WCR APRIL NEWSLETTER

APRIL TO JULY 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

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You will be aware of how quickly things are happening with regard to Coronavirus and that the Government made significant and far-reaching changes to their advice on 16 March 2020.

As a result of this advice Ramblers have now suspended all Group walks, Health walks, volunteer activities, meetings and training events. This suspension applies from 18 March 2020 and continue until at least 31 May 2020.

The Ramblers statement can be viewed at https://www.ramblers.org.uk/volunteer-zone/coronavirus.aspx.

So although you will only just have received or shortly be receiving your copy of our new programme and the Elham Valley Walking Festival booklet, unfortunately ALL the White Cliffs walks are cancelled until further notice and sadly, the Elham Valley Walking Festival has also had to be cancelled. Please refer to White Cliffs Ramblers website, the Ramblers website and App for the most up to date information on Walks and other activities.

We will keep you informed of developments and notify you when we hear that the programme can be resumed.

It is requested that all walk leaders who had made bookings for lunches contact the venues to explain the situation and let them know that the group will not now be coming though we hope to be able to re-arrange a visit there in the future.

Please note the Ramblers advice that - provided you are not needing to self-isolate, walking independently outdoors is still a great way to maintain your health and well-being.

CHAIRMAN'S ADDRESS

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As most of you will know by now there has recently been a change of Chairman. I have agreed to be your interim Chairman until our next AGM in November 2020 and hope we can all put the difficulties of the last few weeks behind us and concentrate on the coming year. Your committee is getting on with the business as normal – planning the next walks programme, White Cliffs Walking Festival 2020, upcoming holidays, path maintenance and all the other “stuff in the background” that makes our White Cliffs Ramblers Group successful, and has done so over the last 30 years.

The success of any group relies on renewal, especially of the committee. A number of our valued and long-standing committee members have signalled their intention of standing down at the November AGM. We will be looking for replacements! More news on this later in the year.

In Kent, we are fortunate this year to have a small fund to replace gates/stiles or even have a new seat. If you have any suggestions for these, please do advise me (or any committee member) so we can action this.

I am sure you are all longing for Spring to begin. Spring is a time of new beginnings and I hope we can all look forward to more walker friendly weather in the coming year.

Very best walking wishes to you all.

Margaret Lubbock
Chairman

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY 2020

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Postponed until 19 September 2020 Map Reading & Navigation Course – see article

Cancelled ADRA (French walking group – see article below)

All items below are subject to confirmation due to Coronavirus

8th to 14th June 2020: Isle of Wight holiday (see article)

21st August 2020: Bat and Trap evening at The Fitzwalter Arms, Goodnestone. Buffet costing approx. £5.00 per person. Arrive at 6:30 for practice and 7:00pm match. No experience required.

27th August to 1st September 2020: White Cliffs Walking Festival

25th September 2020: Test your knowledge! Hosted by Colin and Rhona at The 5 Bells Eastry. 7:00 for 7:30pm

1st November 2020: White Cliffs Ramblers Annual General Meeting, St. Margaret’s Village Hall, St. Margaret’s at Cliffe.

If anyone has an event you would like to put on for the group, please let Anne and Tony Bristow know.

GOING 'PAPERLESS - UPDATE

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Since the last Newsletter a small group has been meeting to develop our arrangements for going ‘paperless’ later this year.

In the future our website will play a much bigger part in bringing you news, details of social events and reports from our various activities.

One of the benefits of this will be our ability to keep you up to date much more quickly than a Newsletter published every four months can. So, if you have never visited our website, or rarely do so, we suggest that you begin to take a look on a much more regular basis.

Over the coming months Gavin Trevelyan, our webmaster, will be developing the WCR website pages, so that all the articles featured in this Newsletter will also appear on the website.

Other topics that we are looking at include:

• Whether there should be a closed area of the website that is only open to White Cliffs members. This might include notification of social events or planned holidays that would not be open to the wider public.

• How might we develop the Group’s public profile given that our Newsletter and Walks Programme will no longer be available in our advertisers’ establishments.

If you have any suggestions as to how we might take these topics forward please contact either Tony Bristow (at.bristow@gmail.com) or Gavin Trevelyan (gavintrev@gmail.com).

Previously we said that we will be writing to every member so that we can identify those who will still require a walks programme to be posted to them (primarily for those without access to a computer and / or email). We are planning to send this letter out with the posting of the August to November Newsletter.

If you would like to be included in future group communications, please let Andrew Swarbrick (Membership Secretary) know so that arrangements can be made to update your preferences. Or you can do this yourself by logging into your membership account on the Ramblers website – if you haven’t previously done this, you will be asked to register first- then you can choose the option to “update profile”. Please make sure that you then tick the options for “Ramblers may contact me by post” and if you wish the email and phone options too (make sure that your current email address is correctly listed, then click the “update” button.

These changes should ensure that you will be on the contact lists when messages are sent out in the future.

WHITE CLIFFS WALKING FESTIVAL 2020

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Natalie Hoare, editor of The Ramblers’ Walk magazine, will open the White Cliffs Walking Festival on August 27.

This will be the seventh annual walking festival organised by the White Cliffs Ramblers, and will run for six days, ending on September 1. The 36 walks range from short walks of one or two miles to the 30-mile White Cliffs Challenge on August 29, put on by the Long Distance Walkers Association.

There will be family walks, historical walks, wildlife walks, architectural walks, coastal walks, a Smugglers’ Walk aimed at children, and a Carers’ Walk for people with mobility issues and those who care for them.

Natalie Hoare, who took over as Walk magazine editor in 2018 after working as a journalist or editor for various organisations, including the Caravan Club, will open the festival during a ceremony on Dover seafront. She plans to go on one of the three walks offered immediately afterwards.

Most walks are free, though a voluntary contribution would be appreciated. A few of the guided walks cost a modest amount to cover the costs of specialist speakers.

Last year’s White Cliffs Walking Festival attracted a record number of 1255 attendances, a figure which would have been higher but for the exceptionally hot weather.

The White Cliffs Ramblers’ festival organising group is now finalising the walks programme, which will appear on the website: www.whitecliffswalkingfestival.org.uk and in the event’s colour brochure, due to be available in June.

ELHAM VALLEY WALKING FESTIVAL

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Unfortunately the Elham Valley Walking Festival for 2020 has been cancelled due to coronavirus

MAP READING COURSE

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This has now been postponed till next year: 2021, because of the uncertainty over Coronavirus

WHITE CLIFFS RAMBLERS' HOLIDAYS

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Isle-of-Wight 8th -14th June 2020.

A reminder of our holiday on the Isle–of-Wight. The group consists of 46 people. The cost is £435 including all tips. The price includes:
• 6 nights/ 7 days half board at the Wight Bay hotel Sandown.
• Return coach trip and the use of the coach for the holiday
• Ferry tickets for passengers and coach.
• Up to 3 walks per day.
• 4 walking days and 1 free day (Osbourne house?)

We will visit The Needles, Alum Bay, Carisbrooke Castle, Godshill, Shanklin and Ventnor.
The coach pick-ups are likely to be Folkstone, Dover and Sittingbourne railway stations. These and timings will be confirmed later.


A twin room for two people has become available.

For more info contact: Jim Bushnell 07948 149938.

ASSOCIATION DUNKERQUOISE DE RETRAITE ACTIVE (ADRA)

Unfortunately the annual ADRA walk has been cancelled due to Coronavirus

MAP READING AND NAVIGATION COURSE

Saturday 19 September 2020

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Places are still available on this year’s Map Reading and Navigation Course. This all-day event is designed to either develop or refresh your skills in reading maps and using a compass.

The course includes elements of self-learning, a classroom session and the afternoon spent on a walk putting your newly acquired skills into practice.

The venue for the course is Lyminge Village Hall, Lyminge CT18 8EW.

A non-refundable fee of £10 per person will be charged to cover the costs of the day.

If you're interested contact David, david.boyce785@gmail.com and give your name and telephone number and I will contact you to answer any questions you may have.

David Boyce

CAR SHARE WHATSAPP GROUP - UPDATE

Saturday 19 September 2020

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Since its launch at the November AGM there are now a total of 22 participants in the group. The momentum of the number of offers and requests for car shares is increasing over time, and there has been an increasing number of people taking up both offers and requests.

There seems to be a greater interest in the group from those who do not want to drive or have limited or no access to a car to get to or from a walk.

A reminder that the group is only a communication platform and there is no obligation for participants in the group to either offer or request a car share. So, although there may be people who don’t want to join the group as they don’t want to commit to offering a lift or feel a need to request one, please remember that, as a participant in the group, you will see all the messages from others in the group. Wouldn’t it make you feel good if someone who lived close to you was able to take part in a Ramble because you were planning to drive to the walk, saw they needed a car share and were able to help them? If you’re not a participant in the group, you might not know they were seeking a lift.

A couple of reminders in relation to how WhatsApp works. Firstly, people in the group will only see the names of others in the group if they have those people in contacts on their phone/tablet, otherwise they will just see telephone numbers, so it is important when messaging within the group to include your name. Secondly when joining the group, you will not see any of the historic posts. If, upon joining the group, you would like to see some of the earlier posts please contact John Pye (details below) who can forward you some previous messages.

A big thank you to all participants in the group, especially those who have provided car shares for others, helped reduce emissions and enabled people to enjoy our Rambles who, without your help, might not have been able to do so.

Finally, if anyone has any suggestions as to how the group could be improved or any suggested changes to the guidelines for how the group operates, please communicate these to John Pye (contact details as below).

A reminder that if you want to join the group please just send a message to John Pye on 07414 863194 or johnrpye@icloud.com

THE COMMITTEE

Position Person Phone
INTERIM CHAIRMAN MARGARET LUBBOCK 01304 831011
TREASURER MARGARET MILSTED-WILLIAMSON 01795 843927
GROUP SECRETARY HELENA TREVELYAN 07940 544211
MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY ANDREW SWARBRICK 01233 720513
JOINT WALKS SECRETARY & NEWSLETTER ANNE BRISTOW 01304 372814
JOINT WALKS SECRETARY TONY BRISTOW 01304 372814
GROUP FOOTPATHS OFFICER RICHARD FRITH 07774 184007
PRESS/PUBLICITY GRAHAM SMITH 01304 367853
COMMITTEE MEMBER ROSIE HALL 01795 435797
GROUP LIBRARIAN TONY THORN 01303 260955
GROUP OFFICERS NON-COMMITTEE -
WEBMASTER GAVIN TREVELYAN 07903 456463
WCWF CO-ORDINATOR NEIL FRASER 01303 840759
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