Footloose Summer Newsletter 2017.


This has to be the most delayed Newsletter yet, a combination of having spent much of the latter part of June in Scotland and then coming home to a 'sick' laptop. With a new drive now installed, I now once again have access to Word type documents, though my machine is still producing strange error messages so I hope it keeps going. If only I understood these devices I could save myself a fortune.

June apart, I have managed to do a bit more walking than I had in the previous quarter so can speak with a little more authority on the conditions the club has experienced. I think they are best described as mixed. We have had some excellent walks in marvellous weather, Place Fell springs to mind and I understand there was tropical weather in June. This was NOT experienced in Orkney, I might add. However who can forget the Sunday Helvellyn was on the menu? Howling winds at the north end of Thirlmere meant a quick rethink and the adoption of plan B i.e. walking up Raise Beck to Grizedale Tarn in squally rain and seeing water attempting to go over the falls being blown back uphill. Lunch at the Tarn was not as pleasant as it might have been though a quick pint at The Travellers Rest a couple of hours later restored us to good health!

Accounts and Membership.

Norman tells me we are now up to 82 members which if my maths is correct (debatable as this was never my strongest suite at school) means we have some £616 in the bank but with our major item of expense, Insurance, not yet due. Clearly this is a more than healthy balance giving us plenty of latitude to contribute to our chosen charity for 2017 Mountain Rescue, at the AGM.

Events Past.

I notice in the Spring Newsletter I commented on the number of big birthdays the club seemed to be experiencing in 2017 and predicted that Norman's would be highly enjoyable and so it proved to be.

In April, we re-ran the Greece holiday of 2016 but this time in two sections, firstly a week in early April and secondly a 10 days break later in the month. All who went seem to have had a great time again even if the weather was not as benign as it had been last year. However it would be remiss of me not to mention the accident experienced by one of our members. I feel but for good fortune I might have been writing in a much more sombre note. For those who don't know, She fell over a steep cliff while negotiating a mule track and but thankfully she was caught by a bush, 'only' breaking her arm and badly bruising her face. It all goes to show that even with the best organisation, and believe you me Wendy Copage, our host in Greece, is the most professional organiser one could wish for, an accident is always possible. In this case the support team of two, who are part of Wendy's programme, were able to extricate her from ledge/bush she landed on and by even more happy coincidence, Wendy had asked if the group minded another guy joining for the day. He just happened to be a doctor. Luck was clearly on our side but that may not always be the case. Unless someone knows better, I think this is the most serious incident in the history of Footloose, I would like to think it becomes the last. For the record, another member cut her head in a low roofed cave on the first of the holidays so perhaps it’s a good idea that no one has seriously suggested a third visit to Tyros in 2018! More of 2018 later.

Next up was the Summer Social at Kendal Golf Club. A beautiful evening in a great spot with Norman and Cliff doing their level best to instruct some 30 of us in the delicate art of Golf. I never realised there were so many, like me, who had never even held a golf club before so the result was mixed with Gordon Love being declared the winner. At that point Norman and Cliff left, they said for choir practice, but it could equally have been frustration at their pupils clearly showing very little of the ability of Tiger Woods or other golf luminaries.

Finally Sarah organised a weekend at Skiddaw House Hostel. Fully subscribed, it turned out to be another fantastic weekend. Great walking and good food too. It’s nice to feel there is still an interest in the club for a few days spent in more basic type of accommodation than our Footloose holidays have been moving toward. Anyone fancy doing a follow up in 2018 to a similar hostel (remember we have YHA Club Membership)?

Future Events.

The excitement of 2017 is not yet over! The birthday season continues with Jean Savage and her Patterdale extravaganza this coming Sunday and Monday followed by Roy Garriocks plan to turn unlikely Footloose walkers into Olympic kayak champions on 23rd July. From what I read this great idea could do with more enthusiastic support.  Both events are on the current Walks Programme.

Now, as many of you know, dancing, like mathematics is another thing I do not really appreciate. However in respect of dancing at least I recognise that there are those who do so I was more than happy when the 'committee ladies' decided to organise a ceilidh which will take place at Water Yeat Village Hall on August 19th. Tickets are priced at £10 and include cheese and wine. As I write this I am unsuccessfully trying to contact Sue Brearley, Deb Middleton or Sarah Walker for an updated status but when I last heard they had a very good attendance but could squeeze a few more in if asked. Over to you---.

In September we have Normans leg-stretcher continental holiday which has long been fully booked, followed at the end of the month with a hopefully slightly more relaxed visit to Alnwick Youth Hostel equally fully booked and now I believe fully paid up too. However given abundant accommodation in the town, there is obviously scope for others to book separately and join the rest of us for evening meals and the walking. 

Finally for 2017, a reminder that our AGM and Christmas Social will take place on Sunday 10th December at the Netherwood Hotel Grange. This will be in the usual format with a choice of morning walks, followed by Dinner, the AGM itself and then a presentation by our 2017 Charity, Mountain Rescue. More details will follow in the Autumn Newsletter but please note the date in your diaries.

And now the BIG news: our 2018 Spring Holiday. Phil Walker bravely undertook to research potential club holidays based on the very successful format enjoyed in Greece. He whittled several options down to two and has selected Crete for 2018, the other option being held over for potential use 2019. Crete will take place in early May 2018, the exact dates being dependant on as yet unpublished flight timetables and be of 10 days duration. There will obviously be a varied and very interesting walking programme which will include a level of  interaction with the locals, for example with the local shepherds who still practice transhumance. There is no doubt this holiday will prove to be extremely popular and will most likely be over subscribed. Phil will release more details shortly. However I can say that the cost will be broadly similar to Greece unless sterling totally collapses, with accommodation being perhaps slightly superior but again all food and alcohol included. The Committee would like to put on record our thanks to Phil for undertaking this work and then agreeing to carry through with the organisation. It is no small task, as Norman and I and indeed Simon who has done much of this in years past, know very well, and a successful outcome hides a huge amount of work: a fact perhaps not always appreciated by every participant.

The Crisis!

I am very pleased to say that my appeal for members to consider chairing Footloose has had a positive result. Two people have approached me about helping out so discussions can now be said to be ongoing. No names mentioned to protect the innocent.

Well that's it. The shortest and most lack lustre newsletter ever but I feel to quote that old phrase 'time is of the essence'.