Winter 2020/21 

Editor: Winifred L Jones 

To all members

 Greetings for a happier 2021! 

So many weeks have passed since we were last together, but it is good to know that many of you have kept in touch with each other. We have had good news of people staying well, and some less good news of people's lives being affected by illness of one kind or another. To all who are, or have been, under the weather we send best wishes for your recovery. We have not heard of any members having had the virus but we are very happy for the wider Booth family, two of whom did experience the very unpleasant effects of Covid-19. 

Although we could not meet as a club, we do know of a number of members who got together when restrictions were lifted, and some individuals even got away for a break in August. Now we are looking forward to vaccination to give us a new lease of life for 2021 - our centenary year. Perhaps by Easter we shall be able to meet together at a social distance. 

You may be wondering about what happened to our bookings for Arrochar and Newquay after National Holidays went into administration. Margaret has been assiduous in her pursuit of refunds by filling in and returning all the forms necessary, and we await the outcome of her efforts. You may have noticed that another company has bought the National Holidays brand and that they are offering holidays similar to the previous company. This does not, however, affect us. 

We shall, of course, not be asking for subscriptions at this time, but we shall organise a programme as soon as we feel it is safe to do so. You will not be forgotten. 

Keep safe, keep well, and keep rambling ......

Autumn 2019

Summer 2019 was either quite wet or very pleasant.  Two extremely wet ramblers with a four-legged companion were so wet when they got on to the train at Marsden that the guard took pity on them and let them travel first-class back to Diggle!  Maybe she had pity on the other passengers who would not have appreciated their inti­mate company.  On the other hand, some beautiful warm sunshine in the middle of September made for a lovely walk to Nether Alderley, which included a tour of the old corn mill.

There was such a poor forecast on the day the Saturday ramblers were due to go to Formby that they went to New Brighton instead, and enjoyed a stroll along the prom before the rain came on and having sat in the car for an hour, they decided to drive home early.  However, the sun shone for our afternoon-tea meet at Golden Days. Another wet day saw us for­saking the long drive to Ladybower for a trip to Millers Dale to enjoy the flowers as we dodged the showers.

We were sadly not able to complete all the walks we had planned along the Peak District Boundary walk, but tomorrow is another day, as you will see from the new programme.

We can report another successful canal cruise and a good coach trip to Llandudno, when we were accom­panied by members of the Stockport Field Club, who helped us pay for the day and proved to be most amenable and knowledgeable companions.

Like the rest of the community, we watched with horror as Toddbrook Dam at Whaley Bridge threatened to give way, and as one of our other haunts at Lyme Park was over­whelmed with flood water.  Ten days later, the Saturday walkers took the bus to Whaley and paid our respects to the cafe owner by investing our money in pasties and cakes. 


Peak District Boundary Walk


We are now approaching the 30% mark and have passed the Walk’s  most westerly and northerly points. 


John Booth


Now let us look at what the new programme has in store. 

We have the normal pattern of Christmas lunch at Bruntwood Park and a New Year lunch.  Please see the note about the New Year Lunch which is planned for 23 January.

Also, by popular demand, we have a hot-pot in November, details below.  Our food-and-a-potter lunches continue, although of late there has been more food than potter – blame the weather!   


We shall be using the Tame Valley Way, the Middlewood Way and the Transpennine Trail, all of which provide easy routes for our Saturday walkers.  There are also the valley routes of the Bollin, Reddish Vale, the Mersey Valley, and the River Goyt.  We have a lot to choose from.


Peak District Boundary Walk to Buxton – 2 November  The first of three stretches in the new programme as we continue our circum­navigation of the Peak District Boundary. 

Lyme at Christmastime – 14 December  A seasonal ramble 

Dunham in Winter – 28 December  We hope to be able to enjoy the winter garden which will be set up for the evening's light show. 

Heatons Amble - 9 January  We again look forward to Janet's refreshments before an easy stroll. 

Around Worsley – 25 January   At the beginning of 2019 we explored the Busway and the old railway track to Worsley, and this year we are going to continue around Worsley and the canal. Do join us on a very easy level route. There are various drop-off points to connect with buses. 

Annual General Meeting - 29 February

The AGM is always a special date for the club, and this year it falls on leap-year day which we hope will be an auspicious choice. It is very important that all members attend to ensure that there is a quorum.  Please put the date in your diary NOW.


Spring 2019

Editor: Winifred L Jones

We had Spring in February … and wasn't it glorious?  And then came March like a lion and lived up to its reputation for wind and rain.  On the 9th, John walked over the moor on the Peak District Boundary Walk (PDBW) from Tintwistle to Greenfield in wind, sleet, and rain, while Beryl and Winifred took the 'easy' route up and down Longdendale but still went home (in sunshine of course) with various degrees of 'sodden-ness'.        


Seven days later we forsook the planned exposed walk in Cheshire to spend an hour on the tram in order to visit the Co-op Pioneer Museum and Touchstone in Rochdale.  The rain fell and the level of the River Roch rose – and rose – all day!  The rainfall in Rochdale for the day was recorded at 61mm … red flood alerts all over the North of England and various rivers, including the Mersey overtopping their banks.  Good to be able to say that the month went out more like a lamb.

We have now completed quite a lot of the northern part of the PDBW – see below.

 What's on this summer?

We shall be returning to Derbyshire in May to see the spring flowers, and in August the heather will be in bloom.  You will not be surprised that we shall have at least eight opportunities to enjoy food together, and this does not include Saturdays, when members are increasingly likely to find a café for tea. 

John is continuing his Lowry trips, and Tony is hoping to organise a visit to Gorton Monastery to see the recent restoration work. He has also told us of an overnight in Matlock with National Holidays for the illuminations on 12 October. Please phone Tony if you are interest­ed.  It is a few years since we have been to a wells dressing, so why not join us in Ashford-in-the-Water in June?  Or there is always one of Margaret's favour­ites, a trip to the coast at Formby in July.  You will see that at the end of the programme we are going to have to rely on the goodwill of leaders to fill in the gaps. We do thank all our willing volunteers. 

The Thursday walkers have not been forgotten with six rambles throughout the summer. 

Middlewood Way – Thursday 16 May  Best wishes to Tony who is carrying on the tradition which he started with Grace of a little walk followed by lunch!   

Afternoon Tea - Thursday 6 June  Sybil has arranged afternoon tea at Golden Days Garden Centre, near the Cheshire Lines Tavern on Cheadle Road.  The 130 and 42B buses from East Didsbury pass the door and there is, of course, good parking if you are coming by car.  We are giving members a subsidy from the Legacy Fund.

Saturday 8 June – Ladybower Reservoir  Following the trip to the reservoir last year when the ruins of Derwent Village were still visible after the drought, we have been prompted to return and have arranged a walk around the shoreline path. 

Canal Cruise - Thursday 4 July Again we are cruising along the Macclesfield Canal aboard the very comfortable narrow boat New Horizons. Leaving Marple Wharf at 10.30 am, we will travel along this beautiful canal, stop­ping for lunch before returning late afternoon. As before, you should contact John - by 5 June.  This event will be subsidised and the cost to participants will be £10 per head.  

Coach to Llandudno - Saturday 20 July  Llandudno needs no introduction with its shops, pier, promenade, and Great Orme tramway.  You might like to stroll along the dunes to West Shore from where you might perhaps join the ramble over the Great Orme, known for its rich flora which is associated with limestone and copper mining.  We need your support to enable us to run a coach, so feel free to bring your friends. We will also be joined by a few members of a local Stockport walking group.

Heatons Wander - Thursday 20 June Tea at Janet’s is one of the highlights of the summer.

Mid-Week Break in Torquay – 30 September - 4 October We are returning to Torquay, but to a different hotel from the one we visited two years ago. As members know, Margaret has great difficulty in finding accom­modation to suit our various needs and this was the only one which met the bill. The hotel is only a short walk from the marina and shops, a regular bus service stops outside, and we can look forward to four complimentary drinks (soft drinks, wine or beer) each day from the bar. We hope to use the local buses on the off-day for walks or sight-seeing, so don’t forget to take your bus pass! Contact Margaret immediately for availability.

The Peak District Boundary Walk

This long distance (200-mile) walking route around the entire boundary of the Peak District National Park was launched on Saturday 17th June 2017 in Buxton Market place by Emma Bridgewater.  Stretching from the moorland tops of the South Pennines to the gentle limestone scenery of the Derbyshire Dales, the route embraces the urban edges of Sheffield and Oldham, as well as Staffordshire’s rugged moorland and the undulating slopes of Cheshire. 

Last year the Club launched a project to walk the entire route in easy stages, and we are now approaching the 25% mark.  As you can see from the map, the route has already taken us through our old favourite areas but we will now be going to some of the inter­esting and beautiful parts of the Peak District which we have rarely visited. See the programme and look out for our next instalments.


Some Highs and Lows from the last programme.

In December it rained a lot!  The heavens opened for Graham's walk from Whaley, so we didn't hang about but came straight back down the hill from Stonesteads to eat our lunch on the station platform.  Bottoms Reservoir the following week saw us wet again, but fortun­ately the worst of the rain waited until we were on the bus going home.  Buses were the order of the day on many of the walks during the winter because of the incon­venience of the regular weekly train strikes on Northern Rail. 

At Christmas, there was an opportunity to enjoy listening to carols in Lyme Hall, and, on the last Saturday ramble of 2018, members enjoyed a vist to the winter garden at Dunham, where a few daffodils and some snowdrops were already opening.  But winter arrived at the beginning of February for our walk through Lyme Park to Higher Poynton. There was enough snow on the high ground for the hordes of children with their sledges.  On the Thursday only three weeks later, we were with John, sitting in the sunshine having our lunch at Bramhall Park accompanied by children and dogs enjoying the mid-term break.  The Food and Potter lunches have also proved to be a very welcome opportunity to have a natter. 

One memorable walk was the Peak Boundary ramble from Lyme Park, up and over to Pott Shrigley.  The views on the top were beautiful and when we reached the road we encoun­tered the Cheshire Hunt.  We ladies were suitably impressed when the Master doffed his hat to us – and the horses and hounds were lovely too.  We made it to Pott Shrigley in time for the bus BUT there was no bus.  It had been cancelled (for a whole week) because of road works farther down the road in Bollington.  We were pretty tired, but found that we had suffi­cient stamina to keep going to the top of Bollington village where the number 10 bus took us to Macclesfield where we caught the train at five o'clock.  

Spring 2018

Editor: Winifred L Jones


The Past Six Months

What can we say about the mud?  Perhaps someone might volunteer to do an analysis of the different types of gloop and then write a short treatise.  You might like to include advice on the best way to deal with muddy boots.  One good piece of advice is always to wash them immediately on returning home, in order to avoid damage from animal urine, which can attack the adhesive used to stick sole to upper.  The Editor thinks she shortened the life of her last pair of boots by not washing them enough!

Sometimes we have avoided the mud by taking a different route; sometimes we have ploughed on, as we did by the River Mersey – very tiring.  At Bruntwood we were defeated and had to retrace our steps, and, on a cold and sleety day, we had almost to paddle our way along the track to get to Shiloh Road and the bus back to Stockport.  But that's what it's all about isn't it?  Our companionship has been enhanced by various recent foody events.  Bruntwood lunch was much appreciated as an alternative to a Christmas party, and Janet and Sybil arranged two very good lunches which were followed in the first instance by a stroll in Fletcher Moss Gardens and in the second by a circuit of Chorlton Water Park.

Unfortunately we have been hit by a number of injuries and other events, which have prevented some people from leading walks. The help of others to take on the leadership  of rambles has been more than appreciated.  Thanks to you all.  Particular mention must be made of Margaret, who has taken on so many walks, not only in the past months but in the new programme.

The New Programme

Once again, thanks to John, we are taking part in the Greater Manchester Walking Festival in May.  He is also hoping to get to Lad's Leap in June, after having had to abort his plans in December because of snow.  

It will be good to visit Carsington Water again. The walking is easy, either for strolling or for a circuit of the reservoir. The last time we went we saw tree sparrows, now not at all common. And don't forget that there is a cafe and an exhibition to look at. Throughout the pro-gramme, we shall be sampling the new Peak District Boundary Walk which covers 190 miles around the edge of the National Park. It was devised by Friends of the Peak District in 2017 and different walks will take us to some of the places we already know - over moor¬land, along footpaths, by tracks and quiet lanes, and along canal towpaths and old railway tracks.  The plan is to walk some of the accessible sections of the boundary. 

Our coach outing to the National Memorial Arboretum will be something special – see note below – and a walk across the sands to Hilbre Island and then over Caldy Hill in time for fish and chips in West Kirby will renew mem¬ories.  Margaret is also taking us back to Biddulph Grange Garden at dahlia time, where we shall also see the Chinese Garden and the rockery. Thank you Margaret - lots to look forward to.

Millennium Walkway

Photo John Booth

Deep Dale – Saturday 19 May  It wouldn't be May without a ramble in the Derbyshire Dales.

Fairfield Moravian Settlement – Saturday 26¬ May  If you haven't been to the settlement don't miss this opportunity to join John.

Carsington Reservoir – Saturday 16 June  Remember to contact Margaret in good time so that travel arrangements can be finalised.

Canal Cruise - Thursday 5 July  The cruise along the canal from Marple aboard the narrow boat New Horizons is now becoming well established. As before, you should contact John in advance.  Cost: £10 per head. 

Coach to the National Memorial Arboretum - Saturday 14 July  Here we shall see 300 memorials which recognise over 15,000 per-sonnel who have died in conflicts and other events since 1945 – all set in the woodland setting of an arboretum.  There is a picnic area as well as a cafe and restaurant for snacks or a full menu.  You might like to listen to a talk, visit the Memorial Museum, or look at the Landscapes of Life Exhibition. As this is all set in a large area, we are going to make use of the land-train, which will take us on a tour of the principal mem¬orials when we arrive, in order for us to get an idea of what there is to see.  For paid-up members of the club the cost of the train will be met from the Legacy Fund.  Friends are welcome to join us, but non-members will need to pay an extra £5 if they wish to join the club group.  Otherwise, people may go at any time at a cost of £6.   Please indicate your choice on the booking form.

Heatons Amble - Thursday 19 July  Janet’s annual tea party.  All welcome.

Hilbre and Caldy – Saturday 21 July  Names  to Margaret no later than 14 July.

Biddulph Grange Gardens – Saturday 1 September  Again, make sure you let Margaret know in good time if you wish to go  - and don't forget your NT card!

Peak Forest Canal

Photo: John Booth

Mid-Week Break in Scarborough - 

1 -5 October   We are returning to the east coast in the autumn.  There should be opportunities to use the local buses on the off-day for walks or sight-seeing, so don’t forget to take your bus pass!  Contact Margaret immediately for availability, but please note that only bookings for shared rooms can be considered.

Annual General Meeting

At the Annual General Meeting, held on 24 February, John Booth came to the end of his three-year spell as President, and was thanked for his contribution to club life.  Janet Day was elected to fill the role of President. Beryl Berrisford and Graham Elford had served the club well for three years on committee and had retired.  Ruby Cozens remained as Vice-President, and it was suggested that John should stay on committee, as his contribution to the website was greatly valued. The usual reports were received, as well as the accounts for the year.  Mr Ken Foden, a chartered accountant, had looked at the accounts and agreed them as a true record.  It was agreed that he should be asked to act as independent examiner for the forthcoming year.

Lowry Theatre

A group of club members has been visiting the Lowry Theatre and enjoying performances, including the comedy "Shirley Valentine", the superb production of "Cinderella" by the Royal Birmingham Ballet Company and Louise Redknapp starring in "Cabaret".  We try to choose afternoon weekday performances and as a group we receive a discount of approxi-mately 20% on the ticket prices.  After the performance, some of us retire to a nearby Italian Restaurant to finish off a very pleasant afternoon.  If you think you might like to join us for our next visit or if you just want more information, please ring John Booth on 0161 439 5464.


We are pleased to welcome two new members: David and Sheila Andrew.

In recent months, we have lost three stalwart members of the club.

 Gaye Huddart was a life member who had served the club as a leader, committee mem­ber, and president.  Her enthusiasm for life seemed to  be unbounded as she fitted in tennis and dancing with hostel weekends and long walks, and steep ascents which most of us balked at.  Her participation in the epic Lyke Wake Walk will stay long in the memory of those who took part.  It seemed particularly sad that her life was cut short at such a relatively early age.  


Iris Moore was our longest-standing and oldest member, having joined the club in 1951.  When she wanted shorter walks, it was she who started and led the Wednesday easy rambles. They turned into strolls and latterly outings to take advantage of free bus passes.  Until very recently she was to be seen pushing her shopping trolley around Chorlton.  She had a good innings and was made of true CHA stuff.


Larry Snowden.  We were saddened to hear of the death of Larry Snowdon who was a member of the club for over 20 years and is remembered for leading some very good walks.  For a short time he served as independent examiner when he was of great assistance to Valerie.  We send our condolences to Doris; we have missed her since she moved to Higher Poynton and we hope that we shall see more of her soon. 

 Autumn 2017

Editor: Winifred L Jones

Summer 2017

As always, we had some good outings during the summer, which was sadly not known for its brilliant weather.  However, the trip on the canal went well on a lovely warm day.  Higger Tor in sunshine and among the purple heather was good – nothing like last year when the wind blew and the heavens opened.  And the rain kept off in Southport, where the sun came out at the end of the afternoon as we were enjoying our fish and chips. One of the wettest mornings saw us struggling along the motorway to Speke Hall, but the rest of the day went well with good views across the Mersey.

John and Graham led seven rambles in total during the Greater Manchester Walking Festival in May.  A few people joined us on each occasion, and we enjoyed their company.  Most of them belonged to other groups, but it was an opportunity to make ourselves known.  Our walk on 17 February will be part of another Greater Manchester Walking Festival week.

Our 'food' events were well received – tea at Wilmslow Garden Centre, tea at Janet's, lunch on the canal trip and also at the Miner's Arms, not to mention at least two visits to tea-rooms for the Saturday walkers.  There was also the trip to Jenny's for lunch which was organised by Sybil and Janet in their new initiative to get people together to eat and chat.  You will see in the new programme 'Food and a Potter' in February, March and April, and we hope you will all take advantage of this chance to get together more often.

Not to be forgotten was a wonderful sail on Wroxham Broad during our visit to Great Yarmouth in May.


Winter Programme

Graham, Margaret and Bob have done wonders in producing such an interesting programme, despite the fact that some of our leaders have had to drop out.  We are indeed grateful to those who are still willing to give of their time to plan and pioneer routes for us.  Many of the walks are easier than we have done in the past, but we can still look forward to going to Lad's Leap, and Windgather and, after a break of some years, on to Brown Knoll, where the route has been repaired with flags.  We return to old haunts – Lyme Handley, North Rode, Longdendale, Lymm Dam and Warburton; and look forward to visiting the National Trust estates of Dunham and Lyme for two shortish walks during the Christmas Season.  In the winter months we shall make use of buses for the majority of our walks, as this works better when weather conditions are uncertain.

Thomas Arthur Leonard  

We are pleased to be able to welcome Dr Douglas Hope, who is going to speak on the life of the Rev Thomas Arthur Leonard, the founder of the Co-operative Holidays Association and the Holiday Fellowship.  Douglas was awarded a PhD for his research into the activities of the CHA and HF and has written a book about the life and times of T A Leonard.  He has been heard on radio and seen on television talking about T A Leonard’s contribution to the outdoor movement.  I am sure all of us who remember fondly CHA and HF holidays will find Douglas's talk very interesting.  The meeting will take place at 2.30pm on Thursday 23 November in St Werburgh's Church, Wilbraham Road, Chorlton.  Our sister CHA and HF Clubs from around the city have been invited to attend, so with luck you might meet up with old friends for a cup of tea and a natter after Douglas's talk.  There is a bus stop outside the church and the Metro is not far away. Cars should park in St Werburgh's Road outside the parish hall where we used to hold our Christmas parties. (For satnav, use M21 0TJ).  The cost will be £2 payable on the door and we shall serve tea and biscuits.

Lymm Dam - 18 November   Please note the meeting point for Graham's ramble.  Altrincham Interchange is no longer a suitable place for cars to wait, but Navigation Road Metro has a good free car park. 

Bruntwood Pre-Christmas Lunch – 14 December   Let's make this special, as this year we are not having our usual Christmas party.  If you can, please join us for an easy stroll through the park before the meal at 12.30.  Booking starts 6 November – final date for names 7 December.  Make sure to show your choice of menu on the booking slip.  Please note cheques should be made payable to Sybil Gawkrodger. 

A Winter Warmer – 7 January  Festive refreshments at Janet's – not to be missed, whether you join the ramble or not. 

Bramhall Hall – 18 January  What about a really short walk - and light lunch available as well. 

New Year Lunch – 25 January  As we go to press we have not been able to fix a venue for our annual lunch.  If you have not received any details by the booking date of 22 November, it would be helpful if you would let us know that you are interested by sending in the booking slip together with an sae and the deposit. We shall let you know as soon as possible what has been arranged. 

Pennington Flash – 27 January  Beryl is hoping for some wintering birds, so don't forget your binoculars. 

Annual General Meeting – 24 February  Please support us again for this important date in the club calendar. If you wish to stay for lunch afterwards, do make sure to send in your booking slip before 17 February.  

Cowslips in the Peak – 14 April  Margaret has an encyclopaedic knowledge of places to find flowers in Derbyshire.  She hopes that the spring flowers will be starting in the White Peak so, as always, we can expect an interesting walk. Let's hope for a fine day.  


Mid-Week Break -  Monday/Friday 30 April / 4 May  We have again arranged to join a National Holidays break as a private group. We are going to Brighton this time. This will be a new venue for us, and the hotel is on the seafront, has a lift to all floors, and is only a short walk to the town centre. We expect that we shall visit Eastbourne, Beachy Head, and Lewes and also take advantage of local buses in the South Downs and coastal areas where we hope to be able to walk along the chalk cliffs. Regular participants will be receiving information about booking and should reply by post to the Treasurer with two stamped addressed envelopes, as requested.  We would love to have your friends join us on this and other club events. If you are interested in joining us, but are not on the regular list, please contact the Secretary immediately.

Lowry Group

During the last eighteen months, a group of club members has been visiting the Lowry Theatre and enjoying performances which included a musical drama, an opera, a ballet, and a comedy.  We try to choose afternoon weekday performances, and as a group we receive a discount of approximately 20% on the ticket prices.  After the performance, some of us retire to a nearby Italian Restaurant to finish off a very pleasant afternoon.  If you think you might like to join us for our next visit or just want more information, please ring John Booth on 0161 439 5464.

Spring 2017

 Editor: Winifred L Jones

A rural location is not a prerequisite for celebrating activity in the great outdoors. Held throughout May – National Walking Month – this city-based festival comprises 300 diverse guided walks across all 10 dis­tricts of Greater Manchester. Walks are run by various rambling groups in the area; the aim is to promote the health and social benefits of walking, and it’s a great way for visitors to discover the city on foot. Walks are free and suited to a range of abilities (including some wheelchair-accessible routes). We are taking part, and Graham and John are leading seven of the guided walks. – see .   All our walks in May appear on the festival website and will be open to members of the public.  It is hoped that as many of us as possible will join in, including the Thursday dates.  It would be good to be able to introduce some new members.

Numbers on many rambles have been low, and it is now important that leaders plan routes carefully if they are depending on cars. There have been occasions when the regular drivers have not been available or there have been doubts about numbers of passenger seats. For this reason leaders should, if possible, ascertain in advance the avail­ability of drivers where cars are  required to take members to the start of a walk.  Apart from 1st July and 19th August, there are nine other occasions this summer when cars are needed to take the party to the start of the walk. Maybe we need to consider going back to the old convention that more of our rambles should start at a bus stop or station.  Again, may we remind you that, where buses are used, it would be helpful if leaders were aware of the most appropriate ticket or route for any mem­bers who do not have passes.

A 'mythological creature' seen at Timbersbrook

Photo John Booth

Another summer, another programme ...

 Despite some of our leaders suffering from various difficulties caused by wear and tear, we are again able to provide leaders for almost every ramble in the programme.  You will see that sometimes we are going to have what we have entitled 'bus walks'.  This means that members will meet at a given bus stop, and a decision will be made on the day as to where and how far the ramble will go, depending on the wishes and strengths of the party.  As these events will appear in the official pro­gramme, provided that at least three people take part, they will be covered by the club's public liability insurance.

 We shall be returning to old haunts such as Ashurst Beacon, Higger Tor, Jumbles and Turton Tower, Mellor Moor, the Sandstone Trail, and Chatsworth, not to mention our own local parks and trails.  Although some people aren't up to walking far, Ruby is again happy to organise an outing on the first Wednesday of the month.  Give her a ring.  Maybe you will find yourself enjoying a trip on a bus or some retail therapy by the seaside.


Afternoon Tea – Thursday 8 June  As the tea at Wilmslow Garden Centre last summer was much enjoyed, we are going there again.  The cost to members will be £7.00 and any­thing extra will be subsidised by the club. The garden centre is at SK9 2JN on Manchester Road (the old A34) south of Handforth.  Trains are about every half hour to Handforth, and the 130 bus runs every hour from Manchester Piccadilly Gardens via East Didsbury. It is just over half a mile from Station Road, Handforth to walk to the garden centre.


Canal Cruise - Thursday 6 July Once again we are cruising along the Macclesfield Canal aboard the very comfortable narrow boat New Horizons. Leaving Marple Wharf at 10.30 am, we will travel along this beautiful canal, stop­ping for lunch before returning late afternoon.  As before, you should contact John - by 5 June.  The cost will be £10 per head.


Coach to Southport - Saturday 15 July  This year the committee thought members would enjoy a trip to Southport – sand, sea, and shops. As usual, we shall arrange a walk to give us the opportunity to see a bit of the area. We shall again have to subsidise this event as it runs at a loss, but perhaps you have friends who might like to join us - the more the merrier - and less cost to the club.


Heaton Mersey Surrounds - Thursday 20 July  Janet’s tea party is becoming a bit of an institution and doesn't depend on your joining the ramble.


Middlewood Way – Thursday 17 August  More food - with Tony and Grace at the Miner's Arms


Mersey Way / Speke Hall – 19 August  Margaret is taking us west to Liverpool for a visit to Speke Hall and a walk along the Mersey Way, which should be interesting.


Higger Tor - Saturday 26 August 

Last year our visit to the Tor was a bit of a washout and we didn't even tackle the Tor because of the weather. Let's hope for a fine day this time. Tea and cake at the Visitor Centre is worth the trip.

DVH Way - Saturday 2 September What's this? It stands for the Derwent Valley Heritage Way and Margaret is going to take us there.


Mid-Week Break in Torquay - 2 - 6 October   We are returning to Babbacombe and to the hotel which gives guests complimentary vouchers for free drinks – alcohol, soft drinks, or tea/coffee. Last time, we went by coach to Dartmouth, and Margaret arranged a sail on the river.  This time, our package includes a ride on a steam train to Dartmouth as well as a sail, so we shall be well catered for.  There should be opportunities to use the local buses on the off-day for walks or sight-seeing, so don’t forget to take your bus pass!  Contact Margaret immediately for availability, but please note that only bookings for shared rooms can be considered.


Lowry Theatre

Following a very successful visit to see the Royal Birmingham Ballet Company’s perform­ance of Cinderella at the Lowry Theatre recently, we are now planning to go to see “Shirley Valentine” on Wednesday 21 June at 2pm.

Willy Russell’s heart-warming comedy premiered in 1986 and took the world by storm. It was adapted into an Oscar-nominated film. Now, on its 30th anniversary, Jodie Prenger stars in the first major revival of this national treasure. Shirley is a Liverpool housewife. Her kids have left home and she makes chips and egg for her husband while talking to the wall. Where has her life disappeared to? Out of the blue, her best friend offers her a trip to Greece for 2 weeks and she secretly packs her bags. She heads for the sun and starts to see the world and herself very differently.

If you would like to join us, please ring John Booth on 0161 439 5464.

Autumn 2016

 Editor: Winifred L Jones

 Summer 2016 - our 95th Anniversary


This was the summer of the signposts. The summer programme listed four Saturday rambles which were to include some of our signposts. Not everything went to plan!  On 4 May, we had no official to whom to hand over our new signpost.  On 9 July the heavens opened!   However, on 23 July the party successfully got to Grindon. Finally on 17 September three people made it to the signpost below Whitley Nab where Norma’s secateurs did some sterling work in clearing the scrub which was obscuring the post.


John’s anniversary walk can only be described as a memorable drenching: the rain never stopped. However our afternoon tea at Wilmslow Garden Centre was much enjoyed, as were the cruise from Marple and another trip to Llandudno, this time in less windy weather than last year.  We also had an interesting walk at Dutton Locks to see the woodland where our anniversary tree has been planted.


There was lots of fine weather over the summer, so when we went to Higger Tor in August it was dis­appointing that the weather was so windy and the route had to be changed to avoid the tor.  On our return to Longshaw, heavy cloud came over but only one of the party had the sense to put on over­trousers. The rest of us were reminded of just how wet one gets when the water runs down one’s legs into one’s boots - which these days are pretty waterproof and the water can’t escape.  Ugh!


John’s group visits to the Lowry were well received and he is now planning more for the coming months.  Be sure to get in touch with him if you would like to know more.


Winter Programme 


Will you join us this autumn/winter?  You will see from the programme that we are still managing to provide a variety of walks and venues, as well as our social events. We range from Pennington Flash to Buxton and from Lymm to Mam Nick; from Crompton Moor to Rudyard.  We are going back to Three Shire Heads and to the Anderton Boat Lift, both of which bring back memories of visits in the past.  We do hope that as many of you as possible will join us.  If you have friends who would like to come, they will be very welcome.  Remember that the programme is published on the website: and any altera­tions to walks etc will appear there. Let us encourage you to look at all the pictures John has posted - most of us appear in one guise or another -  and the photos will bring back lots of memories.


Now for the new programme.  Here is information about some of the highlights.


Nostalgia Party - 10 November  Let’s make this a real trip down memory lane with lots of reminis­cences and happy tales of days past, so bring your old photos and memorabilia to share. Remember to send £2 with the booking slip which was attached to the spring newsletter.  Past members are very welcome.


Pennington Flash - 19 November  Beryl is taking us to one of her favourite haunts and she is looking forward to using the new guided busway.


Bruntwood Pre-Christmas Lunch – 1 December  Booking starts 7 November – final date for names 19 November.  Make sure to show your choice of menu on the booking slip.  Please note cheques should be made payable to Sybil Gawkrodger.


Christmas Party - 10 December at 2.30 pm - at St Nicholas’ Church, Burnage.  We shall again be meeting at St Nicholas’ Church for our party. John and Janet Booth will return as our hosts and plan to give us another good party. Tickets available from Ruby - see note 1 November. 


New Year Lunch – 19 January  As we go to press we have not been able to fix a venue for our annual lunch, as the pub we used last year has been sold. Please send an sae to the Secretary for details, which we shall let you have as soon as we can, but be aware that we may have to change the date. In any event, please use the booking slip below.


Talk and Walk - 26 January  … and eat!  Mince pies and coffee at Janet’s.  Walking is optional, so put the date in your diary.


Rudyard Reservoir - 28 January  Graham is making a welcome return to Staffordshire for this relatively short walk.


Bridestones - 11 February  On another trip to Staffordshire John’s walk will pass the Neolithic chambered long barrow known as the Bridestones.


Annual General Meeting – 25 February  Please support us again for this important date in the club calendar. If you wish to stay for lunch afterwards, do make sure to send in your booking slip before 18 February


Three Shire Heads - 11 March  We look forward to another visit to a favourite venue.  By taking cars to the Old Quarry Car Park, the distance will be shorter than sometimes in the past.


Anderton Boat Lift - 25 March  Margaret is revisiting the boat lift which played such an important part in the history of the River Weaver and the Trent and Mersey Canal. 


Lymm Dam - 1 April  Winifred is doing this walk in the reverse direction from normal.  She will take the bus to Lymm and then return to Dunham.  Anyone wishing to walk round the dam only, may catch the bus back from Lymm.


Dove Holes to Buxton - 8 April  Gillian continues her return to form with a moderate linear walk.


Bolton Lakes - 22 April  Audrey is taking us to one of Betty’s happy hunting grounds.


Mid-Week Break -  Monday/Friday 1/5 May We have again arranged to join a National Holidays break as a private group - this time a return to the Carlton Hotel, Great Yarmouth, which we visited in October 2014.  The hotel is on the seafront and has a lift to all floors.  It is only a short walk to the town centre. We expect that we may visit Cromer, Sheringham and the Broads, and local buses serve Lowestoft, Norwich and villages in the area. Regular participants have been informed, but please contact the Secretary immediately if you are interested in joining us.  We would love to have your friends join us on this and other club events.


Spring 2016

 Editor: Winifred L Jones 

Welcome to our 95th anniversary year!

 We have so much to celebrate, and to mark this milestone in the club’s history we are going to have afternoon tea together in May at Wilmslow Garden Centre and then in November we shall be having a Nostalgia Party to reminisce and share memories - don’t forget to send in your booking in October.  We have also had a tree planted - see 27 August.

 Over the years the club has paid for sign­posts, erected and maintained by the Peak and Northern Footpaths Society.   So to mark our anniversary we shall be handing over our ninth signpost on Mellor Golf Course on 4 May - be sure to be there if you are able.

 The first post was handed over in 1950 at the top of Sweet Hill, on the ridge just south of Bowstones, where it marks the footpath down to Handleyfold.  On 2 April this year Margaret led a walk which took in this post and two others - one on Whaley Old Road below the Dipping Stone, and the third at Lumbshole Mill, near Kettleshulme.

Look out for walks in July and September when we shall visit more of the club’s posts.  We aim to visit them all during the year.  (There is a wonderful website at  -  lots of lovely photographs.) And that isn’t all; on 3 September John will be re-creating the club’s first walk from Flixton.

Lumbshole Mill, Photo Margaret Forster


The Summer Programme 

 Now that our mild but wet and muddy winter is past it is the time to look forward to summer.

We hope you enjoy the new programme, pro­vided for us by dedicated members, but not without more than a little effort on their part. 

 We are so grateful to everybody who gives of their time to support the club.  Just look at the names and you will see how much some of our leaders con­tribute.  However, we shall again have to have a mystery walk, in June, when partici­pants will have to decide for themselves where they wish to go.

 We realise that not everyone has a bus pass, so we suggest that where buses are being used for a walk people should consult the leader in advance about the best kind of ticket to purchase; eg a wayfarer ticket may be best value. 

 As usual, there is an excellent mix of rambles and events for you to enjoy, and some of these are highlighted below.  Please feel free to bring your friends with you on the coach trip.  We would also be happy to have friends join us on our 5-day breaks - just ask.

 Ninth Signpost - Wednesday 4 May  The walk starts at Marple Bridge, but if you would like a shorter route along a lane, you can take the 375 bus from Stockport Bus Station at 10.12 to the Devonshire Arms at Mellor.  Walk up Gibb Lane, following the signs to Linnet Clough Camp, on the way passing Tarden Farm and the Golf Club House.  Where the lane turns sharp right to Linnet Clough, turn left along the Cown Edge Way and you will come to the new signpost. For access by car from Mellor, turn right up Gibb Lane from the Devonshire Arms as above.  Parking is pos­sible where the lane turns right to Linnet Clough, then follow the Cown Edge Way.

 Coronation Meadow - Saturday 25 June  This field at Chadkirk was planted to mark the 60th anniversary of the coronation, and we are hoping for a fine day and a beauti­ful display of meadow flowers.

 Coastal Visit - Saturday 2 July.  Don’t forget to let Margaret know by 27 June if you intend to take part.

 Canal Cruise - Thursday 7 July All-day cruise on New Horizons.  John has again taken on responsibility for this popular event which this year will be for the whole day.  As before, you should contact him for details - by 6 June.  This is not only for people with mobility problems, who will naturally be given priority, but anyone is welcome to join.

 Dam Dale Signpost Walk - Saturday 9 July Another event to mark our anniversary.

 Coach to Llandudno - Saturday 16 July  Last year’s trip to Llandudno was such a success that the committee has decided that a return visit would be in order.  Let’s hope for repeat good weather with perhaps just a little less wind for the ascent of the Great Orme, which is the highlight of a visit to Llandudno, whether you use shanks’s pony, the railway, or the cable car.  There is even an infrequent bus service to the top. We do hope you will support this event, which has been put on for your enjoyment, despite the fact that it runs at a loss.  Bring your friends - we shall be glad to welcome them.

 Heatons Amble - Thursday 21July  Janet’s tea party - just the thing if walking is not for you.

 Signpost Walk - Saturday 23 July Another opportunity to mark the work of the Peak and Northern Footpaths Society.

 Higger Tor - Saturday 20 August The heather will be out, and we hope for lots of sunshine.  Can you smell the scent?

 Dutton Park Woodland Trust - Saturday 27 August  We will visit the woodland where a rowan tree has been dedicated for our 95th anniversary.  We shall park quite close to the wood, in an ideal spot for anyone wishing to have an easy stroll by the river and the locks.

 The Club’s First Walk - Saturday 3 September  We should like as many of you as possible to join John on this commemora­tive walk - see John for details.

 Another Signpost Walk - Saturday 17 September Margaret is leading us yet again, to revisit and remember our past.

 Mid-Week Break in Bournemouth -

3 - 7 October   We are returning to the Bournemouth area and look forward to visiting the New Forest and the south coast.  As usual, don’t forget to take your bus pass! Anyone who has not booked but would be interested in joining the group should contact the Secretary immediately.



Autumn 2015

Editor: Winifred L Jones

Summer 2015

 Although 2015 will not go down as a brilliant summer, and farmers and growers had a difficult year, our  experience of the weather was generally very good, although few of us suffered from sunburn. The sun came out for Margaret at the Point of Air, and the coach trip to Llandudno was very successful, again in sunshine but the wind was so strong that the walk over the top of the Great Orme was abandoned for a quick return to the shelter of the bay - and fish and chips.

 John led a longer walk along the Tame Valley in June, with an interesting detour for lunch at the new Dogs Trust rescue centre.

 The disruption caused by the trams not running through St Peter’s Square necessitated some special arrangements for transport in August, but the most irritating difficulties were caused by the closure of the tunnel at Lostock. The train journey to Whalley took almost twice as long as before and cost our newest recruit £11.00, as the train went the long way round.

 In recent months John has worked hard, and has succeeded in having three articles pub­lished in the Sale & Altrincham Messenger, namely Graham’s ramble into Lyme Park, Janet’s walk to Lymm, and Winifred’s route along the Transpennine Trail to Sale. Use the red arrows to find the e-editions for 26 March, 3 July, and 24 September at

 Legacy Fund

 Those of you who were at the AGM in February will remember that our Indepen­dent Examiner sugges­ted that we should consider spending some of the money

we had accumulated, and the committee has decided that some of the events in this programme should be subsidised by a small amount.  Over the years the Legacy Fund has met the cost of the deficit on some items, such as the coach trip to Llandudno in July, and it has been decided that this winter other events will be subsidised by this fund.

 Winter Programme 

 Once again we can offer you a full programme of walks. There are quite a number of linear routes which allow us to take full advantage of bus passes or day tickets on buses. We are using the trams more than before, but do be aware that Metro services are some­times disrupted, so it is advisable to listen to Radio Manchester or to check on the Transport for Greater Manchester website for up-to-the minute information.  If in doubt, contact the leader in advance. One day, we shall all be publishing our mobile numbers!

 We welcome those who feel able to join for only the first part of a ramble.  Again, we suggest you con­tact the leader to see if there is con­venient trans­port near the route which you could use to get home.

 Bruntwood Pre-Christmas Lunch – 26 November  Booking starts 9 November – final date for names 15 November.  Make sure to show your choice of menu on the booking slip.  Please note cheques should be made payable to Sybil Gawkrodger.

 One Man and a Dog – 5 November John has been off on his travels again and we look forward to hearing of his adventures on the Coast-to-Coast Walk.  Do please come to support him.

 Christmas Party – 12 December at 2.30 pm - at St Nicholas’ Church, Burnage.  We have decided to leave St Werburgh’s Hall, mainly because we could not depend on it being warm enough.  This time John and Janet Booth will be our hosts and they are determined that we should have a good time. Tickets available now from Ruby - see note 3 November.  This event is being subsidised.

 Winter Warmer - 17 December  Janet is getting a reputation for her hospitality and no-one could refuse mince pies and coffee.  Let’s make it a date.

 New Year Lunch – 21 January The Dog and Partridge, Didsbury Road, Heaton Mersey proved to be an excellent venue last year so we are making a return visit. Access is excellent - there is a car park; buses 23, 42, 84, 179, 370 stop outside; Parrs Wood bus stops are not far away; and East Didsbury Metro Station and Parrs Wood Railway Station are only a short walk away. Meals will have to be ordered in advance so please send the booking slip and £7 to the Treasurer, together with sae, so that you can receive details of the menu.

 Annual General Meeting – 27 February  Please support us again for this important date in the club calendar. If you wish to stay for lunch afterwards, do make sure to send in your booking slip before 12 February

 Tree-Planting in memory of Betty - 13 March - contact the Secretary nearer the time for more details.

 Signposts Revisit - 2 April  Margaret is going to ‘walk our signposts’ - all the posts which the club has sponsored over its 95-year history.  Come and visit all the old haunts and reminisce about days and people past.

 Spring Mid-Week Break - 18 to 22 April We have again arranged to join a National Holidays break as a private group - this time a return to Weston-super-Mare, which we visited in 2013.  The hotel is on the seafront, a short walk from the Grand Pier and the town centre.  It is a small hotel with a lift to all floors and we expect that we shall visit Bath and Cheddar.  All the regular participants have been informed, but please contact the Secretary immediately if you are interested in joining us.

 Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of Manchester CHA Club will be held on Saturday 27 February 2016 at 10.30 am in St Nicholas’ Church Hall, Kingsway, Burnage.  The purpose of the meeting is to receive reports, and to elect officials and committee members.

We are greatly indebted to our officials and committee members. Nominations and any items for the agenda must be sent to the Secretary not later than 31 January.



  Spring 2015


Editor: Winifred L Jones

Full of the joys of spring!

After a mild winter followed by a prolonged cold and windy March, ramblers have been enjoying the full effects of spring, with flowers bursting out all over, birds singing, and some lovely sunshine.  (Don’t mention the mud.)  Recently some of the Saturday walkers saw a number of toads on their way to spawn at a pond near Dutton Locks on the Weaver Navigation.  The poor fat pregnant females were suffering the indignity of having to carry their partners on their backs as they lumbered along the track.  It was a wonder more of them had not been squashed.


The Editor has heard some accounts of events during the winter, but she had to content herself with the odd stroll around Chorlton Water Park, which proved to be a very good ground for strengthening post-operative muscles.  There were also the Saturdays when she even longed to be out in the rain, as absence does make the heart grow fonder.  However, those days are past and she has now re-joined her friends on short walks on easy terrain.  She thanks the NHS for repairing the damage to which CHA contributed, and gives especial thanks to all her CHA friends for their support and friendship.


It was good to be able to join members at the renowned lunch at Bruntwood and then again for the New Year lunch at the Dog and Partridge in East Didsbury.  This new venue proved to be very satisfactory and attrac­ted nearly 40 members.  The Christ­mas Party was again most ably hosted by Janet Day and Bob Booth, but it was a matter of great regret that St Werburgh’s had not responded to a request to provide a suitable level of heat.  We apologise to all who were affected.


We again offered three talks on Thursday afternoons at St Nicholas’ Burnage, but it was disappointing that so few people came.  You missed a most interesting account of John Booth’s cycle ride across England - on a 1950s bike, which stood the test, as of course did John.


Now for a look at the Summer Programme 


Trams and buses have featured even more than ever in our programmes and there is no difference in the current one.  As most of you know, there has been regular disruption of the tram services at weekends, so will leaders and mem­bers please keep themselves up to date on planned alterations to the timetables.  Always make sure you have your pass with you, esp­ecially if you think you may have to shorten a walk.


On the other hand, when we are using cars, there is some­times doubt about whether we shall have enough seats, as numbers of cars have not always matched the numbers of participants.  We would ask leaders to try to make sure in advance that there will be enough cars.


Middlewood Way                                              

Photo John Booth


In  the winter, Gillian gave us a dawdle, and now she is giving us a toddle, but our leaders are generally contenting themselves with naming the objective of the walk.  We have a number of dales, valleys, and edges, as well as a bottom - all good words for topographical features.


Cressbrook Dale  - Saturday 30 May  Join Margaret for her annual visit to see the flowers of the Dales.


Tame Valley / Dog’s Trust - Saturday 27 June  John’s walk is longer than we some­times have, so contact him for details of the walk and the very interesting visit to the Dog’s Trust


Point of Air - Saturday 4 July  The weather let us down last year, so Margaret is giving us another opportunity to visit this part of the country where she hopes to find interesting plants in the dunes and to see birds on the Dee Estuary.  Make sure to contact her in advance about travel arrangements.


Coach to Llandudno - Saturday 11 July  We are hoping for good weather for our annual coach outing and ramble at Llandudno.  There is pleasant easy walking on the front and an opportunity to go up the Great Orme and, of course, there are plenty of tea shops asking to be visited.  Those who wish to do a longer walk will be led by Margaret, probably from outside the town and along the West Shore to the bay. We hope you will support this event for which we shall be willing to accept book­ings from friends if space allows.


Heatons Wander - 16 July  Tea at Janet’s -  make a note.  The scones are lovely!


Canal Cruise - Thursday 23 July  John has arranged another trip on the narrow boat 'New Horizons', owned by the Stockport Canal Boat Trust.  Preference will be given to anyone who has not been before, bearing in mind that the boat is designed especially for people with mobility problems. Despite last year’s glorious weather, warm clothes would be advisable for those who wish to stay outside - just in case.  The party will meet at 1.00 pm, again at Marple Wharf, Church Street (off Church Lane), Marple, SK6 6BW. During the cruise, coffee, tea and biscuits will be available. Numbers are limited to 12 and those wishing to take part or seeking more information should contact John immediately by telephoning 0161 439 5464. Please pay John £5 on the day.


Mid-Week Break in Scarborough -

26 - 30 September   We are returning to  Scarborough after a 10-year break. The hotel is situated a short walk from the town centre and is close to the promenade and south beach.  Coach outings will be to Whitby and the ‘Heartbeat’ country and, as usual, we hope to use local buses on the free day so don’t forget your bus pass.  Anyone who has not booked but would be interested in joining the group should contact the Secretary immediately.

Graham leading a walk towards Bowstones                                                    Photo John Booth

Autumn 2014

Editor: Winifred 

Summer 2014

As the Editor sits at her computer to start this newsletter, the sky is blue, the sun is shining, and the weather is still warm, just as it has been for many days this summer, particularly when summer continued for the whole of September.  There were however those very chilly days in August, and so much rain on two memorable Saturdays that the walk couldn't be completed as planned.  Instead of travelling all the way to the Point of Air, the party went by car to Sudbury where there is a wonderful collection showing children's toys down the ages.  The trip to Hebden Bridge was also abandoned for a walk around Hollingworth Lake where there was however plenty to see, as a gala of rowing clubs from all over England was taking place.

 The name Pendle has become almost synonymous with rain, and Margaret's Pendle Way ramble was put in jeopardy because the only route was by way of stepping stones across a swollen river.  The swirling water caused great apprehension, par­ticularly for one of the party, but a knight in shining armour came to the rescue and everyone crossed in safety.  The knight's great hound had to wait until last before he was allowed to cross, but the water held no fears for him and he leapt in and bounded his way to the other side, no doubt enjoying the reaction he caused.


Pendle Water, Photo: John Booth


 The trip to Harrogate and Harlow Carr proved to be another successful day out.  The sun shone, Betty's tea and cakes were delicious, if somewhat expen­sive, and there was lots to see in the beautiful gardens, even if viewed only from a seat in the sunshine.

 It was yet another warm and sunny day for the small band who spent the afternoon on the Peak Forest Canal on New Horizons which belongs to the Stockport Canal Boat Trust. They were regaled with biscuits and cake to complete the outing.  Janet, too, set a high standard with her tea and scones when the walkers and others joined her in her garden in June.  Look out for the repeat performance!

  All in all, it was a good summer for those who were able to take part in the various events.  However we have to send our best wishes for good health and much rambling in future to quite a few of our members who had to stay at home for various reasons. And we offer our grateful thanks to the leaders who took over for our poorly members.

 Winter Programme 

 Despite having fewer leaders for the winter rambles, we can offer you another full programme.  There are lots of opportunities to use bus passes, as well as to take advantage of the tram.  Please note that tram services are often disrupted on Saturdays, so make sure you check beforehand, or contact the leader if in doubt.

  There are quite a number of occasions where the use of a bus allows for a linear route.  If you think you might be able to join for only the first part of a ramble, contact the leader to see if there is a con­venient bus which you could use to get home.

 Bruntwood Pre-Christmas Lunch – 27 November  Booking starts 3 November – final date for names 17 November.  Make sure to show your choice of menu on the booking slip.  Please note cheques should be made payable to Sybil Gawkrodger.

 The Life of an Architectural Sculptor – 6 November Les Hall will give us the second part of his interesting story, this time about the restoration, after the blitz, of the cathedrals in Manchester and Liverpool.  We found his first talk so interesting that we are sure your friends would also enjoy listening to him, so do bring them along.

Christmas Party – 13 December at 2.30 pm The party will again be in the afternoon, and Janet and Bob will be organising dancing and games, with tea to follow. Tickets - see note 4 November.

 Cycling on the Transpennine Trail – 15 January  The year of the Tour de France saw John taking to his less up-to-date bike!  Come to St Nicholas' Church Hall to find out more.

 New Year Lunch – 22 January  At The Dog and Partridge, Didsbury Road, Heaton Mersey.   This is a fresh venue because we found that the current arrangements at Stockport College did not provide what we wanted.  The Dog and Partridge has been well recommended and several buses stop outside – nos 23, 42, 84, 179, 370.  It is only a few minutes' walk from East Didsbury Metro Station, Parrs Wood Railway Station and the Parrs Wood bus stops.  There is a reasonable choice of meals, but they will have to be ordered in advance. A deposit of £5 should be sent to the Treasurer with the booking slip, together with sae, so that you can receive details of the menu.

 Annual General Meeting – 28 February  Please support us again for this important date in the club calendar. If you wish to stay for lunch afterwards, do make sure to send in your booking slip before 14 February. 

 Mystery Talk – 5 March  Come along and find out about this unusual talk.

 Spring Mid-Week Break As we go to press, National Holidays have yet to finalise their hotel contracts for 2015.  When we have more informa­tion, we shall arrange a spring break and all our regular participants will be informed of the details.  More information should also be available at future club events. 

Magpie Mine, Sheldon. Photo John Booth

Spring 2014
Editor: Winifred

For the rain it raineth every day!

Hardly a flake of snow, little ice, just rain – but there were beautiful days as well. Janet, Audrey and John can testify to rain, whereas Robert, Gaye, Margaret, Beryl (and all of who attended the AGM) can testify to some beautiful weather during the last months – see the Rochdale Canal opposite. 

On a day in the autumn there was trouble with the trains from Victoria, which meant that two members caught a bus which took them to Greenfield on time, but another two got a bus which left about the same time as the train was due to leave and which got them to Stalybridge station just as the others were due to leave Greenfield station. Having no chance of catching up with the others, they made the best of the day with a wander in sunshine along the canal from Uppermill, a bus to Ashton, and a trip on the front seat of the tram into town. It is all water under the bridge now, but a lesson was learnt about the use of mobile phones. There was no signal under the hill at Greenfield station, so all attempts to alert the party proved to be futile. If you can, please check that you have a signal to receive incom­ing calls. Some­times moving only a few yards makes all the difference. So far as trams and trains are con­cerned, the internet is a good source of up-to-date information, but on that day the writer had omitted to check.                                      

Summer Programme
 Let's hope for some good weather for our summer outings. Perhaps we don't want blistering heat, but neither do we want endless rain. However, we know that we shall take what we get, as there is always something to enjoy or marvel at in the British countryside and its variable climate.
It never fails to amaze the editor that so many of you give so much to the club by way of pioneering and leading rambles, and this new programme lives up to all expectations. There are new routes, and new ways of describing the rambles – apart from strolls etc, we have a horizon and an exploration.
There are an increasing number of linear walks and there are at least ten rambles where transport is by bus – don't forget your pass. We are also making use of the tram but, before travelling, do check that the trams are running. Summer is a time for making use of our cars to travel farther afield and there are ten occa­sions in the pro­gramme this time. However we do not always have as many drivers as in the past, so leaders need to make sure beforehand, as best they can, that there will be enough seats on the day. Keep your phones switched on in case of difficulty!
We hope you will support our coach outing and we will be willing to accept bookings from friends if spaces allow.
Canal Cruise – Thursday 12 June    Last year's cruise was much enjoyed, so John has arranged another trip on the narrow boat 'New Horizons', owned by the Stockport Canal Boat Trust. The boat is specially designed for people with dis­abilities and is wheelchair-friendly. Warm clothes would be advisable for those who wish to stay outside. The party will meet at 1.00 pm, again at Marple Wharf, Church Street (off Church Lane), Marple, SK6 6BW. Departure is 1.30 pm prompt, returning at 4.30 pm. During the cruise coffee, tea and biscuits will be available. Numbers are limited to 12 and those wishing to take part or seeking more information should contact John immediately by telephoning 0161 439 5464. Priority will be given to the less able. Please pay £7 per person to John on the day. Some members might like to follow the towpath towards New Mills, but as there are no locks on this stretch of the canal it might be difficult to keep up with the boat. Much will depend on how fast she travels. 
Flowers of the White Peak – 28 June    Summertime wouldn't be the same without Margaret's 'flower' walk in the Dales. She knows just where to look for the different plant species – and as a result we learn too.
Coach and Garden, Harrogate – 12 July    Our annual coach trip is a return to Harrogate, when we shall not offer a ramble but members will have an opportunity to visit the RHS gardens at Harlow Carr. The question is maybe whether you are drawn to horticulture or to Bettys renowned cafés – or both. On the other hand, you might prefer to stay in Harrogate where there are lots of shops and cafés, the Valley Gardens and the Stray to keep you interested. After dropping people in Harrogate the coach will go on to Harlow Carr, which is a large garden with valley and wood­land walks, seats for contemplation, plant sales, and of course Bettys. If you choose to visit the gardens for a short time only, it would be possible afterwards to walk down into Harrogate (less than 2 miles). Another alternative, if you stay in the town, would be to make use of your pass on one of the frequent buses to either Ripon and its cathedral, or Knaresbrough where there is the Riverside Walk, Mother Shipton's Cave, and the gardens below the Castle. The cost of entry to Harlow Carr is £7.95. RHS members (plus one family member) enter free. Please indicate if you wish to go into the gardens, as we can get a group discount for ten which would bring the cost down to £6.90 but this must be booked in advance. If there is enough support we shall need payment in advance, and this will require an extra envelope if you are interested.
Point of Air – 19 July    This trip to North Wales should provide opportunities to find interesting plants in the dunes and to see birds on the Dee Estuary.
Sandstone Trail – 26 July    It is more than likely that Winifred will have to delegate leadership of this walk, but please contact her if you wish to take part as it may be more economical to share petrol costs. The walk will start from the station as advertised.
Piethorne Valley – 16 August    Graham has suggested the tram as an alternative way to get to Rochdale, but be aware that the tram will take longer than the train.
Pendle Way – 30 August   After the triumph of her conquest of Pendle Hill, Margaret is returning to the area and as usual needs you to let her know in advance if you intend to join her.
Mid-Week Break in Great Yarmouth – 29 September – 3 October   We return to Great Yarmouth but to a different hotel which is centrally situated on the promenade and suitable for all. There will be two coach outings which will include at least one ramble each day. Anyone who has not booked but would be interested in joining the group should contact the Secretary immediately.
Dates for your Diary

The Christmas Party will be on the afternoon of Saturday 13 December, at St Werburgh's.  
Make a note, too, of 6 November for the first afternoon talk at St Nicholas'. 
Details for both will be given in the next programme.

It was a beautiful day for the visit to the Anderton Boat Lift.
 Photo John Booth
Autumn 2013

Editor: Winifred

Summer 2013

Lichfield Coach Trip It was a glorious, if not almost too hot, day for the trip to this famous cathedral city. The journey took about an hour longer than planned because of the traffic build-up as a result of a serious accident on the nearby M6. The relief of all was huge when Margaret managed to find a Garden Centre which kindly allowed us to use their facilities. The walkers had a lovely walk and to their delight they saw a badger – a first for some. The sightseers and shoppers spent their time very profitably.

Pendle Hill Success! The summit was reached on 27 July in fine weather.

Yet another dog! This was one of those whom we couldn't bring ourselves to love – and even less the dog's owner. Janet's party were minding their own business climbing over a stile in Derbyshire when a barking dog rushed out from the property beside the path and launched itself at our secretary, leav­ing her with a severely bruised backside and the whole party very shaken up. The owner of the dog was immune to criticism and claimed no respon­sibility for the incident, which happened on a public right of way. A report was of course sub­mitted to the police in Buxton and latterly to the police in Stockport. It was a serious incident, and we have learned that the owner has been warned that any repetition would result in the dog being put down.

The Chestnut Centre and a pony Gillian repeated her walk from Whaley Bridge to Chapel-en-le-Frith on a lovely day in September – much to be preferred to the very wet day she had had in November. The walk went past the Chestnut Centre and followed field paths back to Chapel. Much to the consternation of some of the walkers, they met a skittish pony, a situation which called on the strong to be strong in order to protect the scared, who were able to prove that they could do it!

Winter Programme

Once again, we have a wonderfully full programme for the coming months, and you will notice that we are taking advantage of bus travel which is so much more economical for those with passes. We are also making use of the new tram line to East Didsbury. Thanks to all concerned for all the planning which goes into creating the programme.

We are set to enjoy such alliterative outings as a Goyt Gallop, both a Didsbury and a Danebridge Dawdle, Dunham's Delights, a Tameside Trek, and, not to be outdone, two more Meanders – to the Mersey and to Marple. What more do you need – read on!

Bruntwood Pre-Christmas Lunch – 28 November Booking starts 4 November – final date for names 18 November.

Wild Things in Tanzania – 7 November
Our intrepid secretary has been to Africa and has a wonderful tale to tell.

Christmas Party – 14 December at 2.30 pm We are continuing with an afternoon party as this proved successful last year, despite the problems with heavy traffic. Once again, Janet and Bob will be organising dancing and games, with tea to follow.

Dunham's Delights – 28 December If you want a really short walk, you can break off after sharing the lunchtime cheer.

The Life of an Architectural Sculptor – 16 January Les Hall is going to divide his subject into two parts, the second being given next year. He will first of all talk about his father's involvement in the building of Stormont and then he will cover the restoration, after the blitz, of the cathedrals in Manchester and Liverpool. We are sure this would be of interest to your friends, so do bring them along.

New Year Lunch – 23 January At The Elevations Restaurant at Stockport College.

Annual General Meeting – 22 February Please support us again for this important date in the club calendar. If you wish to stay for lunch, please make sure you send in your booking slip before 15 February.

West Highland Way and Great Glen Way – 6 March
A date with John to hear about his 'Scottish Expedition'.

Anderton Boat Lift – 28 April Join Margaret for another visit to the Boat Lift, one of the region's engineering gems.

Spring Mid-Week Break at Sandown, Isle of Wight - Monday/Friday 28 April / 2 May
As we go to press, we do not have any more details, but Margaret will have more information when we see her at St Nicholas' Hall on 7 November.


A Big Thank-You to everyone for their get-well messages and visits after my accident. Your support was truly great and helped me to make such a speedy recovery. Audrey

Condolences to Gladys and Ruby on the recent deaths of their husbands.

Best Wishes to those who have celebrated special birthdays in recent months.

Good Health We wish better health to Barbara and Irene who unfortunately had to cancel their trip to Lichfield. We were delighted to have Irene and Philip with us on our recent 5-day break to Weston-super-Mare.

We were also honoured to have the Queen and Prince George with us too! They sat quietly in the window as we enjoyed our chat.


Traveller's Tale

 On returning from Weston, one of the party couldn't find the stop for the no 11 bus and was advised to take the no 19.  Unfortunately it wasn't going far enough for her, so she had to get off.  Sadly in doing so, she caught her leg on the step, and this resulted in a catalogue of events.  There was a bus with so much blood on the floor that it had to be recalled to the depot.  The paramedics insisted on taking her to Wythenshawe.  Stitches were called for and a large dressing applied.  Numerous checks and tests were carried out.  No, she couldn't go home alone.  Yes, she would.  Right, she needed an ambulance.  OK, but she could manage to cross the car park to her own door.  No, she couldn't, so the friendly paramedics took her in – as well as the milk.  It was now about nine o'clock! 

 To have the leg dressed, she should have gone to Heald Green – but couldn't get an appointment, so Wythenshawe again … the district nurse came a few days later … said she should have gone to Heald Green!  After all that, Joyce reports that she is fine!

Don't forget to bring your bus pass on every ramble.  You never know when you might need it.

Spring 2013

Editor: Winifred

Mud, mud, glorious mud …

It's a good job we
Middlewood Way
are tough, but the mud and flooded land did take its toll on our activities during the winter. There has been a real saga of floods and impassable paths, not to mention the snow. The result has been a catalogue of altered routes.
Some of our leaders and others also had problems with poor health which resulted in walks and events missed or altered. Thank you to all who stood in for the invalids.
But there were some wonder­fully sunny days, on some of which we almost enjoyed coping with the mud.
We also enjoyed our visit to the BBC at Media City. Thank you Tony for arranging this for us. Thank you too to all the leaders who celebrated birthdays and Christmas by regaling us with cake and sometimes something stronger.

Photo John Booth

Summer Programme

Once again, thanks to all who have undertaken to lead walks for the new programme. Circum­stances now dictate that the average length of our walks is shorter than in the past, but there are nonetheless some excellent walks and venues to look forward to.

Our coach trip in July is to Lichfield, we have a canal cruise in June, Thursday walks continue as usual, we have a third attempt on Pendle Hill, there is a trip to Wirral, and we have two lunches with Tony and Grace, another with Audrey, and an afternoon tea with John and Harvey. Chadkirk is popular and who knows what we may find in Jerusale
m? Winifred's three walks are based on rambles led in 1973, 1983, and 1993 by Arthur Hodkinson, Mary Marlow and Edith Ellis, respectively. And our walks in May should give us opportunities to enjoy the flowers of the Dales on the 25th and the bluebells at Alderley on the 30th.

Photo John Booth

Health Walk with Lunch – 16 May
Perhaps a contradiction in terms, but Tony is taking us to the Lyme Breeze Restaurant at Adlington Basin.

Chadkirk Amble – 23 May Another opportunity to have lunch, this time at the Railway, Rose Hill, Marple.

Canal Cruise – 20 June John has arranged a morning trip on the narrow boat 'New Horizons', owned by the Stockport Canal Boat Trust. The boat is specially designed for people with disabilities and is wheelchair-friendly, so those of our 'slower' members will be able to take advan­tage of a sail from Marple to High Lane in a centrally-heated cabin. Warm clothes would be advisable for those who wish to stay outside. The party will meet at 10.00 for 10.30 at Marple Wharf, Church Street, Marple, SK6 6BW for this 2-hour cruise, during which coffee will be available. Numbers are limited but those wishing to take part or seeking more information should contact John immediately. Priority will be given to the less able. Payment to John on the day. Some members might like to follow the towpath to High Lane, but as there are no locks on this stretch of the canal, it might be difficult to keep up with the boat. Much will depend on how fast the boat travels.

Cliviger – 6 July Beryl has again searched out something new for us. We look forward to joining her.

Coach Ramble to Lichfield – 13 July For those who wish, the moderate ramble will be along part of the Heart of England Way leading into the city, where there will be time for some sight-seeing, including the possibility of visiting the Saturday Market. For others there is the opportunity to take a circular route round several pools, parks and gardens, as well as passing the cathedral. We are looking for a volunteer to lead this easy stroll: a map and instructions will be provided.

Ride and View with Easy Stroll – 25 July Join Janet on the Transpeak Bus for a ride to Bakewell. Bus passes will come in useful for this day in the Peak District.

Possibly Pendle – 27 July Need we say more?

Mere Sands Wood – 3 August Burscough Bridge with Betty will provide another new area for us to explore.

Butterton Moor – 10 August Janet is taking us to a place which may be new to some as we haven't visited this area for some time.

Wirral Ways – 31 August Another opportunity to revisit Wirral. Please make sure that you let Margaret know by 24 August so that travel can be organised.

Limestone Way – 21 September The Way has been extended into South Derbyshire so join Margaret if you can for this new route.

Mid-Week Break in Weston-super-Mare – 31 September – 4 October This will be a new area for the club and should cater for all tastes. The pier has been newly restored and there is a good promenade to entice the strollers. We hope to visit both Wells and Bath, and there will be opportunities to walk part of the West Mendip Way as well as other routes around Bath. If you have had booking information but have not already booked but intend to join us, please contact the Treasurer (Valerie) as soon as possible. Booking form etc is available from the Secretary.

From the Romans to the Victorians – 24 October Robert is known for his interest in industrial archae­ology and history in general, so this should be a well-worthwhile event.
Dunham Massey Clockhouse

Photo John Booth

Angels Unawares

We were certainly visited by an angel in March when Audrey skidded into the Bridgewater Canal near Lymm. A passing stranger was on the spot at the right time and pulled her out. We owe him a huge debt of gratitude. Shortly afterwards, we met a second angel in the form of a kind lady who drove Audrey, Norma, and Margaret back to Lymm Dam where Margaret had parked her car and from where she was able to take Audrey straight home. Audrey had been kitted out in our spare clothes – a sweater from one, a light fleece from another, somebody else's cagoule and overtrousers, and some spare socks. Perhaps we shouldn't criticise those whose rucksacks seem to contain everything but the kitchen sink!

   Autumn 2012

Editor: Winifred

Memories of Summer Past

Jim – 14 April 2012

Today I fell in love; he was hard to resist. Young – big – strong and so handsome with a devastating smile.

He joined us as we came off Werneth Low - didn’t ask if he could, but we wouldn’t have refused him anyway. He knew the route as well as our leader, waited for us if we got behind, and at lunch-time some of us shared our food with him.

We reached a farm near Chisworth. Then he stopped, turned, leapt over a stile and was gone - taking my heart with him.

I phoned Jim’s Dad later (the phone number was on his collar) and he’d arrived home safely!


Another dog – another day

He was all tan-coloured, floppy legs, huge feet and a wagging tail – five months old and big with it, of a breed which we did not recognise. We met him on a Saturday in May - a small band enjoying a day out with Harvey. We greeted him cordially and after duly exchanging puppy expressions of delight we went on our way … but he decided to follow and, being extremely youthful and not at all trained, came up behind an elderly lady, got between her legs and floored her HARD on to her bad hip. The hip survived but the elbow, which had been clad in three layers of thick fleece, thin fleece, and shirt, was ripped of its skin. She survived and still loves dogs, but some of the owners need more training.

Pendle Hill

You mean that hill above Whalley which looks so inviting when the sun shines? Margaret had another attempt at the summit in August, but yet again the elements were against her. The rain started as we left the cars – and continued for the rest of the walk, making an attempt on the summit unnecessarily punishing.

Lunch was quite enjoyable during a brief respite from rain, but half of Beryl’s sandwich dis­appeared between a cleft in the boulders, and then shortly after that Betty almost disappeared into the bog and catapulted into Janet who then became marginally less wet than Betty, who was soaked. As we often say; our walks are always memorable.

The summer has seen us enjoying some lovely sunshine and not a little rain. We think of Three Shires Head and torrents of water coming under the bridge, and the big shower on the Sandstone Trail – and the mud. History was made when we walked along the Monsal Trail, over the viaducts and through six newly-opened tunnels to Bakewell Station. It turned out to be more hazardous than we expected due to the lack of care of some of the cyclists, who were having their own kind of fun by travelling as fast as they could past dozens of pedestrians.

Rusher Cutting Tunnel

Photo JB

We were back in Bakewell at the beginning of June for Alison’s wedding. We visited the wells dressing at Ashford-in-the-Water and then walked to the church in our rambling gear to take part in the lovely service.

John’s ascent of Shutlingsloe fell prey to the fact that some of us couldn’t attempt the mileage, but we had a lovely view of the Cheshire Matterhorn as we enjoyed a wonderful shorter route from Lamaload to Forest Chapel (for sunbathing) and then over Shining Tor and back to the cars.

September was a good month for weather and the views on Janet’s walk to Lad’s Leap were magni­ficent. Now that the equinoctial gales and attendant rain have past (we hope), we look forward to better weather and less mud for our winter walks.

Damsel in Distress

 On some days, the end of the walk is not the end of the day’s journey, as Valerie found recently when she discovered a puncture - after she had been left alone in the car park.  To add to her distress, she could not get a signal on her phone.  Will people please ensure that all cars are loaded and with their engines running before leaving the car park.  It can be very distressing to find oneself stranded – and Valerie’s experience is not a first for the club.

Winter Programme

Thank you to all those of you who have volunteered to lead for us. So many of you give so much time, not only to thinking about routes but also to pioneer­­­ing the walks beforehand.

The change to having speakers on Thursday afternoons has proved popular, and we look forward to your continued support in November, January and March.

Bruntwood Pre-Christmas Lunch –29 November
Booking starts 5 November – final date for names 19 November. Make sure to show your choice of menu on the booking slip.

Central Manchester in Victorian Times – 8 November This talk by Chris Makepiece is sure to be of great interest. We look forward to seeing you there.

Christmas Party – 15 December at 2.30 pm This year’s party will be in the afternoon, and we hope that the new time will appeal to more of you. Come and take part in dancing and games organised by Janet and Bob, and then enjoy tea organised by the Margarets and members of the committee. Tickets are available from Ruby.

Rostherne & Tatton – 22 December Cars may be parked in St John’s Road, SJ750782

Dunham Stroll – 27 December Our post-Christmas stroll led by Bob – with the usual festive cheer.

Transpennine Trail – 5 January Winifred is making another attempt on the trail after the sleet and snow of last year led to a change of route. She is repeating her invitation to cups of tea at the end of the walk.

The Cotswold Way – 10 January Hear more of the adventures of John and Harvey.

New Year Lunch – 7 February At The Gallery, Stockport College. There is limited parking for the disabled on the college site so others are requested to make their way by bus. Take the 192 eastbound to the stop after the Town Hall: walk forward to the pedestrian crossing: cross the road and turn left towards where Margaret will be waiting to take you to the restaurant. The cost of £9 should be sent to the Treasurer with the booking slip. Numbers are limited so book in good time.

Annual General Meeting – 23 February We had a good turnout for the last AGM, so please support us again for this important date in the club calendar. If you wish to stay for lunch, please make sure you send in your booking slip before 16 February.

Victorian Theatre – 7 March Another date with Derek Slater, who is sure to give us an entertaining talk.

Peter Dale – 13 April Join Margaret for her annual spring-time trip to enjoy the flowers in the dales.

Tarporley Circular - 20 April Participants need to contact Gaye for details.

Mid-Week Break at Eastbourne – Monday/Friday 22/26 April Numbers are critical. Would you like to bring a friend for a return trip to the family-owned Palm Court Hotel where we enjoyed excellent food and com­fort­able accommodation? The hotel is near the pier and very convenient for local shops and buses. We shall have the opportunity to walk along the coast or on the South Downs, and the area is good for coach outings.

If it is your intention to book but have not yet done so, please let Peggy have your deposit imme­diately. If you wish to have details and infor­ma­­tion about booking, contact Margaret.

Please remember to carry your bus pass at all times.   You will see that there a number of linear walks planned when passes may be used. On other occasions, it can be very helpful to use the bus if the weather is bad or it becomes neces­sary to shorten the route.


Spring 2012

Editor: Winifred

Winter is past …

and – to misquote scripture - the voice of the great tit is heard in our land.

Hollingworthall Moor


We have memories of the snow on Hollingworthall Moor at the end of January.

Bridgewater Canal, Stretford


 And there was ice nearer home at Stretford on 4 February when the walk planned for the Transpennine Trail had to be modified to a sleaty stroll in the Mersey Valley in order to avoid the threatened snow. Fortunately the planned tea-party did take place but the journey home was marred by dangerously slushy roads.

Cage Hill

There were wet days of course, but few people take pictures of rain. We do, however, have a reminder of a lovely sunny day in January when the route followed the towpath of the Macclesfield Canal with views to the north of the Cage in Lyme Park.

Photos John

Our 90th Anniversary Sign, Norbury Hollow, Poynton

We rounded off our Ninetieth Anniversary Year with the dedication of a signpost at Norbury Hollow. More thantwenty members slithered their way across the muddy field for the handover of the signpost by Sybil and Tony to the Peak and Northern Footpaths Society reperesentative. We then proved our mettle by negotiating some very difficult stiles to enjoy wide views to the south and west above Poynton.

Photo Margaret

Members’ Forum after the AGM

After the formal business of the Annual General Meeting – see below – various matters of interest to club members were discussed. John reported on the contacts he had had through the website, one of which was from a man who was researching into the activities of CHA and HF and wished to interview people about their experience of CHA. John may be in touch with you to ask if you can help.

Following the success of the meetings on Thursday afternoons, Margaret asked if there would be support for a Christmas Party held in the afternoon rather than the evening, and this idea was well received by those present. Note the date: 15 December. Arrangements for the autumn break in Folkestone were also given. Margaret explained how difficult if was to find a venue which would meet the needs of all the members, both in terms of the hotel and of the rambles and outings. Please support her in her efforts.

Annual General Meeting

Our AGM at St Nicholas’ Church on 25 February was well attended and members enjoyed hearing reports on the past year’s activities and on the work of The Ramblers (the new name for the Ramblers’ Association).

It was explained that the basic running costs of the club in 2011 had been £800 but receipts from subscriptions had raised only £340. The overall deficit for the year had been reduced by profits made on various events, notably the 5-day breaks at Bournemouth and Shanklin. Any discount allowed by National Holidays could not be guaranteed as it was not refunded until after the entire booking had been paid in full. In the light of the above, the meeting unanimously agreed that, as from 1 January 2013, subscriptions would be raised as follows: ordinary membership £12, life members £6.

Sybil was elected President and John was elected to join Janet as Vice-President. The officers were all returned nem con. Beryl and John had retired from the committee and were thanked for their service. In their place Betty and Jean were elected to serve for three years.

We congratulated Vera on having achieved 40 years as a member of the club and bestowed life membership on her.

Winter Past

The season provided us with serious black ice, slush, sleat, great puddles and then sunshine - all at Worsley. The ramble to Hartshead Pike began in the beautifully appointed and warm waiting room on Stalybridge Station but the howling wind caused us to abort an attempt on the summit of the pike, and we sought rather the (less than salubrious) shelter of Mossley Station for lunch. Thanks Betty! The following Saturday found us again starting at Stalybridge but this time we climbed in sunshine into glorious soft snow and were happy to eat outdoors.

Despite the lack of snow at lower levels, we encountered serious frozen slush at Whaley Bridge and were glad to return unscathed to the cars at the end of our walk. There was a memor­able complete rainbow in Tatton Park, and glorious spring sunshine for our visit to Salford Quays. Britain at its best.

Our social programme has been much appreciated - at Fielden Park, Bruntwood, and the Dog & Partridge, not to mention Gorton Monastery and the refreshments provided on the Dunham Stroll after Christmas.

Thanks to all our leaders! However, be aware that one Thursday, one assistant leader took half the party on to the wrong bus. (She was only trying to be helpful.) Fortunately she realised her mistake and got her party safely back on the pavement before the bus set off.

Summer Programme

Our officials and leaders have again laboured and produced a programme for you. You will notice, however, that on 5 May and 27 October the party will have to appoint its own leader and decide on a route. We are hugely indebted to those of you who lead more than three walks each season.

More of our rambles now make use of buses rather than cars, so if you are eligible, don’t forget your bus pass. However, we do enjoy our trips into Derbyshire in the longer days, and for those we continue to take advantage of the kindness of our drivers.

Familiar names feature once again – Three Shires Head, Goyt Valley, Delamere, Dipping Stone, Mow Cop and Tintwhistle. And some we visit less frequently – Rivington, Helmshore, Alsop-en-le-Dale, and the Manifold Valley where we shall visit the signpost dedicated to Alice and Russell Prince. Our Thursday walks continue to offer a variety of destinations, with lunch at the Dog & Partridge and tea at The Bridge to round off the walk on a couple of the days.

We are pleased to see that John and Harvey have chosen to lead two walks which will be more strenuous than those to which we have become accustomed – to Shutlingsloe and Black Hill. If you are fit, please give them your support.

Monsal Trail – 12 May    The route will take us through some of the old railway tunnels which were opened for walkers last year.

Abbey Hey Donkey Sanctuary – 14 June   If you would like to join Sybil on this visit, please make sure you contact her in advance as numbers are limited.

Arnside and Fairy Steps – 16 June   Let’s hope for another sunny day by the coast.

Coach Ramble to Shrewsbury – 14 July   Shrewsbury is a picturesque and interesting old town built on a Saxon foundation. There will be an opportunity for an easy walk by the River Severn, and the longer walk, depending on the weather, will be to Stiperstones or Lyth Hill.

Crosby’s Iron Men – 21 July   One of the sights which must be seen on the Lancashire coast.

Romans to Victorians - 26 July   Put a note in your diary to join Robert on what promises to be a fascinating visit.

Pendle Hill – 25 August    Will Margaret get to the top this year?

Mid-Week Break in Folkestone – 1-5 October   We are looking forward to returning to the Channel Coast. If you have not booked and would like to join our group holiday, contact Margaret immediately.

Angels Unawares?

Sometimes, we are fortunate enough to have people unexpectedly join us on our rambles. We have been known to pick up strangers on the bus, and recently a member of another club came with us when he found himself at the wrong starting place for his club’s walk.

And then, at the end of April, we were joined on Werneth Low by Jim – a lovely, if somewhat wet and bedraggled collie. He was with us for an hour or so, joining us for lunch by the river at Botham’s Hall. We contacted his owner by phone but our anxiety was ill-founded as eventually he decided that enough was enough and that the next stile was too high to jump over, and so he took himself home. We wondered if Harvey would have approved.

Production of the Programme

Some of you may not know, but it is Margaret who is responsible for compiling the programme from the information which you send to Graham and/or Robert. She has to type out all the information and then negotiate with the printer for the printing, proof-reading, and production, and all this to a deadline. The programme which you have received today has caused her even more anxiety than usual as she couldn’t contact the printers who had changed their telephone number, and who did not reply to her emails. She eventually found another printer and the result is before you.

She has made a plea for all leaders to ensure that they give clear information about the times and starting points for their rambles. It is the duty of the leader to check train times and give details, making it clear whether the time given is the train time or the meeting time 15 minutes earlier. It would also be very helpful if grid references were used for all starting points which are not stations or bus stops, or such well-known points as Torkington Park. Even though these may not be used in the programme, they are needed for the website so that strangers can find us easily.

… But, Miss Editor, I don’t do grid references! …

If you are not sure, please ask for help. We think this is very important. We had an instance during the winter where the details in the programme were ambiguous and could have led to some people going to the wrong place. We do need to make the information we publish as user-friendly as possible. Some people are happy to use the phone but, speaking from personal experience, others might be happier to turn up at the meeting place and size us up before commit­ting themselves to joining!

Visit to the BBC

Tony is still hoping to arrange a visit to the BBC at Media City. If you were one of the group who had lunch outside the BBC on Beryl’s wonderful tour of the Quays, you will be even more interested to see what is inside the buildings. If you would like to take part in a visit, please give Tony your name and he will let you know when he has a date from the BBC. He is waiting for them to restart the visits after their move to the Quays.

      Autumn 2011

 Editor: Winifred

 90 Years on …

… and we have again had the pleasure of each other’s company in rain and shine, wind and mud, in what has been a summer of mixed weather, but with generally lots of dry sunny days for our walks, although sometimes we could see the rain sheeting down in the distance.  One of the notable excep­tions was on 6 August when the torrential rain resulted in the ascent of Pendle Hill having again to be aborted, this time in favour of a trip to the Fylde coast.  John led a walk on 7 May to mark the club’s first ramble 90 years ago.  It was disappointing that not many people were able to join him, despite some excellent publicity in the local press.  We shall gloss over the fact that two of our stalwarts didn’t make it, due to a misunderstanding about trains.


During the summer, the amblers enjoyed their annual trip to Blackpool, and the Saturday walkers visited the coast twice in July.  The sun shone for Gaye at Arnside, and, after a very wet start, Margaret was rewarded with sun for much of her walk at Formby.  Some persuaded themselves that they had seen a red squirrel right at the top of a very tall pine, but sadly the squirrel numbers were much reduced compared with previous visits.  The day finished with a visit to Crosby to see Antony Gormley’s Iron Men.


We all enjoy watching birds and other wildlife, and on Gillian’s Saturday walk in August we saw pigs, a pony and her foal, a bull, cows, and donkeys – and an ostrich busy rounding up some lambs.  It seemed to think it was a dog, and we kept well clear!


Our special 90th Anniversary Coach Outing in June took us to Settle in the morning when a number of us enjoyed a walk by the river.  Our next stop was to Leyburn and the Chocolate and Teapot factories.  Sadly, the rain came on as we arrived at Aysgarth but we were provided with an excellent tea at The Falls Café, and it was not so wet that those who wished were unable to visit the church or Aysgarth Falls. It made for a memorable day and a reminder of the many walks we had enjoyed in the past in Ribblesdale, Wensleydale and Wharfedale.


As we go to press, we have just returned from our excellent Anniversary Lunch and Reunion.  All the photo­graphs and mementos gave us lots to talk about and the slide presentations brought back many memories. Many thanks to all who con­tributed and especially to John for his use of up-to-the minute technology to give us a ‘picture show’ of club events both past and present.


To commemorate our 90th anniversary, we have agreed to donate a new signport to the Peak and Northern Foothpath Society.  This will be sited in Norbury Hollow, which is easily acces­sible from Hazel Grove, High Lane, or Poynton.  We hope it will be in place before 21 March 2012 - the end of our 90th year.




Winter Programme 


The preparation of the programme has again been completed by Margaret, with the help of Graham, Bob and Derek. Thanks must go to all our leaders, some of whom give so much of their time to pioneer­ing and then leading for us numerous times a year. 


After a pioneer on Tuesday 9 August, Beryl and Audrey found themselves in town as the rioting took hold.  They were fortunate to get on their way home before all transport was stopped.  As a result of their experience, arrangements were made to avoid Manchester City Centre when the ramble took place the following Saturday, and all was well that ended well.


Now for some details about the new programme.  Please note that this winter, because the room at St Paul’s is no longer available, we shall be meeting on Thursday after­noons at 2.30pm in St Nicholas’ Church Hall and not in the evening as before.  We hope members will find this a more convenient time – and we shall be having tea and biscuits!  The charge has had to be increased to £2.  We start with:


One Man and His Dog – 3 November  Come and hear of Harvey’s adventures with John on his long-distance walks.


Cown Edge Way – 26 November  We are taking another opportunity to do a linear route, using the bus, which is both environmentally friendly and cheaper than the car for those who have bus passes.


Bruntwood Pre-Christmas Lunch –1 December  Booking starts 7 November – final date for names 21 November.  Please make sure to show your choice of menu on the booking slip.  Please note cheques should be made payable to Sybil Gawkrodger.


Gorton Monastery and the BBC 8 December Tony is hoping to organise a visit to the Monastery, but dates are available only at short notice.  If you wish to visit the Monastery, please let Tony have your name now and he will contact you when a date becomes available.  He also hopes to organise another visit to the BBC, but this will have to wait until they are settled into Media City. 


Christmas Party – 10 December  A special party for our 90th and an oppor­tunity to enjoy dancing and games organised by Bob and Janet, and then to relax over supper together.  Ruby has the tickets. 

Dunham Stroll – 30 December  Our post-Christmas ramble led by Bob and suitable for all.


Shoe Boxes at Journey’s End – 5 January  What does happen to all those shoe boxes which many of us fill and/or sponsor?  Margaret will share with us her experience of distributing them in Kyrgystan last winter.


New Year Lunch – 31 January  As L’école is no longer available, we are moving to the Fielden Park Centre for our annual lunch. Booking - on 30 November and no later than 23 January - is essential for this popular outing. A £7 deposit should be sent to the Treasurer with the booking slip.


Transpennine Trail – 4 February  Winifred is breaking new ground by making use of the tram from her home station of Chorlton.  Cups of tea at the end of the walk are also on offer.


Annual General Meeting – 25 February We need the support of as many members as possible for this important date in the club calendar. We shall  be considering an increase in the subscription rate. If you wish to stay for lunch, please make sure you send in your booking slip on or before 18 February.


J B Priestley – 8 March  Following his excellent amusing talk in January on ‘Quirks of the English Language’ we have invited back Derek Slater to help us discover more about J B Priestley.


Salford Stroll – 22 March  Let us encourage you to join Beryl on a walkabout around Salford Quays to look at all the new buildings and afterwards to see the recently renovated Ordsall Hall.


Costa de Lancashire – 21 April  Gaye is following her successful train trip to Arnside in the summer with a ramble from Lytham - return ticket to Blackpool South.  For Manchester bus-pass holders, use the pass to Bolton and book the train ticket from there.


Mid-Week Break at Paignton – Monday/Friday 23/27 April   Paignton in South Devon is a new area for us and there should be an opportunity for us to see Dartmouth and explore the surrounding coast and countryside.  If it is your intention to book but have not yet done so, please let Peggy have your deposit immediately.  If you wish to have details and infor­ma­­tion about booking, contact Margaret.


Trafford Park  There is a lot to see in Trafford Park and Tony is also looking into the possibility of organising a visit to this area which holds memories for so many Manchester people.



Text Box: Please remember to carry your bus pass at all times.   On some days, use of the bus for a linear route has been planned, but on others it can be very helpful to use the bus if the weather is bad or it becomes neces¬sary to shorten the route.





Club Website


John reports that there was quite a lot of interest in the website early in the year but that things have grown quieter recently.  He now has a supply of cards suitable for display in libraries, shops etc.  These advertise the website, as this is our new shop window. It is therefore important that the Noticeboard page is kept up to date.  If you change any of the arrange­ments or have details additional to what has already been published in the pro­gramme, please ensure that you let John know, so that he can put the new informa­tion on the Noticeboard.  This applies particularly to changes in starting times or places. 

Spring 2011


Editor: Winifred


Spring has sprung …



… and we hope that you will all have a renewed spring in your step to join some of our rambles and outings. 


This is our NINETIETH ANNIVERSARY YEAR so we have some special events, starting with what John hopes will be a suitable re-enactment of the first official walk held by the newly formed club in the spring of 1921.


In June we shall be having a coach outing to the Yorkshire Dales – rather than a coach ramble. We hope that the weather is kind so that we can enjoy the scenery, and we shall ‘live it up’ by having afternoon tea together in a teashop, the tea coming courtesy of our Legacy Fund.


Then in September we shall have a special anniver­sary lunch and reunion in Stockport Sunday School.  This will be an opportunity to chat and reminisce about times past.  As well as lunch, there will be a presentation of slides etc.  Please look out your old photos, slides, or mementos and let a member of committee have a list of what you can offer so that plans can be made in advance. You might even wish to offer to entertain us for a short time. Giv­ing details to the committee in advance is essential. 


They will then decide how much can be fitted into the time available.


The new programme offers many more rambles and events to choose from.  We are again visiting the Roaches and Pendle Hill. On the last occasions when we planned to walk on the tops the rain forced us to take a lower route, so here’s hoping for better weather this year.


Beryl has found a ‘bottom’ and a ‘pike’ near the intriguingly named Loveclough. Bluebell time in May sees us in Harrop Wood, and in June we shall be returning to Three Shires Head where we hope to be able to paddle as we have done many times in the past. Audrey is returning to Tandle Hill Park which was lovely in the snow and should be equally beautiful in June - but somewhat warmer!


Ruby’s first-Wednesdays are always popular. If you have access to the internet, the details are put on the Club Noticeboard a few days before each walk.


Tony has enquired about the possibility of a visit to Gorton Monastery, but such visits can be arranged only at short notice.  Anyone interested should please let Tony know and he will put you on his list.


Winter Past


Once again members lived up to their reputation for enjoying eating together. We are well used to the sight of the sandwich box on our regular rambles. Some bring a modest amount and seem to live on fresh air for the rest of the walk. Others, who will remain nameless, always have sufficient to feed at least one other – just in case there is an unforeseen delay to the return home. Most content themselves with a sandwich or two, perhaps a yoghurt, and a banana, washed down with water or a hot drink. Harvey (assistance dog) is not supposed to eat at all, but he is more than thankful for the supply of banana skins which seem to come his way with great regularity. He is also very glad that he can always depend on a bit of scavenging, as not a few banana skins can be recovered from the wayside.


The human members of the club treated them­selves in the winter to a number of visits to local eateries, all of which occasions were much enjoyed. Visits to pubs are becoming less unusual than heretofore, and the tradition is now well established.


Every kind of weather has been encountered during the last months, from beautiful snow in Tandle Hill Park, when winter came in early, to some beautiful autumn days in the month before. There was more lovely weather in the new year but the melting snow left everything very muddy so tracks rather than field paths were the order of the day. Members on Janet’s Saturday walk in February were very glad that they had good wet-weather gear, but they did decide nevertheless that an early finish was called for. Most of the memories are of good days when the views were wonderful, the weather was kind, the countryside was beautiful and we were able to commune with the animals and the birds.  Some of us had an excellent conversation one Saturday with an old pig in a field bordering Long Hill!


Summer Programme 


This is a special programme which marks our 90th Anniversary. Thanks to former members who left us legacies, we are able to subsidise the coach outing and the anniversary lunch but please note that priority will be given to members, and guests will be accepted only if there are spaces nearer the time.


The Club’s First Walk – 7 May  John would be very pleased if you were to wear 1920s hiking gear to mark the anniversary of the club’s first walk.  See the website for the history of the club.


President’s Ramble – Goyt Valley – 12 May We hope for a good turnout in support of our president.


Chapel / Whaley Linear – 26 May  Tea out!


Moel Famau – 11 June Winifred is taking us back to Moel Famau, quite an easy ascent and a lovely ridge walk. It is not intended to make this a marathon.  Please contact the leader - no later than 4 June - if you are a driver who can offer lifts or if you yourself require a lift.


Coach Outing to Yorkshire Dales – Wednesday 15 June The plan is to stop at Settle for coffee / early lunch and then continue up Ribblesdale into Wensleydale in the afternoon. After tea, we shall return down Wharfedale and then home. Despite the huge increases in the price of fuel, the cost will be only £14.50, the same charge as in the last three years and this time it will include afternoon tea.  Make sure of your seat!


Arthur’s Seat – 16 June Newer members will not have known our well-loved past member, Arthur Hodkinson. It is to the seat placed in his memory that the walk will take us so that necessary cleaning can take place. Bring a small scrubbing or nail brush and a bottle of water.


Disley / Whaley – 23 June More tea with Gillian.


Arnside Rail Ramble – 2 July Gaye is venturing north with her moderate ramble from Arnside. If you do not wish to join the ramble you might join the train in order to sightsee or do a shorter route. You could get off the train at Silverdale and visit Leighton Moss, the RSPB reserve, and then use the local bus to Arnside for a stroll along the estuary. Contact Gaye for details. Any members with Railcards will be able to take advantage of a discount on the fare.


Formby Coast – 16 July Make sure you contact Margaret - no later than 9 July - so that she can make arrange­ments for travel.  We can expect to see many rare wild flowers.


Castleton Round – 1 September Yet more tea.


90th Anniversary Lunch and Reunion - 17 September This will be held in the new building of Stockport Sunday School, which is next to where we held previous such celebrations. The 317 bus from Stockport Bus Station passes the door, or there is the 192 from Manchester along the A6 which is within walking distance. For those who cannot use buses but who require transport, we shall try to offer lifts.  Full details will be sent to all who book.


Whiteley Green – 22 September John obviously likes his tea.


Shanklin Mid-Week Break – 3 / 7 October We are looking forward to returning to the Isle of Wight. If

you have not booked and would like to join our group holiday, contact Margaret immediately.

Autumn 2010

Editor: Winifred

Welcome …


… to yet another Newsletter, the tried and tested way in which we communicate with you and keep you in touch with what is happening.  However, we are now taking a leap into the future and are about to launch our very own website!  We shall keep you posted when it is up and running

There you will find details of all our rambles and social events, together with an opportunity to leave a message, either by email or phone.  There is also a very interesting section on the history of CHA as well as our own club, with some fascina­t­ing old photographs. There are lots of other photos too, and you may find that you are already part of the rogues’ gallery.  If you have photographs you would like to add to the collection, please let John have them either via the website or in person.  It is John who has spent the many (late) hours which have been necessary to set up the site, and we are most grateful to him for all his hard work.  He will con­tinue to be responsible for keeping the information and the pictures up to date.

We shall reach a much wider audience by making use of the web, and we hope that there will be people out there who would like to join us.  We know that we have a lot to offer, and we look forward to sharing our pleasure with other like-minded people.

The Summer Past

Have you heard about the fish and chips in Church Stretton?  It was quite a memor­able day, with a non-existent path to try the patience of any leader, a trudge along the road, and then to add insult to injury A-party had arrived first and were com­fortably enjoying their suppers when the others arrived, wending their weary way up the hill from the station car park. The queue for chips was by then decidedly long, and spirits were not helped by the sudden downpour on the return to the coach.  But that is what makes for the memories we share, and we have had another summer of great rambles and get-togethers to add to our already large store. The weather has been mixed but that’s the way with an English summer.

The visit to the BBC proved to be very interesting.  It was indeed over-subscribed, and it is hoped that it may be possible to arrange for another visit in the coming months.

Our return trip to Eastbourne was blessed with good weather and good food at the Palm Beach hotel. To express our appreci­ation of the work put in by Peggy and Margaret, a collec­tion was taken on the way home and they were each sent some flowers.  The search is now on for a venue for next spring, but it is becoming more and more difficult to find accommoda­tion which meets our require­ments at a cost which is thought to be accep­t­able and in a place which gives us oppor­tunities for walks and sight-seeing.  Margaret has to juggle the needs of those who can no longer walk any distance with the require­ments of those who wish to walk up to ten miles. And not only that, but she plans all the walks and local transport in detail and works out how to co-ordinate all the arrangements.  She gives hours of her time to all of this.

The Saturday leaders have taken us on a number of occasions into Lancashire, using the line to Clitheroe which is now becoming much more familiar.  Possibly Pendle was well named - torrential rain which swept the hill meant a decision to stay in the valley kept us (almost) dry.

Winter Programme

In her usual tireless way, Margaret has com­pleted the mammoth task of collat­ing the new programme from information received. It must be put on record once more just how much we owe to her. The preparation of the programme is made easier if we all meet the deadlines we are given, no matter how daunting it may be to think up and plan yet another ramble or other event.

The labours of all who compile the programme, of Graham, of Robert, of Derek, and of Margaret have resulted in a full programme of walks, meals, evening meetings and visits.  If you have a bus pass, there are a number of oppor­tunities this winter for free travel, so please make sure you carry your pass at all times. Events which require special mention are listed below. You will notice that the Saturday walks in the middle of the winter will start a little later than they used to. This is to help those who have to set out very early in the dark and cold of mid-winter.

Lyme Edges / Pub Lunch – 11 November  The Dog and Partridge is now a firm favourite with Grace and it is so easy to get to if you aren’t able to tackle the walk but want to meet up for lunch.

Bruntwood Pre-Christmas Lunch – 25 November 

Christmas Party – 11 December  Bob and Janet are again going to lead us in dancing and games which will be followed by supper in the usual way. They look forward to your support.

Dunham Park – 30 December  Our post-Christmas ramble when Bob will again take us for a stroll - with a little extra festive treat.

Goyt Way – 15 January  A  new venture on a Saturday afternoon – pub grub!

L’école – 20 January  Booking - by 30 November - is essential for this popular outing.   

Quirks of the English language – 20 January  A new speaker, and a ‘must’ for all those of you who enjoy learning about language.

Mersey Meander – 19 February  Beryl has planned what should be an interesting outing – will we see where the river used to meander?

Annual General Meeting – 26 February We need the support of as many members as possible for this important date in the club calendar. If you wish to stay for lunch, please make sure you send in your booking slip on 3 January.

Chorlton and Sale Water Parks – 31 March  We are delighted that Marion is leading a walk for the first time.  She used of course always to accom­pany Denis when he led for us.

Amble and Hot Pot – 6 April  Ruby and her ‘gang’ of first-Wednesday-walkers would like to have a good turnout for the ‘presidential’ hot-pot (late lunch) at Hyde Bank Farm, Romiley.  We have decided to make this the first event of our 90th Anniversary celebra­tions. At a meeting in March 1921, a number of people who had been guests on CHA holidays decided to form their own club, and this was when it all began for Manchester CHA Club although it was originally known as ‘Section D’. They held their first ramble on 20 March that year so it will be almost 90 years to the day when we have our hot-pot ramble. Let’s make it a memorable day, but booking MUST be made in advance to the Treasurer before 30 March. Contact Ruby as usual for details of the meeting place and bus arrangements.  By March, the details should also be on the website.

The Camera as Historian – 17 March  There should be lots of interest in this presentation by Chris Makepeace, another speaker new to us.

So we have meanders and wanders, circulars and linears, rambles and ambles, and a selection of meals and evening meetings to keep us happy.  Please make sure you write up your diaries so that you keep track of when the bookings have to be in. We owe Peggy and the others the courtesy of meeting the deadlines.

Spring 2010

Editor: Winifred


After a very harsh winter, we were glad to welcome the sun in March but perhaps not so keen on the rain which followed it.  The gardens, however, did welcome the rain and suddenly, so it seemed, the bulbs rushed into flower, and the frogs jumped into the ponds and puddles to spawn.  And then the north wind and rain returned, but fortunately we were spared the snowfall which blighted Northern Ireland and Scotland.  The weather took its toll on our gardens, with many of us counting the cost of shrubs and plants which failed to survive.

We, however, did survive, perhaps partly due to our continuing love affair with things gastronomic.  In the past, one had to be sure that a tea place had been arranged, and only on special occasions were we advised to ‘bring our own tea’.  Nowadays the Saturday walkers celebrate Christmas with millionaire’s shortbread, stollen, mince pies, cake, chocolates, and (whisper it) sherry and mulled wine - but not all on the same day!  Was this why Janet and Beryl were seen enjoying themselves on the Carousel at Tatton? These goings-on did not of course interfere with the walks. Other lunches, geared to shorter rambles, were laid on throughout the winter, and who knows what the participants got up to!

The severe weather over Christmas and New Year meant that there were no takers for Margaret’s walk on 2 January, and the lunch at L’école had to be postponed until 11 February. The snow and bright weather made for some lovely walking, notably over the tops from Peak Forest and up Ashurst Beacon, but the slush and mud of the thaw did lead to some alterations to the programme. Even on 20 March, Charity Lane near Forest Chapel was deep with melting snowdrifts.  But spring had sprung - there was new frogspawn in the ditch.

The Editor had to miss the Christmas party, but she hears that it went off well, despite problems with the heating system.  It was later discovered that the previous hirers had earlier that day damaged one of the radiators.

Our most grateful thanks go to everyone who has led walks and contributed in other ways to the smooth running of the programme.

Summer Programme 

We have woods, rivers, the sea and much more for you, and once again we say a big thank-you to our leaders and for their imagination in continuing to take us to interesting and exciting places.

You will find various booking slips at the end of this newsletter and you will notice that they are to be sent to different people.  However, please make sure that you make all cheques out to Manchester CHA Club.

Afternoon Tea - 20 May  Join Janet at Lymefield Garden Centre on her Broadbottom walk.

Rylands Library - 27 May  Sybil has arranged for us to have a guided tour of this most interesting library, but numbers are limited and booking - on 11 May - is essential.

Thurstaston Hill - 5 June  A trip to Wirral with an opportunity to see the sea.  Please make sure you let Margaret know if you plan to take part.

Magpie Mine - 3 July  Betty is taking us to this interesting industrial site.  She is retracing one of Ann Goulding‘s favourite routes. 

Ludlow Coach - 10 July  Please support the coach trip and associated rambles! Non-walkers can stroll by the river in Ludlow, an interesting walled town with medieval streets, beautiful buildings and Georgian houses. The easy walk will follow the Shropshire Way to Ludlow and the longer walk will take us on to the Long Mynd.

Lancashire Ways - 24 July  Beryl is taking us to Baxenden - somewhere new to explore.

President’s Ramble - 29 July  Join Tony in the Goyt Valley and on to Cats Tor.

Visit to the BBC - 26 August  We are told that this is a very worthwhile visit, especially as the BBC will soon be moving to Salford Quays.

Possibly Pendle - 28 August  Margaret needs to have from you in advance the names of drivers and those requiring lifts.

Another Tea Party - 23 September  Tea at The Bridge with John  

Great Yarmouth Break - 11-15 October  Great Yarmouth is an old fishing port with a long sandy beach and we hope that this area will suit all abilities.  There are frequent local buses to the city of Norwich and we plan to walk along the Norfolk coast.  If you have not received booking information and would like it please contact the Secretary.

Middlewood Spinneys / Pub Lunch – 28 October  Grace is taking you to the Dog and Partridge for another lunch - enjoy!

These are some of the events which require your special attention, but the programme has as usual lots to offer us. Remember, if you have a current National Trust sticker on your car, you will not need to leave your card in the car.  



Beryl has read of a group of fell-walkers who called themselves the ‘Geriatric Blunderers’ and had therefore adopted the motto ‘You name it, we’ve been lost on it’.Despite this weakness, they were glad to be able to claim to pass the ‘Wainwright test’:  they were able to distinguish between a ripe bilberry and a sheep dropping!


Easter Monday in Derbyshire

As is her normal practice, Gillian had planned a ‘good’ walk for Easter Monday.  The forecast was good, if somewhat windy, and spring was arriving in all its glory, with lambs in the fields and the first primroses wakening up in the hedgerows.  Three of us set off from Hope Station in anticipation of a good day out.  We passed the old guesthouse at Hope, now a posh spa hotel, and then made for the ridge leading to Win Hill. The climb proved how fit (or not) we were, but it was heartening to learn that the summit of Win Hill was not our objective.  We were to contour round through the lovely woods above Ladybower Reservoir.  

Alas, some enormous vehicles had been there before us and left our route to Parkin Clough swimming in liquid mud reminiscent of the Sahara, but wet. We could not get across the huge channels and had to track up into the wood to find a crossing point - of which there was none.  The first track forked into two and that in turn split again - six huge ditches to be negotiated.  Our pioneering spirit took over and we did it!  Down two to three feet into the bottom of the channel, in mud almost up to the cuffs of our boots, and then up into the middle and down again.  Gillian’s lilac gloves suffered somewhat!  We slithered down more mud on the way back to the station.  We were safe.  We had had a really memorable day out.


Annual General Meeting

We were glad to re-elect Tony as our President, together with Peggy as Treasurer, Margaret as Secretary, and Valerie as Assistant Secretary.  Winifred had served three years as Vice-President and was replaced by Janet, and we welcomed Grace to Committee.  All the officials were warmly thanked for their contribution to the life of the club.  

As we no longer have an auditor but an independent examiner, the meeting agreed to the alteration of the wording of the constitution to reflect this change.

Next year we will reach our 90th Anniversary.  If you have ideas of how we might celebrate it, please let the Secretary know.