Thirtieth anniversary celebration:
We are delighted to have celebrated our 30th anniversary with a party at the REC on September 27th 2021. The event was attended by over fifty members and former members, including former committee members and chairs. It was good to see so many people there. This felt like a testimony to how much the group has been valued by so many over the years.
We were able to reminisce and celebrate over a drink and cake on the terrace and in the cafe at the REC. This seemed like a very appropriate venue given the ties between the group and the REC.
It was also clear how much we all value renewed opportunities for social contact after the difficulties of the pandemic.
The thirtieth anniversary party
Origins of the Rothsay Ramblers:
In 1991, the Rothsay Ramblers was set up as a separate group with its own constitution and organising committee. The minutes of the inaugural meeting recorded the following proposal as agreed:
"That a Club be formed to arrange country walking and associated activities for its members
that it shall be called THE ROTHSAY RAMBLERS and that its membership shall be restricted to students of the Bedford Retirement Education Centre".
Prior to this, rambling has taken place during the previous decade as a class at the REC.
The photo on the left shows two chairmen of the group, Rob Bollington, chairman at the time of the thirtieth anniversary and former chairman, Howard Smith, who cut the thirtieth anniversary cake.
20th Anniversary Picnic in 2011:
In 2011 the 20th anniversary was celebrated in Priory Country Park. Jean Jeavons remembers that people brought their own picnic lunch, and chair/picnic mat etc. The group gathered on the grass close to the carpark and toilets. There was a special birthday cake which was on display on a table in the middle of the group. Two members spoke to the group about the club's history, and they cut the cake which was shared amongst the members. Members celebrated with their own drinks. Mingling together from all groups, most of the gathering went for a gentle afternoon walk around the park. The weather was sunny and warm and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. There was a really friendly atmosphere.
From 2011 to now:
The following ten years have continued to show that walking benefits both mental and physical health and that there are additional benefits of being in the countryside. We have discovered the beauty on our own doorstep. We also know that the group has continued to provide a source of friendship, support and in a few cases has led to weddings.
The group is very much a members' group with people taking their turn as walk leaders and committee members. As we look back at old photos, there is a definite sense of the baton being passed on.
Some Rothsay Ramblers Members in the 1990s.