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!