After a brief shot of panic,  the intrepid pair replanned and trudged 20 minutes uphill to the Bridge Hotel.

The thirsty Yew Tree ten - refreshed at the Sportsman

There and back in Merstham

Eleven walkers, including debutant Niall McNevin, gathered at the Feathers Merstham on September 3 and set out northwards in glorious sunshine. Following a mile along the A23, with rolling downland paths in prospect, they started their ascent on Shepherd's Hill where the Joliffe Arms pub is being redeveloped. Local Tony Keel reminisced about many a pint being quaffed there, despite a tendency of his drinking buddies to ignore his directions and end up at the homophonic Jolly Farmers.

Striding out near Merstham

The mad dogs....

The choir walkers have made two outings recently, braving the heatwave to clock up more miles in the Kent and Surrey downland.  The first, on July 16, began and ended at the Dog and Duck in Outwood, with half-time at the Bell, also in Outwood. 

Walkers brave heat in  cornfield crossing 

Records tumble in mid-summer heat

Local expert Ralph Osborne made a welcome return to the walking group at the Grasshopper Inn near Westerham on 18 June. The brilliant sunny weather brought out a record group of seventeen walkers, including five women, also a record.

Braving the mid-summer heat

Puffing and crayfish

Dave the Navigator and Head of Apres Drinking Martin Perkins were beaten to the Skimmington Castle on Reigate Heath for pre-walk drinks on Friday 30 May by Johns Parker and Marshall – a notable event as this was only the second time these two stalwarts had been bested in three years of walking.  

The Reigate eleven

Spring walks in Farleigh and Richmond

For the first of our two outings, ten walkers, including new bass recruit John Parker, gathered at the Harrow in Farleigh on 13 April. We then discovered we were too large a group for the solitary chef on duty to feed us at 6pm, so social member Ted Mouat was dispatched in his car to find an alternative pub for after our walk. In the meantime, the walkers set off northwards across Farleigh Common. After a few hundred yards the pacemakers were overtaken by a scampering Misty, followed at a more sedate pace by latecomer Nick Hewitt making a welcome return to the walking group.

Springtime in Richmond, with navigator Dick Jones (see report below)

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