Chelmsford YHA Group


The Monthly Newsletter of Chelmsford YHA Local Group

December 2015

Mountain Rescue

Thorpe Cloud from Ilam Hall

I don’t want to sound unduly dramatic, but this was the first trip for a very long time where we’ve had a significant injury to one of our number.

It was our October trip to Ilam Hall in the Peak District, and we were staying in the very nice National Trust bunkhouse just behind the youth hostel and next door to the tearooms. Possibly the best location for a bunkhouse, ever.

The weather on the Saturday wasn’t the best, with a fairly steady drizzle first thing. We headed out from Ilam Hall to the start of Dove Dale and decided to climb Thorpe Cloud for a better view of the rain clouds. It was a stiff climb up to the top, where the limestone broke through the turf to form a jagged crest. We traversed the ridge with some care, as the rain had made the rocks extremely slippery. Once that tricky bit was over, we relaxed ….too soon! Poor Dave slipped on a wet rock just a few yards from the tourist path, put out his arm to save himself and dislocated his shoulder. Ouch! In a true team effort, Gavin and Trudi provided the materials for a sling, whilst Jim and Nigel ran back to the bunkhouse to fetch a car. Whilst Nigel drove Dave and Ali to Derby A&E, the remainder of the group carried on with their walk.

With no further incidents, aside from a single heavy shower, the walk was completed in steadily improving weather and the group got back to the bunkhouse in time for tea. They hadn’t long finished when Dave, Ali and Nigel rolled in fresh from Derby Royal and hungry for scones. With the group reunited, we had a lovely evening trading tales of the day over a sumptuous meal and plenty of beer.

Sunday was the nicer weather of the two days, so we decided to head out on the Monsal trail with some taking to two wheels whilst the rest remained on two feet. By sheer fluke we managed to all meet up at the coffee shack half way along - well, long enough to exchange greetings. Fuelled by coffee and a slab of tray bake we finished off the trail surrounded by gorgeous Autumn colours back at Wye Dale car park.

Despite the injury to Dave P, this was a beautiful weekend particularly notable for its Autumn colours and the stunning sunrise for the early birds on Sunday morning.                      



Many thanks to everyone who managed to make our AGM. We had 17 attendees.

The meeting followed its usual format with the Chairman’s report highlighting all the great trips we’ve had this year and giving a vote of thanks to all those who organise trips and walks for us to enjoy. The Secretary’s report showed that membership was currently stable, little different from last year. The main news came from the Treasurer, who reported that the room hire for the Charles Peters Lounge had gone up substantially. A little research revealed that we’d actually been getting a bit of a bargain to date, so there are currently no plans to change venues. However, we are looking to hold the monthly committee meetings at a less expensive venue so that we can continue to hold membership at the current rate. This also allows us to continue our 600 sausages per year habit!

The gold medal for attendance on trips goes to Dave P (jointly with Ali), silver goes to Doug with Mike and Cress sharing bronze. The 2014/15 accounts were approved and the sitting committee were re-elected.

If you would like to see a full version of the minutes, contact our Secretary, Dave J.

The Coggeshall Temptation

Mid November can be a bit hit-and-miss for a Sunday walk in Essex, but this one was definitely a hit. After a rather wild Saturday night (the weather, rather than our party habits) Sunday dawned rather pleasant and sunny. All the winter-warm clothes I’d packed in a moment of pessimism, stayed firmly in my rucksack as we strolled over the pleasant rolling hills of NW Essex. Having amassed several brownie points for a 7 ½ mile walk, the good work was undone by a momentary glance at the cake counter in the Clockhouse tearoom in Coggeshall – they were just too tempting to resist. Except for Chris, who shamed us all with her strength of will.

Poorly Dave

There was a young hiker called Dave,

Who fell on a wet, slipp’ry pave.

Because of that boulder,

He popped out his shoulder,

And now he feels awfully grave.

Please send any comments on these pages to Dave Plummer