2 November 2001

Walking the walk

WHAT has become an annual autumn event, the walking weekend, took place along the Nene Valley in Northamptonshire this year. Owing to foot-and-mouth we had a few cancellations but some intrepid regulars came along and had a great time. Well, they said they had enjoyed themselves in spite of the guides slight distance miscalculation.

Luckily the weather was kind so if it was 18 miles we walked on the Saturday what could be nicer than to be out in the fresh air with good company, the chance to pick sloes for our gin and knowing that a fabulous meal was waiting at the Montagu Arms, Barnwell, upon our return?

An added bonus to the Saturday was a farmhouse lunch served by Bev Hankins at Pear Tree Farm, Aldwincle, while her husband Tim was at Oundle Farmers Market. This delightful family made us all so welcome and comfortable it was hard to get the boots back on and continue our journey. The next resting place was Wadenhoe Church where we were delighted to hear the bells ringing as we gazed down across beautiful, unspoilt countryside. There is so much wildlife to see, especially the waterfowl – Ive never seen so many swans with their tails sticking up in the air!

Sunday morning hardly dawned as there was a thick mist surrounding us but we met a few of the Peterborough FWC members with their husbands and strolled around the country park and walked the town trail of Oundle.

The many interesting old buildings in the town are mostly built of local stone and I was told that the knobs seen all the way down the church spire are there to stop the devil entering the building – as good a story as any!

We all ended up at the Talbot Hotel for a traditional Sunday lunch before some of the party headed off to see the end of the World Conker Championships at Ashton – a truly eccentric event but one enjoyed by the many visitors who converge on the village from all over the world.

Jean Howells

Ready to ramble: The walking party refreshed by Bev Hankins farmhouse lunch and ready to tackle the rest of their 18 mile walk.

This informal friendship club has more than 60 groups nationwide and is open to all female readers of FW. Details from Jean Howells (020-8652 4927)

BERKSHIRE

Wed, Nov 14, 3pm. Meet at Margaret Wilsons home, Dairy Cottage, Great Shefford for tea and discussion. Contact Hilda Gore (01488-685348).

CAMBRIDGE

Wed, Nov 7, 7.30pm. Meet at Rollins Farm, St. Ives Road, Somersham for programme planning. Please bring ideas for 2002. Raffle. Numbers to Loo Brown (01487-842485).

CAMBRIDGE-PETERBOROUGH

Tue, Nov 13, 7.30pm. Meet at Moira Smalls home, St Andrews House, West Deeping for a talk on the Sue Ryder Foundation. Contact Moira Small (01778-344148).

CHESHIRE

Wed, Nov 14, 12 noon for 12.30pm. Meet at Oaklands, Cuddington for lunch and talk Confessions of A Curate by Rev Geoffrey Buchen. Contact Ann (01928-712656) or Mary (01928-730278).

CUMBRIA-BORDERS

Sat, Nov 17, 2pm. Meet at Victory Hall, Dalston for Audio Visual presentation Gems of the Garden and Countryside by Richard Speirs. Contact Laura (01228-711610). Jean Howells hopes to be there.

CUMBRIA-PENRITH

Fri, Dec 7, 12 noon for 12.30pm. Christmas lunch at The George Hotel followed by talk My Life as a Journalist by Mary Ingham. Contact Marlene Cowperthwaite (01931-712248).

DEVON-EVENING

Thu, Nov 8, 7.30pm. Bonfire Party at Upcott Barton. Bring husbands and fireworks! Contact Beth Napper (01884-860194).

HEREFORD-NORTH

Thu, Nov 15, 7pm. Meet at Canon Pyon Hall for Country and Western evening by ticket only, £4, including refreshments. Contact Brenda Watkins (01544-319070) or Helen Davies (01432-830758).

MERIONETH

Mon, Nov 12, 7.30pm. Meet at Fronolau, Dolgellau for a Salt Dough demonstration by Mrs Ellen Jones. Contact Enid D Jones (01678-520518).

NORFOLK-NORWICH

Mon, Dec 3, 12 noon. Christmas lunch at Park Farm Hotel, Hethersett. £15.50, guests welcome. Bring a wrapped parcel. Contact Rachel Tarry (01379-677241) by Nov 5.

NORTHAMPTONSHIRE

Tue, Nov 20, 12 noon prompt. Meet at Earls Barton Bowling Club for planning meeting, fish and chip lunch and illustrated talk on birds. Raffle. Contact Rita (01604-810351).

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE

Tue, Nov 13, 10.30am. Meet at Lime Kiln Inn, Cropwell Bishop for coffee, Christmas flower arranging demonstration and lunch. Contact Joyce Hollingworth (01159-892699).

Tue, Dec 4, 12.30pm. Christmas lunch at West Nottinghamshire College, Mansfield. Please send £9.50 to Mrs Freda Shaw Browne, Lamb Pens Farm, Edwinstowe, Mansfield NG21 9HL (01623-822255) by Nov 12.

OXFORDSHIRE

Tue, Nov 13, 12 noon. Meet for lunch at the Harvester, Kidlington. Contact Doris Burton (01993-702433) by Nov 11.

SOMERSET-MENDIP

Wed, Nov 7, 12 noon for 12.30pm. Meet at Crossways Inn, North Wooton for lunch followed by talk Tapestry Mosaic and Wallhangings by Candice Bayhout. Contact Betty (01458-832909) or Stella (01458-850683).

STAFFORDSHIRE

Thu, Nov 15, 2pm. Meet at Hill Ridware village hall for flower arranging demonstration and afternoon tea. Names to Rachel Roobottom (01889-504288) or Ruth Hill (01283-712278).

SUSSEX

Tue, Nov 6, 2.30pm. Meet at Wakefields, West Street, Horsham for a talk Coloured Gems. Contact Judy Johnston (01273-493211).

WEST FIFE AND KINROSS

Wed, Nov 7, 7.30pm. Meet at the City Hotel, Dunfermline for a demonstration of pressed flowers and a chance to buy Christmas gifts by Sue Woods. Contact Rita Stalker (01383-850777).

WORCESTERSHIRE

Thu, Nov 8, 11.30am. Meet at Chequers Inn Crowle for 2nd planning meeting and to choose charity for next year. Contact Margaret Bowater (01905-798708).