Chelmsford YHA Group


The Monthly Newsletter of Chelmsford YHA Local Group

November 2011

Thames Path National Trail

Thameside Ramblings

On the Thames Path at North Greenwich

October saw our first overnight trip to the big smoke as Cressida organised a walk on the Thames Path from Greenwich to Hampton Court, stopping off at Holland Park YH en route.

Thames view

The route was written in the walk notes as a 29 mile hike, but the reality indicated that this may have been a somewhat conservative estimate. Day one took us from North Greenwich tube station in theory to Putney Bridge, but despite our best efforts none of us made it past Battersea Bridge. It was an interesting walk, taking some bits we’ve done before (the Dome, Tower Bridge, Houses of Parliament, etc.), but linking them together for the first time. Having clocked up about 15 miles on unforgiving paving slabs and tarmac, Holland Park hostel was a welcome site for our aching limbs. After a quick wash and brush up we were (more than) ready for our evening meal at the nearby Elephant and Castle pub in Kensington.

Group at YHA Holland Park

For some of us it was a really good night’s sleep to prepare us for the next leg, unfortunately others had the full city hostel experience of young people coming & going for most of the night. A splendid breakfast the next morning made up for some of it, but even so Jonathan & Cynthia decided to call it a day. The remainder patched up their blisters and set off on another day on the trail.

Thames Path, Richmond

Sunday’s walk had a very different character. Although we started urban with posh riverside flats and bridges, before long we were in leafy suburbs and parkland. Even the river took on a different character: gone were the tourist cruisers and the speed boats and along came the sculls and the rowing teams – all very Henley Regatta.

The last part took in the Thames banks close to Kew Gardens, but as we approached Richmond Park discretion formed the better part of valour and all but Steve decided on coffee and cake rather than soldiering on to Hampton Court.

All told, we managed to clock up a very respectable 27 miles over the weekend. It was a fabulous walk and the fact that we didn’t quite finish it is just a reason to go back next year.


The Chelmer

Canal Walk

We had great day in October walking on the towpath from Chelmsford to Heybridge. A perfect sunny day, an extra large slab of cake at the Paper Mill Lock teashop (it was my birthday), and a very welcome pint of Maldon Gold at the Old Ship just as the sun was setting.

Dave P

Annual General Meeting

A big thank you to the eighteen members who managed to make it to our AGM. We were quorate in record time, but sadly our Chair, Cressida, was unwell so we made use of Mike as a well informed surrogate, and he led the meeting.

We started with the usual approval of the previous year’s minutes, then moved on to the Chairman’s report. Although unwell, Cressida had prepared some notes and Mike’s report was based on this. There was a review of all the trips we’ve organised, with a special emphasis on the big trips of the year: Scotland, Easter in the Lakes, Royal Wedding at Dufton, plus the Hadrian’s wall mega hike.

Next we had the Secretary’s report: Dave J reported that membership had gone down a little (from 59 last year to 54 this year), but this was mostly due to the loss of “dormant” members. There were no births or deaths, but the Secretary was able to add his own marriage to the stats – and invited members to add to the wedding count for next year.

The Treasurer’s report revealed that the group was still solvent and it would be possible to keep the subscription at the current rate for another year. We spent a little less on room hire, probably due to more meals out – good for the groups bank balance, but less good for our waistlines! The additional big trips put the bed night count up to 670 (from 621 last year), which is the highest we’ve had in over 10 years. Alison added that her personal record was for 527 miles walked and 181 miles cycled with the group (both up on last year). This comes to about 58,000 calories burned, unfortunately we don’t have a similar record of cakes eaten!

The accounts for 2009/10 were approved by our auditor and Dave J was re-elected as auditor of the accounts for 2010/11.

The evening was rounded off with the election of committee. The existing committee all agreed to stand for another year and were unanimously re-elected.

Finally under AOB, Jim suggested that the group try to improve the profile of their Facebook page, so that there is information available even to non-members.

Full minutes of the meeting will be available from Dave J.

Please send any comments on these pages to Dave Plummer