21st October 2021 – Update from the Society's Vice Chair
Where do we go from here?
Covid has had a big impact on the operation of the Society and it is inevitable that it will change it permanently. The nature and extent of change has been the subject of various discussions within the Society, and at a recent meeting the Committee made some decisions about how the Society will be run in the future.
The walks programmes have got established again, but there are differences in how they are being planned and run from how it was before covid. As always, we need leaders. Maybe you discovered some new routes when you were out and about during the lockdowns. Whether you want to share such new walks or repeat old favourites, then please volunteer to lead one for us; before we are forced to send out the press gangs! Contact details are below.
These are usually morning walks of around 5 miles. There is one most Saturdays and a mid-week one, usually but not always, on Wednesdays. Short walks programmes are now being published one month at a time in advance and are mostly disseminated by email. If you want to know more about planned walks or can offer to lead one, please contact Rita on 01684 568943. Walk details and queries about sending out of programmes should be directed to Lyn on 01684 560927 or at email@example.com.
Long walks are being agreed one-by-one only a few days in advance, with a mid-week email about the coming Saturday’s walk being sent to a group of members who sometimes come on long walks. As programmes become more secure after covid, we intend to establish a rolling programme on the website which would show both planned walks and dates without plans for a month or so ahead. This would provide information for people looking for walks and on free dates for those interested in leading a walk. Because the website is open to the general public, for security reasons it will not show some precise details, e.g. where we will park. To find out more or to offer to lead a long walk please contact John on 01684 563670 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Newsletters will go back to being published something like three times a year. They will be separate from walks programmes and, again, mainly disseminated by email. If you have any news, accounts or memories of walks, pictures or stories, please send them to Marguerite at email@example.com.
As you will realise from above, the Society will no longer routinely send out information in print or by post. This is partly due to rising costs and partly because it is increasingly difficult to find people willing to organise it all. We urgently implore that if you have any sort of access (e.g. including smartphones and tablets) to the internet and email, then make use of them with us. If you genuinely do not have online access then we will try to help. We hope that most problems can be met by setting up ‘buddy’ arrangements between members. If you do have access and know a member who doesn’t with whom you are in regular contact, please help them out. As a last resort contact Lyn for short walks, John for long walks and Marguerite for newsletters (details above). In addition, I am a general point of contact for both queries from members and for non-members wanting to know about or join the Society on 01684 303489 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Throughout the pandemic, Mike soldiered on with his work protecting rights of way by monitoring development proposals and taking up issues as necessary. It is important work which is what makes the Society more than just a walking club. Mike will carry on with it as long as he is able.
Our social programme was wiped out by the covid restrictions and the section which used to run it has wound itself up. However, in recent months there have already been a baked potato supper and a bring-your-own picnic. A get-together for pre-Christmas soup, mince pies, etc. is planned for Saturday 11 December 2021. Hopefully this will be the start of a revival!
After missing two AGMs we are finally able to plan one for 2022. We have booked the usual venue for 7:30pm on Wednesday 30 March. We look forward to welcoming you there again and hope that as many members as possible will be able to come. We urgently need new blood to help run the Society, so if you would like to get more involved please get in touch with one of us and tell us what you could do.
If you are uncertain about whether any walks are going ahead, see updates on the walks programme page or phone the walk organiser directly