CHESTERFIELD: Ramblers experience mixed fortunes on weather front

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On the Wednesday of last week, Basil Merry was leader for the longer bus walk, starting from Eckington with a group of 18 in cold but fine weather. Unfortunately, for the group, the bus on which they were travelling out of Chesterfield had broken down, meaning a half hour delay to the start of their walk. On finally arriving in Eckington, they set off via the golf course to Bedgreave Mill, where the party had lunch, then onto the Cuckoo Way, Norwood canal flight, Norwood, Kirkthorpe, Westthorpe, prior to returning to Eckington. Due to the bus breakdown, the walk had to be shortened - however, the group still managed to cover nine miles.

Wednesday also saw Mike Bloy setting off with 23 members for the long car ramble of 11.5 miles along five of the Peak District’s Edges.

The following Wednesday had Norah Woodward setting of from Tupton with a party of 14 short bus ramblers, however their destination of Ashover was never reached as the walk was abandoned after the halfway mark due to the weather conditions.

Barbara and Ken Hadfield were leaders for the short car walk taking the group on a six-mile walk starting from Bakewell via Conksbury bridge, over the fields and down towards Haddon Hall back to Bakewell. Unfortunately, the rain caught the group just before lunchtime and therefore, spoiled the lovely views of Haddon Hall.

Tony Doxey’s 7.5 mile walk turned out to be a tale of two halves, a dry walk and a very wet one. The group of 19 had left the Bridge Inn and walked towards Ridgeway, turning down Sloade Lane over the ford and then up steep steps to Ridgeway church, here the group turned down into the valley and did a loop back to the Bridge Inn where they stopped for lunch just as it started raining. After lunch 13 ramblers carried on down the east side of the valley, turning in Cadman Wood towards Plumley Hall and again back to the Bridge Inn. By using the lanes rather than the fields, the party had managed to avoid the worst of the mud but everyone was glad to get back to their cars to dry out.

Richard Kurcewicz led the Wednesday longer bus ramble, completing a circular walk of 10-miles with 11 members despite the torrential rain. Starting and finishing in Bakewell they passed through Kirk Dale, Sheldon, Great Shacklow Wood, Monsal Dale, Monsal Head, and Little Longstone with the final stretch on the Monsal Trail.

Sue Goodson was leader for the longer car ramble when, together with 20 members, Sue set off for a 10-mile round walk from Bakewell, via Edensor, Carlton Lees, Beeley and Rowsley, with the group managing to keep smiling in spite of the fog, rain and wind.

On Saturday, Barbara and Ken Hadfield were leaders for the visually impaired walk starting from Derwent water Arms at Calver with one child, seven visually impaired walkers, four guide dogs and 12 sighted people. Unfortunately, the start of the walk was up a very steep hill with climbing made more difficult because the rain had turned the path very muddy, however, with some slipping and sliding the group made it to the top. They then made their way through the woods and over the fields to Bubnell going through St Mary’s Wood back to Calver.

Sunday had Gordon Crookes leading a group of eight, including two from Huddersfield and one from Nottingham. The group started from Dronfield Woodhouse passing Cartledge Hall, onto Holmesfield past Fanshawe Gate, continuing via Totley Rise to Flask Edge, which provided panoramic views, then along Brown Edge down to Gillefield Wood stopping in sunshine for lunch, then finally through the wood at Holmesfield for the return to Dronfield Woodhouse.

David Coomber was leader for the Sunday shorter walk taking 13 members, together with two dogs, on a six-mile walk from Renishaw, along the Cuckoo Way - part of the old Chesterfield Canal route, on to the village of Staveley and taking their lunch in the Staveley Canal Basin. Eventually making their way back to Renishaw via the Trans Pennine Way. Despite the forecast of poor weather, the whole of the walk was made in sunshine, a great bonus for the Ramblers.