Chelmsford YHA Group


The Monthly Newsletter of Chelmsford YHA Local Group

February 2018

Blowing Away the Cobwebs

Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire

Our New Year trip to YHA Manorbier in Pembrokeshire was memorable for a few reasons: the arrival day saw snow falling over the east and midlands, leading to travel chaos. It was a bit painful, with Ian taking the prize with a 12 hour rail journey. However, once we were there we were rewarded with rather good weather. Day 1 was bright and sunny, but with an icy start. I think we all attempted the same bit of coast path, but some went a bit further than others. The weather in west has been wet this winter and the legacy of that was some very muddy patches in the path. There was a lot of slithering about. We also saw other parties on the path who were inappropriately clad – think light coloured clothing, trainers, one lady in knitted boots. Day 2 was less sunny and we felt the force of storm Dylan. There was quite a bit of storm chasing – big waves and the ultimate sand & salt blasting free spa treatment. Day 3 it seemed like the wind had dropped a bit, so we tried another bit of the coast path. There were a couple of bits where Sarah and I could have done with a bit more ballast, but a bit of Christmas stuffing seemed to keep the guys from blowing away. This turned out to be the most slithery bit of the path so far and several of us ended up with mud-smeared trousers and bruised dignity. New Year’s Eve morning I was greeted by the spectre of Robin in his nightshirt busy scrubbing the seat of his walking trousers on the patio.

The forecast for New Year’s Eve was not great, but I have to say that between the heavy showers there was sunshine and rainbows. It seemed like everyone turned up at the nearby Carew Castle at some point. The ruins were a bit drafty, but full of history and legend – including a previous resident who has to escape via a latrine, and the ghost of a murderous pet ape.

All the meals were excellent, as usual, but a special mention goes to the three course extravaganza organised by Robin and Sarah for New Year’s Eve. Filled up on seconds of bread and butter pudding and energised by a very competitive game of Uno, we welcomed in 2018.

January 1st turned out to be the best weather of the trip. Dave and I delayed our departure home to take in a last view of the coast. It was fantastic.


Ode to the Mud-Stained Trouser

Along came a walker called Robin,

His heart light and full of good cheer.

He stepped into a dip and started to slip,

The mud was that slick, I fear.


With an elegant lunge he started to plunge,

His grace was a sight to behold.

But balance was lost, and oh what a cost

A disaster began to unfold.


His bum hit the deck, his trousers a wreck,

He slithered to regain his footing.

Standing at last, a little too fast,

Down again – was anyone looking?


The moral of this tale: if you don’t want to fail,

On paths thick with slime quite appalling.

If mud is that thick then best take a stick,

To save you from slipping and falling.


Walk to Littlebury

Birthday Blizzard

To all those who battled their way through the great blizzard to get to Lorna’s birthday meal in Littlebury, well done! If the frosted scenery and fluffy flakes weren’t treat enough, there was a very nice meal in a virtually empty pub. Happy birthday Lorna!



Terry Simister  1944-2018

Terry came to Chelmsford from Ilford YHA group in the mid-60s, working for the insurance arm of Cayzar Irvine Shipping Group. In autumn 1968, he re-started Chelmsford YHA Local Group, which later spawned the Great Eastern Railway Society. He also founded the Mid-Essex Archaeological & History Group and was a senior scout. Sadly he died on 02/01/2018 of stomach cancer.

Altogether one of life’s good eggs.


Please send any comments on these pages to Dave Plummer