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Choir walking group

Choir walking group

A walk and a sing for Dot

It was an early start for seven walkers gathering at the Sir Julian Huxley at 11am on November 29. Those who determined the sun was over the yardarm somewhere in the world enjoyed a couple of beers; others preferred coffee while contemplating the busy schedule ahead, with frosty ground to be covered.

Six of the seven trusty walkers, dressed against the cold

As the group were due to sing at Dot Stevens’ former care home at 3pm, George Taylor was dispatched to the nearby chemists to obtain Lateral Flow tests for all. Experienced testers coached others and soon all were gagging as the swabs were inserted.  Fortunately the beer (and/or coffee) were at hand to aid recovery.

A walk in the dark

Thirsty walkers gathered outside The Hope in Carshalton at midday on November 15, waiting for the pub to open so that they could satisfy their pre-walk hydration requirements. Thirteen walkers set off, a number presaging the ill luck to come. 

Happy walkers beside the Wandle, unaware of the shocks to come

There and back from Downe

Walk debutante JWT and returnee Brendan Redmond joined the group gathering at The Queens Head Downe on 25 October. But two participants were delayed: Dick Jones on a 146 bus and Tony Keel in his car, both trapped behind a 40ft container truck and triple-axle trailer which had apparently attempted to follow a Satnav route along the narrow lane into Downe.  Once reunited, the group sang a farewell song to the barmaid and set off past the church in pleasant autumnal sunshine.


The Downe walkers, including Pete (far right) who joined them at intersection with London Loop.  

Singing for Jilly, and records too

The walking group had an action-packed outing on Monday September 13, staging an affecting performance at a care home in Kew and setting several group records during the day.

Choir walkers take to the sea with Jolly Roger at Cecil Court (photo Katrina Keel)

The walkers, with two newcomers, sang at the Cecil Court care home in Kew, residence of tenor Dick Jones’ partner Jilly.   The fifteen-strong choir sang twelve pieces in all, selecting pieces from its current repertoire including Nessun Dorma and Song of the Jolly Roger and ending on The Soldier’s Farewell.

Where the corn was as high....

Eleven walkers left The Fox on 23 August and descended steeply into Happy Valley, then crossed wheat fields before arriving at the ancient Chaldon Church.  On a lockdown visit we had been unable to enter the church. This time we did so and sang Jacob's Ladder under the eponymous mediaeval mural, recently revealed after being whitewashed by reformation puritans.

The scenic view from the path behind the church was obscured by corn "as high as an elephant's eye" as we headed for Alderstead Wood where WW2 vintage concrete roads indicated its military camp history.  After crossing Rook Lane via a dangerously concealed style, we passed Tolsworth Manor Farm and crested the ridge of the North Downs Way.

Oh what a beautiful afternoon....


Snake in the grass

The weather was fine on July 26 as six walkers left the Hare and Hounds southwards across Godstone Green and along Ivy Mill Lane. We turned left and ascended the farm track over the Greensand Ridge and followed the Greensand Way westwards.

The infamous Polly's peak (photo: Banners)

The group voted against climbing a steep path onto Polly's Peak, preferring to keep to lower ground and view the site of the famous injury and rescue across the ragwort from the meadow below.

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