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Walk report 2024 Jan 8

The coldest walk

The lack of real ale at Wallington’s Rose and Crown, the planned starting pub on 8 January 2024, forced some beer-loving walkers to divert to the nearby Dukes Head instead. They then collected their more abstemious colleagues from The Rose and eleven set off towards the Wandle Trail.

Crossing the wetlands (Photo Banners)

The group maintained a steady pace through blustery snow showers, navigation aided by following the picturesque river on left or right. The absence of pubs en route required more adaptation from the resourceful walkers as we entered the soggy expanses of Morden Hall Park. Passers-by were quizzed as to the location of tea-shops and two were found, the second of which was actually open in wintry January. Tea and scones were ordered (a first for the choir walking group) and a hot debate ensued as to whether jam or cream should be applied first.

Inevitably the walkers burst into song, delighting their fellow cafe patrons. The National Trust staff were so impressed they demanded to video an encore which they subsequently posted on the Morden Hall Park NT Facebook and Instagram pages.

"Are we lost?" (photo Banners)

Navigator Dave’s radar went astray as the group tried to exit the park back to the river. We wandered aimlessly in sodden woods, our way often blocked by flooded paths and streams. Eventually we retraced our steps, traversed the boardwalk, and found the Wandle again.

The final mile led to Abbey Mills and the William Morris pub. Dick Jones recognised the layout from one of the very early choir walks some 10 years earlier. Photographic evidence was produced from the website.

Ten of the wetlands eleven (photo George Taylor)

The group then debated whether to stay for an early dinner or start the multi-bus journey back. Two pints later the decision was made to eat back at base camp and we made our way to the snowy bus stop. Passengers upstairs in the 157 were then serenaded back to Carshalton where we tucked into a hot dinner at the Dukes Head.

You can see the walkers singing at Morden Hall if you click HERE (You will need to switch the Mute symbol at right of screen to ON)


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