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Reviews Feb-Mar 2002

Padley Gorge, 24th February 2002

Padley BrookA group of us enjoyed a lovely walk around Padley Gorge. The snow came down, but we all kept up a good spirit.Some of us even had a snowball fight . . . yes, Mick, it was you.

Dinner time soon came round and we stopped at the Little John pub in Hathersage. Roland decided to order a beef baguette, which turned out to be half a cow on a plate plus a giant Yorkshire pudding.

After spending all our money in the outdoor shops, the weather turned for the worst and visibility was poor, but a little voice at the back shouted "don't worry,I've got a torch and a survival bag . . ."

In general, we had a good day's walk in the snow, which showed off the outstanding beauty of the Derbyshire countryside.



Hartington Weekend, 2nd-3rd March 2002

Hartington Village

Excellent weekend had by all involved, beginning with a rare occurrence -everyone assembled on time! After quick view of our dormitories, the seven of us commenced Saturday's walk, led by Michal. Good route through several inches of mud, including short pub stop at the Packhorse Inn, where Paul's flask decided to dispense its contents through its protective sock into his rucksack!

After quick clean-up, motored on to achieve approximately 12 miles walking, not appreciated by Jane, who thought the plan was 8!

Dined out at the local pub in Hartington, the Devonshire Arms, lining our stomachs in preparation for Paul's 13 miles the following day.

Chrome HillSunday's walk began at Longnor, and included a climb up Chrome Hill, for some spectacular views - to name one of the many inclines slotted into the day - thanks Paul! The strong initial pace levelled out by lunchtime -Paul obviously didn't drink enough beer on Saturday night - and after an excellent day, arrived back at the cars for 5pm.

Thanks to everyone for making a great weekend, and to Michal and Paul for the walk programme.



Meal at Corky's , 22nd March 2002

Post Mortem Report

The frantic despatch of text messages between the group secretary (and beleagured organiser of the event) and his chief hench-person, the publicity officer, heralded the start of this event. The rumour was that although Corky’s bore the appearance of a public house boasting a fine example of Marston’s Pedigree, it was actually a disguised Thai restaurant. It appeared that some people in the group don’t like Thai titbits! This came as a bit of a shock to the organiser, who was just following orders. The pre-event furore of publicity had claimed it was catering for all tastes (or so said a certain committee member).

It did not bode well, but nevertheless 15 persons still arrived to congregate within the pub’s confines. The menu provided a weighty tome - a culinary "Lord of the Rings" with a wide variety of taste-bud pleasers. However, it did create some consternation with those who had arrived the earliest. Since the amount of Pedigree consumed by these individuals was generous, this had not lent itself to the snap decisions required for selection of meal courses. So much muttering about “spring rolls”, “tamarind chicken” and “pie and chips” was audible even when queuing up at the opposite side of the bar to pay for said choices.

However, it did not seem to matter much what one ordered, as judging by the contented chewing audible, half an hour later, every one was a winner.

Well, not entirely. There was one voice of dissent. Mange-tout, Michal, mange-tout.

The evening continued on it’s merry way with the continued enjoyment of after dinner cocktails and speeches and various social intercourses. Susie was so enthralled by it all that she fell asleep. People just talked round her until 11:00. At this point, the landlord announced (much to Mick’s annoyance) that it was "time ladies & gentlemen, please".

Having reached the critical mass of 4 pints of Pedigree and a pint of Banks's, your correspondent made his excuses, left and walked home. However, reports smuggled out from Chell suggest that some imbibing continued at certain, members only lock-ins, until 4:00am. Shocking.



Wye Dale, 24th March 2002

This being the first walk I had attempted to lead for the club did not commence at all well, due to no access by road to the official starting point - the road being closed due to fallen rocks! Several phone calls and text messages later, we finally begin our walk from Taddington, this unfortunately interrupting with the timing of the planned lunch-time pub stop.

The good weather certainly attracted a large group, fourteen in all, who were rewarded with several splendid views, with the penalty of several short ascents!

Plans for an alternative lunch stop in Wormhill at the cafe also turned pear-shaped. - It seems that some thoughtless individual has since converted the property into a B&B! Fortunately for the now starving Sandra, some of her fellow walkers provided a "doggy bag" to ensure her energy levels were kept up.

Problems continued to be the order of the day. I then find that my intended "flower lovers" path across the quarry overlooking Millers Dale is currently closed for conservation purposes, and after much debating, we opted for the alternative route to by-pass the footpath. Stopped for a short break in the cafe at Millers Dale, then proceeded to complete the walk by 4pm.

Is this the end of my very short walk-leading career?



Three Counties Walk , 31st March 2002

Alpaca Spotting

AlpacaAs it was the group secretary’s walk, the shorts wearing weather of Saturday was nowhere to be seen, and instead the skies (when visible through the mist) were battleship grey. However, the GS’s optimism remained undiminished as he brought his shorts with him (just in case the permafrost became impermanent).

A very good turn out, considering. 11 shiny, happy people gathering, shivering at Derbyshire Bridge. We trudged off at 10:00 sharp. The route wound it’s way through Brandside, where the leader became confused by the embarrassment of little green dashed lines (aka footpaths) in this area, and had to rely on that most sophisticated piece of directional equipment and followed his nose. Eventually, however, defeat was admitted and Ivan’s GPS came to the rescue. Hurrah! The ref that it gave was exactly where the leader thought he would be (or so he told everyone).

A lunch stop was called for at Flash (highest village in the UK). Here we were denied access to the local (not the highest pub in the UK it turned out) on account of the proverbial muddy boots. That wouldn’t have been a problem, but there was nowhere to leave them.

We sought sanctuary in the adjacent church grounds, where a nice old lady enthusiastically encouraged us to look around the church, which we would have, had the door not been locked. Never mind, we sat there, munching crème eggs thoughtfully provided by our leader, which had all been nicely frozen by the wind chill.

AlpacaSetting off again, we were on the look out for some non-indigenous creatures on the moors. Sure enough, we soon passed a herd of funny looking non-indigenous creatures with long necks and shaggy coats. I thought wallabies were smaller than that, though.

We reached 3 Shires Head at 15:00 for a tea stop amid the gentle bubble of the streams at the bridge there and then headed on to reach the Cat & Fiddle. The leader hadn’t planned it on the recce, but thought you all deserved a pint.

All in all, a good day’s walk, and a fitting way for Jane to christen her new boots. Thanks to you all for supporting it.

Phil (GS)


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