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A letter from our Chairman May 2018

After a pretty cold and wet winter season, I hope that we can look forward to an uninterrupted Spring/Summer Walks and Social programme. Given the atrocious weather at times, we did well to get away with only 3 cancellations. The good news is that all those cancelled walks will reappear on a future programme this calendar year. The even better news is that the Burton Bradstock walk will now be in mid-summer which will allow for some beach relaxation time afterwards.

Of course, our excellent programme is only maintained by individual members coming forward to plan and lead the walks. This is the hallmark of a well-established club which is continuing to attract new and younger members but since becoming your Chairman, I have realised that the burden of leading walks is falling on a noticeably smaller number of members. This is explained in part by the unavoidable ageing process. Several of our stalwarts of recent years support the club coffers still as members but only are able to walk occasionally or attend events.

Walks Secretary, Rosie J does a magnificent job of assembling a varied walks programme but has had to become an expert in cajoling colleagues to fill last-minute gaps just before the programme is issued. She has always been successful but the las thing that she and I want to see are gaps in the programme. So, please can I ask more of you to consider helping to share the load.

 If you have not led a walk before or are a recently- joined member and are a little apprehensive about coming forward, we take as our theme song “You’ll never walk alone”. One of our experienced leaders will act as a “buddy/mentor” and will recce a walk with you and jointly lead it on the programme day. Before and during the recce your “buddy” will be able to talk with you about walk selection, map-reading and pass on any tips from their own experience. No experience other than your love of walking and your enjoyment of the group is necessary. Just speak to me, or Jenny or Rosie on one of the walks and we can get things moving.

You will have received from various organisations already notifications about the new General Data Protection Regulations, asking if you are happy “to stay in touch” or asking your consent for them to continue to use the personal data they hold from you. Sorry to say we are bound by the same regulations and a letter and consent form has been prepared for that purpose. Please return the consent form as quickly as you can so that we can get this little piece of bureaucracy out of the way and get on with enjoying our walking.

However, talking about bureaucracy, I have noticed that it is increasingly difficult for our tireless Secretary, Jenny to play the full and active part in discussions at Committee that she should whilst trying to note and keep accurate minutes not to mention the time spent in drafting them afterwards. It seems a ‘no-brainer’ to me that it would help the Committee no end to ask for a volunteer to attend the meetings just to take the minutes and produce a first draft for the Chair to amend/authorise for circulation. This would be an ancillary post and not involve any other commitments. If there is a member (walker or non-walker) who could take this on or indeed has a friend who might be interested, could you please contact me at the email address below or speak to me on one of the walks? Our next meeting is in September.

“You’ll never walk alone” is, as you know, from the Musical, “Carousel”. The other great song from that show is “June is bustin’ out all over”. Well, it soon will be! I hope to see as many of you as possible out on the walks in the new programme.


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