West Leeds Walking Group Est 2004
2018 has met and exceeded expectations with a thriving membership, new weekly walks and monthly wanders.
We have welcomed several new walkers to the Group and it is greatly appreciated that we have new walk ideas and a willingness to lead next year from Brian, whom together with Barry, has vast experience with his previous group. Having had a largely female membership for many years we are very pleased that we have had an increase in gentlemen walkers during the year.
The monthly wanders were all extremely well supported and without exception all had record attendees. Even the rail strike for the first wander of the year in January to Slaithwaite and Marsden did not deter us and we even had a mention in the Yorkshire Evening Post when a reporter pounced on Christine at Leeds railway station and asked if we had been affected by the strike.
There was a record turnout for the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Bretton Country Park despite heavy rain and fog.
The Goathland to Grosmont walk was delightful on a lovely Spring day finishing with a train ride to Whitby for fish and chips. This was sadly marred by the tumble that a walker took on uneven ground but everyone rallied round to assist.
Our wander to Burnby Hall was arranged following a suggestion from the questionnaires we handed out last year and also included a visit to Bridlington.
The ancient Roman city of Chester was another sell out and greatly enjoyed by all.
Perhaps the most challenging wander was the Ogden Water trip where we had glorious weather for October and a wonderful scenic climb that left us a little out of breath but was well worth the effort. Walkers who could not manage the trek were well catered for with a level walk around the reservoir and we all journed to Haworth for a meal.
Grateful thanks to all the Leaders who researched and recced the wanders in 2018. These events do not just happen and a great deal of planning and organisation goes on behind the scenes.
The "Green Bag" has continued to travel the globe with visits to the Caribbean, Turkey, Majorca, Bulgaria, Norway, Rome, Spain, New York and Russia. It also gatecrashed the weekend aways to Liverpool, Llandudno and Stamford.
The photo of the year* goes to Bill pictured with Leeds United legend Eddie Gray holding the green bag.(*Editors choice)
Our Monday walks were well supported with an average attendance of 30+. Despite the harsh winter everyone turned up and no walks were cancelled due to bad weather. There was another "Mystery" walk where only the leaders knew where we were going and this also had a surprise element with a pre arranged visit to Hope Pastures Horse Sanctuary, which included a guide tour to see the equine residents and an interesting expanation by one of their volunteers.
The Friday walks had a new addition suggested by David and Sue, which included a coffee stop at the Beulah Cafe.
We welcome any new suggestions for any walks across the programme. The only stipulation is that they must involve public transport - bus or train - and a venue at the finish for a meal/drink.
Our Group is very social with good cameraderie and the get together at the conclusion of the walk is a tradition that many walkers particularly enjoy.
We continued to support two charities with the nominees in 2018 being Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Carers Leeds. The donations being from collections on the coach trips and walks and also from Group funds.
In November Bill set up a Facebook site under Friends of West Leeds Walking Group. This is primarily a site for photos taken by anyone on the walks but will also include reminders about a forthcoming walk and up to date information.
We encourage all to visit our website. Just "Google" West Leeds Walking Group est 2004. We are normally top of the page. The sited is updated regularly and much more detail can be shown about the actual walks as we are limited for space on the printed programme. It is also worth checking the Notices/News page and Events page.
In conclusion thank you to All who have attended our walks during the year, all our Walk leaders, Committee members and Volunteers.
Happy walking in 2019.
2017 has been a very enjoyable year across all the walking sections with many new additions to the programme and continued support and cameraderie.
New blood is vital to any organisation and it is particularly encouraging that we have welcomed several new members in the past 18 months, at a time when some of our long standing senior members are no longer able to participate fully in our walks. We now have a total membership of 100 plus.
Thanks must go to ALL our Management Team and Walk Leaders who do a sterling job entirely voluntarily throughout the year. They receive no payment for their efforts and we appreciate their tireless work. We have walks on every weekday and Leaders who are not "leading" a particular walk will often be back marking, coming along to support their colleagues or out surveying the terraine for their next walk.
A tremendous amount of work is carried out before a walk can be added to the programme involving serveral "recce's" to identify potential obstacles, the degree of difficulty and safety actors. Their have been eleven new walks and two revised and extended walks in 2017 on the Monday programme alone.
It is often the case that, whilst a walk may appear interesting and "doable" on paper, the recce will prove otherrwise but as our leaders say " That's what recces are for"
The committe members have been keen to make a contribution to the success of the group and have been very hands on and stepped up to the plate when called upon.
Our Monthly Wanders have been extremely well supported and we have introduced new and exciting places to visit and walk as well as revisiting old favourites.
The Wanders to Chatsworth and Wolds Way Lavender were very popular and all the coach trips sold out with waiting lists.
In 2018 there will again be new Wanders to enjoy some of which have been suggested by members in response to the questionnaire.
Our enterprising Chair Mick produced 100 Green Bags bearing our West Leeds Walking Group logo, which were handed out to our walkers free of charge. Needless to say these went like hot cakes and served a dual purpose, in apart from their practical function, also advertised the Group. We are often asked who we are when we assemble at our joining points.
Throught the year we have been encouraging members to take their Green Bags with them and capture a photo when on holiday or at a special event so that it can be published on the website. This has proved very successful with the Green Bag visiting all corners of the UK - Scotland, Wales Northern Ireland and across the Irish border. Green Bag has also enjoyed holidays in Portugal, The Canary Islands, Madeira,Gibraltar, Malta, France, Ischia and Poland and has recently gone global with a trip to India.
A special mention for photo of the year is June who was brave enough to waltz around the prestigous Tower Ballroom in Blackpool in front of the mighty Wurlitzer wearing the Green Bag on her back!
Keep the photos coming in 2018 and as an extra challenge perhaps you could persuade a celebrity to pose with Green Bag if the opportunity arises.
It is a tradition that we end our walks at a pub and cafe in order to maintain the community spirit and in the past two years the majority of our walkers have joined in this social side. It has been good to see members who are no longer able to walk the distance join us for our post walk lunch/drink. We try to publish the lunch venue on the website for most Monday walks.
Thank you to everyone for your continued support. If you have fallen by the wayside and have not walked for some time do add it to your list of New Year Resolutions to walk with us in 2018. There is a walk for ALL abilities during the week and as well as the health benefits the social side can open up opportunies to make new friends.
Happy New Walking!