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Walk report 2020 July 29

Covid walkers score second best

The choir walkers staged an impressive outing on July 29, with eleven taking part and covering 6.8 miles - second in distance only to the record walk of 7.28 miles notched on 3 April 2017.

Walkers en route to new second-longest walk record  (photo Banners)

Eleven walkers in pods of six and five left the Feathers pub in Merstham, passing Merstham Town Hall, the scene of many a Christmas concert, and crossed the main railway line at the station. Unfortunately regular walker "Polly" Perkins had been forced to withdraw on the morning to a rare attack of gout, but he remained with the group in spirit as we gathered in a cavernous tunnel under the M23 for an impromptu concert, and soon the first rendition of Anthem for many months echoed around the superb acoustic.

The record breaking second eleven

The group enjoyed the glorious vistas from the North Downs Way as it ascended over open farmland onto the crest, pausing at the top to catch breath at a convenient trig point. Dave the Navigator was briefly flummoxed by the temporary closure of a footpath, but he quickly replanned and promised to make up the lost distance later.

The group paused again to look northwards to the London cityscape and to reminisce about how the late afternoon winter sunshine had reflected from the skyscrapers on a previous walk. A short woodland path emerged close to the Harrow pub where the group collapsed onto benches and ordered much needed refreshment.

The view from the bottom


The group ensured Polly didn't feel left out at home nursing his gout by texting him pictures of the group relaxing in the sun, and advising him that all the beers tasted wonderful. George Taylor was enjoying it so much that he ordered two additional pints by mistake, so the group's departure for the return journey was happily delayed.

Dave led the group down the scenic path contouring around Quarry Hangers before descending to the bottom of Park Ham. He made up for his earlier enforced shortcut by leading up the side of the magnificent Park Ham bowl back to the North Downs Way. From there it was mostly retracing the earlier route down from the crest and back into the M23 tunnel, where "Can't Help Falling in Love" surprised and entertained a few long distance walkers coming the other way.

The final stretch along Rockshaw Road (former home of Christine Keeler of John Profumo fame) led back to the Feathers and a rendezvous with social walking members Leni Gillman and Ted Mouat.


Relaxing at the Feathers, with social member Ted and social guest Leni


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