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MONDAY, MAY 6, 2019

Thursday 2nd May 2019 Walk Report.

20 walkers and one dog assembled on a sunny May morning at The George in Desborough, unaware that they were about to begin "Chris’s challenge”. 

After a short briefing on the history of Desborough and its delights, along with warnings of crossing busy roads and difficult terrain, we all set off ready to rise to the challenges ahead.  We walked along Station Road, past numerous takeaways and the Heritage Centre where copies of the Desborough mirror and Desborough necklace can be seen. (The originals are at the British Museum although they were recently on show at Kettering Manor House.) 

We then walked over the railway bridge to enter the Plens, a former ironstone quarry. We crossed through the Grange estate into a grassy, undulating field to Challenge 1.  This was a stile with a narrow footpath on rough ground followed by crossing the busy road near West Lodge.

Challenge 2 awaited in the form of a field of frisky bullocks that scared several members of the group as they almost charged towards us.  (They seemed to be disturbed by the dog as the bullocks had not been at all interested when Chris and Gervais had practised the walk the previous week.)

Challenge 3 followed closely when we crossed the stile into a rough field, which had a wooden plank to traverse as well as another small, wooden bridge. With all 20 ramblers having succeeded in the challenges, the rest of the walk was relatively easy.  We walked up a tarmac road onto Desborough Airfield, where we felt a few drops of rain which, thankfully, did not materialise. We walked around the concrete paths then took our lives in our hands as we walked along the grass verge along the Stoke Albany Road and crossed over it to a track down to Stoke Wood for our "banana break”.

The birds were singing and the bluebells were in flower.  The sun shone as if to smile on the intrepid explorers.

After refuelling, we were off again, over several stiles and fields to cross the Stoke Albany road again.  After another short footpath, we crossed the West Lodge road again into a grassy field with shaggy ponies. 

  It was then an easy walk around the Great Bear (estate of light industry), then through the Grange estate and down the main road back to the George for a well-earned lunch.  Congratulations to all the walkers for completing the course.

Special thanks are extended to Gervais for helping to bash down foliage as well as cutting back brambles and trees in the practice walk; to Julie S for being the back-marker and chief photographer; and to Gervais for helping with the traffic crossings.

A big thank you to Chris S for organising and leading  this walk which did not seem to lack challenges.

Additional thanks to her for providing this most enjoyable report.

David H.


posted by CHANGERINGER on  May 06, 2019 10:16  under Walk Reports

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SUNDAY, MAY 5, 2019

2019 London Walk Pictures.

Below are all the pictures received from Julie S, Vonnie Mc and Carna B in hopefully the right sequence.

At the cafe in the Italian Gardens

                                     Not him again!

                                             Italian Garden Fountains

                What won the 2.30 at Kempton Park Jem?

Kensington Garden Allotments

With the Parakeets

Peter Pan Statue

Albert Memorial

Rotten Row

Diana Fountain

Lido Cafe.

Water Fowl 

Chairman with carers.

At the hotel.

posted by CHANGERINGER on  May 05, 2019 10:58  under Special Occasions

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Dogs on Walks Clarification.

Whilst we welcome well behaved dogs on club walks, they must be kept on a short lead. Long leads or flexi leads will no longer be allowed.

posted by CHANGERINGER on  May 02, 2019 20:09  under General

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Saturday 27th April 2019 London Walk Report.

21 members met on the platform of a very windy Kettering  station eagerly anticipating the Annual London walk taking in the Royal Parks. Included in this number were three first timers who are fairly new to the club. The train’s first stop was at Wellinborough where we were joined by Ian and Carna B.

On arrival at St. Pancras we met up outside the Rolling Luggage shop for a headcount, not the easiest thing to do with people drifting off to the toilet etc.

Finally we set off for the underground where the value of wearing hi-vis jackets by the leaders and back markers was proved when moving through the throngs of passengers especially with holdups due to non- functioning tube tickets.

Eventually with all present we exited the tube at Lancaster Gate and entered Kensington Gardens for a welcome refreshment stop at the café in the Italian Gardens where the forecast high winds made their presence known. An ice cream van had been specially arranged for Ann R but she was nowhere to be seen.

Feeling suitably refreshed we then made our way through the park where the first stop was to admire "The Arch” which is a six metre high Roman travertine statue by the sculptor Henry Moore and through which Kensington Palace was nicely framed in the distance.

Continuing through the park the first Parakeets were seen but more of them later.

The next port of call was a real surprise in the form of Kensington Garden allotments. How many in the group realised they existed? Very few would be the author’s guess.

Judging by the notice in the Allotments urban foxes are at large in the park

Continuing on our way we finally reached the Parakeets area and boy were there some very tame Green Ring Tailed parakeets here. There were also numerous pigeons probably refugees from Trafalgar Square where their presence is now discouraged.

Several members of the public were hand feeding the parakeets, apples being the preferred fodder.

A few yards further on the statue of Peter Pan was visited.

After retracing our steps a pause was made to look at a very informative board showing the species of flora and fauna contained within the park.

Then on to the Physical Energy Statue which is a bronze statue of a man on horseback by  George Frederick Watts. It has a somewhat modernistic appearance but was actually erected in 1907 by the artist’s widow.

The walk continued past the Diana Playground down to the Round Pond. Here we paused by  the Queen Victoria Statue and the imposing Kensington Palace home to several Royals over the years.

The Regency style Band Stand , near the edge of the park, gained permission from Queen Victoria for music to be played in Kensington Gardens.    This was rescinded after a protest from the Archbishop of Canterbury  who thought music in the gardens would be 'unseemly and working people could do without band concerts !

Our walk then passed by the immensely imposing Albert Memorial.  It commemorates the death of Prince Albert of typhoid in 1861. The monument shows Prince Albert holding a catalogue of the Great Exhibition which he inspired and he led to organise in 1851.


On exiting Kensington Gardens we entered the vast expanse of Hyde Park and were met by the sight of some pony and traps preparing for a trot along Rotten Row. Unfortunately these were not available to carry any footsore walkers with them. 

A short walk took us to the very evocative Princess Diana Memorial Fountain which was opened by the Queen  in July 2004.

 Lunch was taken at The Lido.  Unfortunately it was too early in the season and the pool was not open for swimming although as there was an extremely cold wind I don’t imagine there would have been many takers!

After lunch we set off alongside The Serpentine where numerous varieties of water fowl were passed. At one point a man approached a Golden Eye Duck which was sitting quite peacefully on the ground then at his approach it got up to reveal a number of duckling underneath.


We then made our way out through the Rose Garden to Hyde Park Corner.  There, with the aid of several pelican crossings, we made our way into Green Park.  Rumour has it that there are no formal flower beds in this park as King Charles II wife ordered all the flower beds to be dug up after she caught her husband picking flowers there for another woman!

At the edge of the park we crossed in front of Buckingham Palace.  There was a considerable amount going on as the Marathon was being run the next day and railing, signposting and seating were all being erected ready for the event.  Obviously many tourists were milling around and our walk leader, in her hi-vis jacket, was stopped a couple of times and asked questions! 

We made our way into St James’s Park which has lots of wildlife, particularly water fowl.  The Blue Bridge gave a lovely view of the Palace and the attractive lake.  At the end of the lake there were a group of pelicans enjoying being the centre of attention.

The walk then concluded by wending its way back to Green Park and up to the underground station.  Here a group caught the bus, some the underground and one adventurous traveller walked back to The President Hotel.  Time was spent in the bar catching up on the day before we enjoyed the evening meal prior to which the chairman made a mercifully brief speech thanking all those involved in organising what can only be described as a truly memorable London walk.

Thanks are due to the following Sue and Peter H, Jem and Sue C for organising, leading and back marking the walk and to Ian B for assisting on the day.

The amount of work involved in the planning and execution of this cannot be overestimated.

Extra thanks are due to Sue H for her very informative and interesting running commentary at the various points of interest around the route and for providing this report.

Photographs were provided by Julie S, Vonnie Mc. and Carna B.

Only a small selection of these have been used in this post and the remainder will be the subject of a separate post in the near future.

Cheers to all involved in making such a successful day out in London.





posted by CHANGERINGER on  May 02, 2019 19:46  under Walk Reports

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MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2019

Thursday 18th April 2019 Walk Report.

23 walkers met at the Cross Keys pub at Kings Cliffe on a dry bright and sunny Spring morning ready for a 10.00a.m. start following what for some had been a mystery tour around Corby to avoid the holdups due to roadworks at Weldon. It was good to see Margaret B join us for her first walk in a long time.

After leaving the pub we passed the renovated water mill which has now been converted to generate electricity ( climate activists take note).

Then we climbed out of the village onto Morehay Lane for a short spell and passed an equestrian centre which was being built and some old clay pits to our left.

Some sheep were being fed as we passed and captured the attention of the photographers in our midst.

Just before arriving at Apethorpe the chairman and Margaret B opted for a shortcut with the aim of meeting the main body later.

On passing Apethorpe we noted the Dovecote belonging to the Hall and continued a good road o Cheeseman’s Lodge and Farm, the former belonging at one time to Rowan Atkinson aka Mr. Bean and Blackadder.

We stopped at Tomlin’s Wood which was full of bluebells for our banana break.

                      Was it something he said?

Then onto Calvey Wood to see a large herd of fallow deer including several albinos.

At Spa farm Cottages we were greeted by two Labradors who gave us a loud barking welcome.

Then over some field edge paths.

                                     Downhill all the way ( Honestly!)


Arriving back at Morehay Lane where we met our two escapees.

Re-tracing our steps and crossing the bridge over the Willow Brook from earlier.

     Great to see Margaret B out with us after a long absence.

We passed an informative map of the village and then the church.

 We arrived back at the pub for lunch at 1.00pm where the Cottage pie was deemed to be excellent.

Thanks to John A for leading this walk and providing this report.

Thanks to Julie S  for acting as back marker and providing some of the photographs.

Additional photo credits are due to Carna B and Caroline C.

posted by CHANGERINGER on  April 22, 2019 8:48  under Walk Reports

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