We have had yet another successful season - Sept 2018 to Sept 2019 - with (usually, but not always) good weather for our strolls.
Our walks take place weekly on Wednesdays from September until the end of July (except for the first Wednesday of the month, when there is a General Meeting, and at Christmas and Easter there is usually a short break)
We have some very pleasant outings using our senior citizens Centro passes on buses and trains, and we always use public transport. Although our walks can be anywhere between 2 and 4 miles (usually at least 3) the pace is fairly gentle and the conditions easy enabling people of all abilities to join us. We often see historical, botanical or architectural landmarks along the way.
On the walks, usually at or towards the end, we always stop at a suitable venue for a drink, toilet stop, and perhaps lunch or refreshments and there is plenty of opportunity to get to know each other. Members find the walks help them to maintain a good level of fitness and the social interaction is an important and enjoyable part of the activity.
As has often been said in previous reports, we are lucky to have some enthusiastic walkers who help with investigating new walks and leading or backing up walks which spreads the load. The walks are chosen and voted for at our democratic Planning Meetings held thrice yearly; we aim to have a mix of local walks and some further afield; some old favourites and some new walks. This year we have introduced three new walks – one, round Bittell Reservoir, canals and countryside, another through Pitcher Oak Wood in Redditch, and the third from Warwick Parkway railway station to Warwick and Priory Park, along the Grand Union Canal...
There is a log book maintained by Kath Bird, our ‘Archivist’, who recently took this duty over from Jan Smith – this is where we keep descriptions and photographs of each walk prepared by that week's leader. The current folder will be available for people to see at the Planning Meetings (as long as Kath is not on holiday!). We thank Jan for all her past work, which also included taking the minutes and counting the votes at the Planning Meetings. Thanks to Ruth Byrd for taking on this latter duty as ‘Minutes Secretary’
Informal’ walks are often arranged and for example during April 2019, we had an interesting walk looking at Great Barr Park, Merrions Wood, and the ruins of Great Barr Hall; finally the Bell Inn for lunch before catching the X51 back to Birmingham. This walk will now be added to our regular list for voting. There were also to be 2 informal walks in August; Sandwell Valley and Lapworth,
The coordinator and many of the walkers usually attend General Meetings and are available to talk to anyone interested.
This seems to be a very popular group and whilst numbers vary, there are usually between 40 and 45 on the membership list; many of them walk at different times, but we are happy for people to only walk occasionally. We normally try and arrange an ‘e-mail buddy’ if anybody joins who is not on line. We are a very friendly group and new Strollers are all made welcome.