ex-Cheltenham YHA Group
The Bummel - Issue 3
|Ed Skinner - Slave Driver and Chief Organiser||01452 305225|
|John Boucher - the One Who Can Remember Names||01242 581300|
|Colin Maher - Treasurer & Waster||01242 511285|
|Barry Roberts - Back-up Slave Driver & Waster||01242 859274|
|Ed Wragg - Editor & Waster||01242 242766|
We continue to hear of ex-members and continue to wonder what has happened to others. In this issue, there's a list of people who have been remembered, although we can't claim to know the whereabouts of all of them.
Sunday 6th October dawned bright and sunny as Bob Wilson, Heather Tibbott and Ed W set off to Ivinghoe hostel at 7.00 am. As the Cheltenham Old Hooligans Association, we were entering the competition for the third time, but of course we weren't allowed to actually win it because we weren't a real YHA group.
We were due to go at 9.35 and prior to this there was all the usual secrecy about the course and questions. We headed off north from the hostel along a track. Now you may not have realised this, but Invinghoe is the damson capital of the world. Every other tree is a damson and all were sagging under the weight of the sweet fruits. They did slow us down a bit. At the first checkpoint, at the end of the track, we had to identify various touchy-feely things in sealed bags. Some felt (and smelted) like dead slugs and others like miniature hand grenades. Bob and Heather did the feeling, I concentrated on locating the next checkpoint and finishing off my pocketful of damsons.
Next was a steep climb onto Ivinghoe Beacon and the inevitable worry of meeting another team who had climbed to the top from the opposite direction (why do they always do that? Were they wrong or were we?). We were bunching up a bit now and went off into the downland woods to checkpoint 2, disturbing a fallow deer on the way. Here Heather had to estimate, without using her watch, when two minutes had passed. I looked for the next checkpoint and finished off another pocketful of damsons.
Checkpoint 3 was back off the Downs again and this time we had to identify flags. I'm not very good with flags and all the damsons had gone by this stage, so this was a bad time for me. Back to the hostel for a drink, cryptic questions on cars and a refill of damsons, then on to the canal. Here there was a time-wasting dash around trying to find items nearby, before we set off along the towpath. We went flat out along here for about three miles, stopping briefly to answer silly questions about boats, canals and museums. They probably weren't really that silly - it's just that didn't know the answers to all of them.
The final canal checkpoint was a good one. It was on a bridge over a deep cutting and we were given a small bucket with holes in it, a large bucket, a length of rope and two sets of nuts, bolts and washers. With this equipment, we had to get as much water as possible into the large bucket in five minutes without leaving the bridge. We were brill. We filled the bucket with time to spare and for a little light entertainment, Bob nearly managed to brain an unfortunate bargeman with the bucket.
By now it was obvious that we wouldn't finish in the time allowed so we slowed down a bit and got back to the hostel about fifteen minutes late. There was an amazing spread of home-made cakes, most of which we sampled.
I don't recall who won, it may have been Bristol Group, but we came fifth out of ten - not bad for a bunch of old giffers. As usual, a good day out, and also as usual, we ought to have cycled - it would have been a doddle. In the last few years we've competed at Malvern and Stow as well. I recommend having a go, especially as you don't have the nagging worry about organising it next year if you win!
The bi-annual pilgrimage, to Pwll Ddu was on the weekend of 18 to 21 April. Who went? Ed Skinner, John & Sue Boucher, Heather Tibbott, Mike & Mon Wake, Vernon Dancey, Bob & Rose Wilson, Ed & Catherine Wragg, Brian, Gill & Andrew Wood, Robin & Christine Belton and Barry Roberts.
On the Friday evening we had a bit of a panic about the lack of cutlery, plates and sleeping bags, but El Greco in Abergavenny came to the rescue with the loan of some kit.
Saturday dawned cool and rainy, so no one was in a hurry to get moving (nothing unusual
about that). After an extended breakfast, we all started to get very busy whilst not
actually doing anything. There was a brief and interesting diversion provided by a group
of seven or eight cavemen who walked past the Centre heading down the hill. Thinking that
this might give a lead for a possible caving expedition,
Ed W followed them at a respectful distance. They walked down the hill, over the stile round the bank and then simply disappeared without trace. A search revealed only the cave entrance, but this had a door which was padlocked on the outside, so someone must have locked them in.
Eventually we drove the half-mile or so up to the crossroads and parked. (Actually, Vernon didn't - he went cycling for the day and returned that evening with a very fetching china mug.) The crossroads was a good starting point because the path led gently downhill for about a mile. There was an alarming moment when Christine disappeared into the bog (perhaps that was what happened to the cavemen) but fortunately she was rescued. It would have been very careless to lose someone so early on the walk. After a mile it was time for discussions on whether to have an early lunch, a later lunch, or both. The perfect compromise was that half the party opted for both.
The first official lunch stop came later at the Punchbowl, a large cwm with a lake in it on the east side of Blorenge. Here we had an instructive session with Robin's GPS - this involved Bob running backwards across the mountain as fast as he could. We also discovered the particularly useful tact that we were eating lunch 3776 miles (or was it nautical miles?) from the city centre of Aden. Totally unconcerned by this revelation, John and Mike discussed the relative values of their life subscriptions to the YHA at five and eight guineas respectively.
Lunch over, there was a long pull uphill round the side of the Punchbowl and we found ourselves in the middle of a classic car rally. The Porsche driver who waved to us must have assumed that we'd all come to see him. We were still 3776 miles from Aden. A second (or third) lunch was taken near the top of Blorenge, 3777 miles from Aden and then we straggled over the summit and back down to the cars, which had been left 3776 miles from Aden so as to avoid parking problems in the city centre.
Robin, the hard man, decided to walk the half mile back to the Centre, probably checking the distance to Aden as he went. Bob, Rose, Catherine and Ed W returned via the preserved railway at Blaenavon. Mysteriously, tills claimed to be open and working, but it wasn't. High tea at Pwll Ddu followed, including much reminiscence and passing round old photos. In the evening the ladies produced three magnificent chillies: vege, meaty and meaty mild. They were so good that young Andrew, who professed to hate both rice and chilli, had seconds. The wine flowed freely and Vernon told us of the time when he went to sign his will at the solicitor's office and found he couldn't remember his wife's name. Maybe he ought to cut down on the miles a bit.
On Sunday morning we went for a short walk around the cliffs and the mast and readied 3779 miles from Aden before deciding that we were too far from civilisation and that it was time to head back to Pwll Ddu, to lunch and to clear up.
The afternoon's highlight was the distribution of stale bread. Do we know how to enjoy ourselves!!!!
Following extreme pressure from Ed S, who likes to keep things businesslike, and keep up the pretence that we actually do something, the editor has agreed to publish the minutes of our meetings at the Bell:
17 September 2002
Pwll Ddu weekend: All agreed it went very well and was a success. Colin Maher was ill at the time and unable to go. He thanked everyone for their good wishes at that time. It was agreed to organise another weekend at the Centre in 2004.
Cadbury Cup: Only three people interested. Ed W to organise.
Walk 2003: Will be Sunday May 11th in the Witcombe Roman Villa area, Ed W to look at routes,
14 January 2003
Cadbury Cup: Ed W. Heather and Bob entered (see separate article).
May 11th Walk: Barry to do recce as Ed W will be on holiday. Meet at car park at Devil's Elbow at 10.00 am. Black Horse, Cranham for lunch.
Pwll Ddu 2004: Date suggested April 30 - May 3. Ed S to telephone Glos CC to check on booking.
Bummel: Suggestions for next issue were Cadbury Cup, Minutes of committee meetings,
extracts from old Bummels. Pwll Ddu report, "where are they now?" and ask for email
Running costs: we have £6 given in voluntary donations. It was agreed that we ask everybody for £1 voluntary donation. Colin to be treasurer, Ed S to keep record of postage and telephone calls.
Kay Scase had expressed an interest in the Committee on her Christmas card. Agreed to invite her to join us.
25 February 2003
Present: John Boucher Barry Roberts Ed Wragg Colin Maher Ed Skinner
Previous minutes were agreed as correct
2003 Walk. The pubs near Witcombe were not keen on walkers arriving for lunch. Alternative suggestions were the Waterside, the Mill and the Hungry Horse. The latter was chosen because of the range of food options, seating and easy parking. JB to sus out and make up flyers. ES to post and JB to email were possible.
2004 Pwll Ddu. ES has asked Vernon Dancey to arrange booking the centre.
Bummel: No progress on the current edition. Ed W promised to get his A into G.
AOB. ES asked about costs of telephone calls. He will keep a note of these and postage costs. We currently have £6 in the kitty.
From various sources, we have compiled a list of many of the former Group members. We
don't know the whereabouts of those marked with a *, do you? Do you recall the names of
any of those we've missed? Can you fill us in with any relevant married or maiden names?
Brian & Gill Wood
Barry & Mary Roberts
Robin & Christine Belton
John & Sue Boucher
Ed & Catherine Wragg
Bob & Rose Wilson
Colin and Pat Maher
Dave & Gillian Kelley
Andy & Angela Patrick
Heather Tibbott (Fear)
Eileen Mundy (Faulkner)
Becky Thornton (Davies)
Jackie Smith (Davey)
Chris & Gill Smith
Isobel Brenchley (Poole)
Jean Stock (Skyrme)
Pete & Jan Workman
Mike & Jan Barlow
Gill Thompson (Hare)
Mike & Mon Wake
Maurice & Carol Febry
Gill Dawson (Twiss)
Rich & Chris Hoy (Buckley)
Chris & Mary Allen
Keith and Diane Brown (Harmsworth)
Alison Coe (Waine)
Vernon & Heather Dancey
Carol Daniels (Long)
Dave & Chris Williams
Jill Capaul (Clarke)
Helen Smith (Moon)
Joyce & Terry Adcock
Wendy Walkley (Slade)
Frank & Joan Kirby*
Mike & Margaret Lord*
Chris (Syd) Marsh
Francis (Jake) Nicholls*
Barbara Hill (Illiffe)
Veronica George (Cope)
Susan Shubert (Wotton)
Geoff (Freddie) Todd
John (Chalky) White*
AND FINALLY If you've got an email address, please let us know. It will help our
communications procedures. We won't divulge it without your permission.
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