The Monthly Newsletter of Chelmsford YHA Local Group
Stand and Deliver!
Dave and I were on our holidays in October and so sadly had to miss out on the group's visit to Salisbury and the glories of Wiltshire. However the sights of Turkey did make up for this a little and we have stored up a few pics for a slide show in the Spring.
Our hols were cunningly planned so we would arrive back just in time for the club's AGM - many thanks to all those who also made the effort. A summary of minutes is included below, please contact Dave J if you want the unexpurgated version.
October also saw our first walk on the Turpin Trail, guided by our very own footpaths officer, Nigel. The trail was created this year and links Essex villages which featured in Dick Turpin's short life, including Hempstead where he was born and Thaxted where he lived for a while.
The weather was cool and bright and saw some 19 of us gather in the car park at Gt Sampford. A charming walk over the modest hills of north Essex took us to Hempstead and the Bluebell Inn where Dick was born.
The Wonders of Wiltshire
Warm sunshine made the October weekend at Salisbury hostel seem more like July.
Walking highlights included a visit to Old Sarum with its impressive earthworks and fine views of Salisbury, a walk around Stonehenge and another from Tollard Royal passing King John's hunting lodge and Madonna's country estate (neither were at home). It's said you can see the Isle of Wight on a clear day (but it wasn't that clear).
Catering highlights were Yelitza's Venezuelan chilli, served with the best rice ever, and arepas (traditional Venezuelan corn pancakes, eaten instead of bread). Even although she couldn't be there, Cressida acted as technical adviser for sandwich making (salami and tomato relish). And George was up at 8am for breakfast!
Salisbury Cathedral was impressive (tallest Medieval stone spire in the world), the pub was rubbish, but overall, a very good weekend! Thanks to Mike for organising it.
Annual General Meeting - minutes without the boring bits
Another year, another AGM.
Proceedings started with a review of last year's minutes (virtual, as Secretary had forgotten to bring a copy). Next Jim launched into his Chairman's report with a review of the year's events including the snowy Malvern trip, the hugely popular Blencathra trip, the unforgettable pub singing at Wanlockhead, getting lost on an island 10 miles wide (Jersey), right up to the Indian summer on the recent Salisbury trip. Jim also mentioned YHA issues which had cropped up in the year including the Local Groups liaison, group insurance and the worrying rumour that YHA are about to announce the closure of up to a third of all hostels.
Dave J's Secretary's report focussed on the social side of the group. Membership has gone down a little as we had had 10 new members, but lost 15 (total now 73). James and Marion graced the marriage section, Sophie Durgan the births and sadly Polly Warner (dog) the deaths.
Dave P's Treasurers report included the shock news that the price of this year's Christmas dinner would have to go up (due to high turkey prices) after some 12 years without increase. Also, as a result of the YMCA revising their room rates, the membership subscription has also had to increase and will be £18 - this will include an element to cover group insurance.
There were some changes on the committee with Tom resigning, and a vote of thanks to both Tom and Marion for their contribution. The remaining committee members were re-elected to their existing roles and Clive and Cressida were voted in as new committee members.
Other business included the issue of group insurance. The YHA have given notice that they will be stopping the insurance they provide to local groups early next year. As a result the group will have to obtain our own cover. We have a quote and the new subscription rate includes a factor to cover this. It is hoped to start the new insurance in December 2005.
Of Mudvents, Geysers, Dinosaurs and Bears
Read about John's trip to Yellowstone and the American Mid-West
Please send any comments on these pages to Dave Plummer