Sun shines on New Year walkers

Once again glorious sunshine greeted the 13 CMVC walkers who gathered at the White Hart Godstone on a chilly New Year morning - 4 January 2019.  A gentle climb past Garston Park afforded stunning views of the North Downs in the low angle of the winter sun. After topping the Greensand Ridge the walkers enjoyed the easier going of the south facing slope along the Greensand Way towards Bletchingley.

Twelve of the Godstone walkers (missing: John Marshall)


Traversing the Greensand Ridge

Dave the Navigator persuaded the group to ascend a steep path to a spectacular viewpoint, notorious as the site of Polly Perkins' broken ankle three years earlier. Walk veterans reminisced about the number of emergency vehicles and paramedics scrambling to aid the stricken Polly, and the evident enjoyment he had shown when sampling the variety of painkilling liquids and gases they had provided.

Banners and Neil re-stage the accident 

The group carefully descended from the fateful knoll on to wide grassy meadows under crystal clear skies, before crossing the A25 and diving into the Red Lion in Bletchingley for a warm-up and a pint (or two.) Polly was delighted that Ted Mouat had driven to join us as he could now hitch a ride rather than walk the return journey. (We should of course remember that Polly had been suffering from Christmas flu and so did well to complete the pre-amble drinking session and the outward leg.)

John Marshall explains his part in Polly's rescue 

The remaining 12 walkers pressed on down Little Common Lane on the north side of the ridge. They were saddened at the sight of the boarded-up William IV pub which had enabled an impromptu  refreshment stop on an earlier walk. The return journey to Godstone was gently downhill with dramatic vistas of the North Downs on our left and the sun sinking slowly behind us.

Godstone sunset 

We staggered back into the White Hart where, although it had a number of roaring log fires, none were near the tables where we had dinner. However after commandeering a couple of fan heaters,  we tucked into tasty but somewhat bijou main course portions. Ravenous appetites were satisfied by more generous desserts. We sang a couple of songs to the appreciative waitresses, one of whom had in fact enjoyed our performance at the Whitgift Centre just before Christmas


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