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Club News During the Restriction of Activities Caused by Covid-19

A new Programme of walks is available for August and September 2021 - see Programme page.


New system for international travel from 4 Oct 2021Government

Updated 15 Feb

Dave Joynson's submission is a little different: Slideshow

Let us see what you are getting up to while we are under restrictions; send your Lockdown pictures to Mike Everill or to hanliensian@hotmail.com

Always take your photographs and videos on mobiles with your device in landscape mode with the Home button on the right.

HRC Update September 2021

Hello Members
The Committee held its first face to face meeting since the pandemic began. It was very welcome. I am pleased to announce some dates for your diaries. It makes a change from cancellation after cancellation.

Upcoming Social and Holiday Events.

  • Thursday October 7th, Chairman's Ramble at the Hotel Rudyard.There are plenty of spaces left see details in previous email of 23 Aug. Please book through your Social Secretary, Carol Merchant. There will be a walk around the lake. The D walkers will start 15 minutes before the faster ones.
  • Thursday 2/12/21, A/B Bash courtesy of Garry Melbourne. Details to follow.
  • Thursday 9/12/21,Turkey Trot, The Wheel, Longsdon. I am arranging and details to follow.
  • Aberystwyth Holiday: 18 have booked for 24/4/22 for 6 nights. 14 booked for 25/4/22 for 5 nights. Those interested in the 5 day 55 mile trail, please email me (Ian). There is a variety of walking to suit all grades and sightseeing opportunities for former walkers. I have some walk books. Aberystwyth is accessible by train from Stoke. I have done it and it's very scenic after Shrewsbury.

Walking Matters

  • Coach Ramble to The Malverns 12/6/22.
  • Next programme we will resume using Goose Street, Newcastle as Sunday meet point.
  • As Hanley Bucknall New Road is still badly affected by roadworks we will not resume meeting there but at the start of the walk. Some members may consider arranging between themselves to use the Werrington Village Hall Car Park but please ensure the leader is aware. There is an honesty box for contributions towards upkeep.
  • The Committee voted in favour of members pre booking walks if possible.
  • I am aware that some D walkers wish to try some C's but find that some are too much of a step up. I am leading a Sunday C on 28/11/21 and will make it a bit harder than a D to address this need.

Other Business

  • Margaret Bailey has relinquished her role as Almoner and I would like to thank her for her efforts. I have agreed to take this on. Please let me know if any member is ill or has passed away.
  • Publication of newsletter to resume in the Spring.
  • Website. Many thanks to Mike for his work. Please use it and note the programme is displayed there. Mike highlights any changes to the programme in yellow.
  • Mike is stepping down as Webmaster in October 2022. ANY VOLUNTEERS.
  • Hilary is still our temporary Secretary HINT HINT!

Many thanks to Officers, Committee Members and Leaders.
Keep safe Ian (Chair)

HRC Update August 2021

Hello Everyone
The Committee held a meeting via zoom on 26/7/21. Hopefully we will be meeting face to face the week of 13/9/21.

After discussion the Committee unanimously agreed a resolution to cancel the 2021 AGM. The hope is that we will be able to hold the 2022 AGM as normal. It was also decided not to hold a summer picnic. The photocomp for 2021 is also cancelled to be restored in 2022.

Some members have expressed discontent with pre booking and meeting at the start of walks. It was decided as the August and September programme was already completed it was too late to change at this stage. The intention is to cease the need to pre-book and to resume meeting centrally for Sunday walks at the start of the next programme commencing in October 2021.

We discussed the fact that groups of members go on coach holidays independently of the Club. The Club used to organise coach holidays but in latter years there was not enough interest to fill a coach. The Committee felt it preferable that the independent coach holiday dates should not clash with Club holiday dates and informal discussions with the organisers have been established to avoid future date clashes.

The Pie and Pea Supper held at The Wheel, Longsdon was a great success. It was great to see about 50 members representing a cross section from former walkers to 'A's socialising. Billy Merchant led a walk for the G's and I took a slightly longer walk with a few stiles. Both groups started together giving more opportunities for chatting. Many thanks to Carol & Billy for organising the event . P.S. the food was excellent and plentiful.

It is with regret that I have to announce the passing of 2 members:

  • Chris Wilkes who had been suffering from ill health for a number of years. Condolences to Mike.
  • Freda Roberts was an Honorary Life Member who joined the club in 1947. She and her late husband Tom contributed much to the Club. We who now enjoy the Club owe her a debt of gratitude. I hope to provide more details of her involvement with the Club later. Freda's funeral is in Harrogate on Monday 9 th Aug. details have been circulated. I regret not being able to attend. I have sent a card sending our condolences to the family which was much appreciated.
Ian ( chair)

Message from Ian Bailey (Chair) to all Members 5 July 2021

Hi Everyone
I thought it was time for another update following our latest remote Committee meeting on 28/6/21.


  1. deadline for submission of walks for the August and September programme is 22/7/21.
  2. I have had representation to restart the G walks not withstanding the difficulties over booking meals.
  3. prebooking for walks needs to continue as we are still driving out to the start point of the walk. The advantages are that it reduces the risk of wasted trips, the leader knows who to contact in the event of cancellation or changes.This is better than having to round robin the whole club. Leader also knows who to track and trace.
  4. It is preferable, if possible, to give the leader out of courtesy at least 48 hrs notice of wishing to attend.
  5. pubs may be on the route but not always available, e.g. at Rudyard there was a 2 hour wait.
  6. car sharing at the discretion of the driver.


  1. Pie and Pie,The Wheel, Longsdon on Wednesday 4/8/21. Booking details in separate RR to follow.
  2. Dates of other events are still to be confirmed:
    • Summer Picnic (replaces BBQ)
    • A.G.M.
    • Photocomp.
  3. Proposed (by Ian Bailey) Spring Holiday:
    • 24/4/22 to 30/4/22.
    • at Marine Hotel Aberystwyth.
    • 6 nights dinner, bed and breakfast.
    • Double room £145/couple/night total £870.
    • Single room £105 per night (£630).
    • Details still to be confirmed; a separate RR will be forthcoming.
    • other accommodation available. Nearest YHA is Borth, Independent Hostels and B&B also.
    • Possible Walks:
      1. A/Bs could do an extended 55 mile version of the Borth to Strata Florida trail. (details on line) over 5 days. (I have done it and very enjoyable it was.) Would need a minibus for 3 trips cost £45 for 8 seater/leg.
      2. plenty of walks for other grades.
      3. I have a book of half day walks around Aberystwyth.
      4. 3 hr drive from Stoke.
      5. I know an H.F. leader there who has offered to lead a walk or two.
      6. main line train and bus station.

Other Matters

  • Volunteers are needed for two roles firstly as Club Secretary (Hilary is our temporary secretary.) and Mike Everill is stepping down as Webmaster in October 2022.
  • I will repeat what I have said before that the Committee has NO representation from the D,G and former walking members of the Club. This makes it difficult for the Committee to act in the best interests of the whole Club. I would appreciate it if a member from this large and important section of the Club would be willing to contribute in some way informal or formal to our discussions. If any member feels their voice is not being heard then email me and let me know. My aim as Chair has always been to serve all the members and to try and make our Club a cohesive and happy one.
  • Many thanks to the Officers and Committee Members for the help and wise advice I have received.

Keep safe
Ian (Chair)

Circular walk from the Arch along long distance Borth to Strata Florida and returning through Hafod Estate.

Message from Ian Bailey (Chair) to all Members 26 May 2021

Hello Everyone
A remote Committee meeting was held on 25/5/21. The following is a resume of the main points discussed.


  1. A walks programme For June & July 2021 has been circulated.
  2. The Meeting Point is the start point of the walk.
  3. Members need to prebook with the leader.
  4. The number of members allowed is at the discretion of the leader after consideration of the nature of the walk and car parking availability.
  5. Government guidance does allow car sharing. Quote: 'You must not share a private vehicle in groups larger than 6 people (except when everyone present is from no more than 2 households), unless your journey is made for an exempt reason.'
  6. Any leader needing help with recceing a walk please email me and I will try to arrange a 'buddy'.
  7. If a leader can't fulfill their programmed walk please contact the Compiler or Walks Coordinator as it may be possible to arrange an alternative walk.
  8. Please let your Compiler know if you can no longer lead at your usual grade. (Leaders/Compilers please notify Mike Everill of any changes required to the Leaders' List. - request added by MJE).


  • June 13th to 17th Caernarfon, 21 booked.
  • 19 to 24 Sept 2021 Harrogate, 20 booked & more rooms available.
  • Spring 2022, not yet decided, please email me with any suggestions.
  • There will be no HRC European holiday in August 2021.


  • Newsletter production remains in abeyance.
  • Pauline Oliver stood down as Editor and has been co-opted as an ordinary member.
  • Hilary Picken is temporary Secretary. Volunteer needed.
  • .
  • Mike Everill will stand down as Webmaster by Oct 2022. Volunteer needed.
  • Next Committee meeting Monday 28/6/21 at 7pm. Date set due to proposed Govt lockdown announcement for 21/6/21.
  • Top of the agenda to discuss will be dates and/or locations for :
    1. A.G.M.
    2. Pie and Pea supper.
    3. Summer picnic ( replaces the barbecue).

Many thanks to Officers, Committee members and Leaders for supporting the Club and I hope to see you on future walks and events.
Keep safe

Message to all Members 4 May 2021

Hello Everyone
It is anticipated that the current Coronavirus restrictions will be eased on17 May and this will then allow our limit of 6 attending walks to be increased. After discussion the Committee has decided that the new recommended party should be 12. However, the leader has the discretion to adjust this number, (up or down) taking account of the nature of the walk and car parking facilities. Members are still required to book with the leader and car sharing is not recommended. Leaders of walks after 17 May on the current programme may wish to arrange to increase the party size and advise reserve list members accordingly.

Walks Programme June & July 2021
The template for the walks programme for June and July has been circulated to all members and to date there has been a lack of offers to lead walks. The Club relies on members to volunteer to lead walks and it is hoped that you will step forward (pun intended)p and contact the appropriate walks compiler to complete the programme.

The compilers are :

  • Sunday & Thurs A & B grade walks, Phil Burgess
  • Sunday C & D grade walks, Ian Bailey
  • Thursday C & D grade walks, Ashley Steadman
  • G grade walks, Ken Elkin
  • Evening Walks, Bill Merchant

Best wishes to all and keep walking.
Bill Walshaw

HRC Update 29 March 2021

Hello Fellow Hanliensians.

This is an update following a video Committee meeting held on Weds 24/3/2021.

When the Constitution was drafted it was not envisaged that our AGM would need to be cancelled or postponed. The Committee has had to make pragmatic decisions which I hope members will support. Some decisions have been deferred to the next meeting in 2 months time on Tuesday 24/5/21. Usually we meet every 3 months, but we agreed on 2 months for the Committee to be more responsive to the ever changing circumstances with Covid.

Summary of the meeting.

  1. The Treasurer, Hilary Pickin, presented the club’s accounts for 2020. These had been checked and signed by auditor, Ken Elkin, on 28 January. The accounts showed a surplus of £831, this being mainly due to the cancellation of the AGM and photo competition and the newsletter printing and postage costs. Proposals were made regarding the membership subscription for 2021/22 and it was unanimously agreed that fees will be waived for this year and the 2020/21 membership will be extended. It was felt that printing new membership cards for 2021/2022 was an unjustified expense. There is an anticipated loss on the accounts for 2021 but of no great detriment to the club funds overall.
  2. AGM possible date to be discussed at next meeting.
  3. Summer picnic date to be discussed at the next meeting. It was decided last year this would replace the annual summer BBQ held on the first Sunday in July. Various reasons were behind the decision, the most important it being a fire hazard.
  4. Pie and Pea Supper normally held on the first Weds in August - date to be discussed at the next meeting.
  5. 2021 coach ramble, due to the uncertainties over coach travel and the amount of work in organising it, this has been cancelled.

Election of Officers and ordinary Committee members.

  • All Officers are elected annually at the AGM and ANY member can put themselves forward.
  • All current Officers have agreed to continue to serve except Pauline Oliver (Editor) and Clare Roberts (Secretary). Many thanks to both for their efficient work during their terms of office. Clare Roberts has agreed to serve as Editor. Hilary Pickin has kindly agreed to act as a temporary Secretary. Volunteers needed to take on this important role. Is any member interested? Contact is Ian Bailey.
  • Mike Everill, our Webmaster for many years has given notice that he will be relinquishing the Webmaster role in 2022. Volunteers are required to take over this important duty. Is any member interested ? Potential Webmaster volunteers should click the 'Website' button on the club site (link below) for more information. If the Webmaster position is not filled the Club website will close in October 2022, when payments for registration is due. Contact is Mike Everill.
  • The website is a useful resource of information for all members, please use it. The link is: http://www.hrcwalks.org.uk
  • Vanda Szolucha and Ivan Goyder-Smith are willing to stand for election as ordinary Committee members at the next AGM and have been co-opted to serve on the current Committee until the AGM can be held. Many thanks to both.

Walks Programme

Good news that it is restarting from Thursday 15/4/21 and it has been filled to the end of May. It is intended to run a 2 month programme circulated via email Round Robin. The Club depends on members to lead walks and offers to lead are required. Please contact the relevant compiler, details are as below.


  • Phil Burgess Sunday A and B walks, and Thursday A and B walks
  • Ashley Steadman Thursday C and D walks
  • Ian Bailey Sunday C and D walks
  • Bill Merchant Wednesday Evening walks
  • Ken Elkin Thursday and Sunday G walks

Many thanks to the outgoing compilers, Bill Walshaw, John Critchlow and John Brereton.

Some reminders for the resumption of the walks programme.

  1. rule of 6.
  2. must pre book.
  3. pubs only open for outdoor service.
  4. Kath Moran is our Facebook Group administrator and is currently considering some changes to enhance Club presentation. It is a useful way for members to keep in touch, post photos of walks etc. Do give it a try.

Social Events
Carol Merchant ably assisted by husband Bill has organised two holidays for this year.

  1. Celtic Royal Hotel, Caernarfon, Sunday13/6/21 to Friday 24/6/21. It was a stroke of luck that a dancing friend of theirs had organised a holiday for those dates and had15 spare rooms.
  2. The Old Swan at Harrogate Sunday 19/9/21 to Friday 24/9/21.
Coach holidays over the last few years had had declining numbers and the last one was cancelled due to lack of numbers.

Membership currently stands at 186.

I regret to announce the deaths of three members:

  1. Bill Salt, an old active member who moved to Norfolk, many years ago.
  2. Jean Bowen who Peter Johnson informs me was previously an active club member and contributor to our activities. Peter has provided an eulogy below.
  3. Phil Ford, I enjoyed a number of his D walks and his company.

Our condolences to their families and friends.

The Newsletter is still in abeyance with nothing to publish.


  1. walks programme restarts 15 April 2021. Leaders required.
  2. existing members to have free membership for 2021/2022.
  3. coach ramble cancelled.
  4. dates of AGM, summer picnic, pie and pea and resumption of the newsletter to be reviewed at next meeting Tuesday 25/5/21
  5. volunteers needed for Secretary and Webmaster.

Vaccination update: this is really good news as Stoke and North Staffordshire has the highest uptake in England. A massive achievement by our population and vaccine centres.

Keep safe
Ian Bailey [Chair]

Eulogy to Jean Bowen
Jean passed away on 6 March 2021 at Douglas MacMillan Hospice having suffered a recurrence of throat cancer. Although not someone who was often out on walks in later years or attempted the longer walks, she was a committed club member who always spoke highly of the club and even in the last twelve months persuaded two friends to join.

Long standing members will remember holidays to Majorca and Croyde Bay. Her love of dancing took her to the Paddock Hotel at Symonds Yat and the Cumbria Grand Hotel at Grange over Sands, all of which were her suggestions for club holidays. The Majorca holiday, in particular, she pointed out that the travel agent had a holiday in the Pollensa Park Hotel at a very reasonable price.
I have shared many holidays with Jean and her sister Joyce, the first club visit to Slovakia being one of the most memorable. There were five of us to share one bathroom. She soon took charge of the bathroom schedule for us all!

Few members are aware of the input she had to the social aspect of the HRC.
Peter Johnson

It was Jean who introduced the HRC to the Keep Fit and Badminton class at Fenton over 20 years ago - Mike Everill

HRC Update January 2021

Hello Hanliensians.
The New Year dawns with the Club still in a state of hibernation. I hope you and your families are all keeping well. The Committee held a meeting via ZOOM last week. Thanks to Karl for arranging it. I would like to update you on our discussions.

Holding it via ZOOM was considered. However, this was discounted as either there would be too little interest or would be too difficult with a lot of members . Even with 13 Committee members it felt hard work! The AGM will therefore be postponed until the summer.
Consequences of postponement:

  1. All current Officers are willing to stay in post until elections can be held.
  2. All current members apart from Ray Green are willing to stay on.
  3. There is currently 1 vacancy for an ordinary member and with Ray stepping down, it means there are 2 vacancies.
  4. Vanda Szolucha and Ivan Goyder- Smith had put themselves forward for election. In the circumstances the Committee unanimously agreed to co-opt them to serve, until elections can be held, as is stated in the constitution .

Any member can put themselves forward for election at the A.G.M. You don' t have to be an ordinary member to stand as an Officer. Some Officers continue to serve because of a lack of volunteers.

Claire has done an excellent job as Secretary over the last three years but does not want to stand again. Mike Everill has done a sterling job as Webmaster for many years. He has given advance notice that he will relinquish the position in 2022. So are there any members willing to serve as Secretary for 2021 or Webmaster in 2022? The convention of a three year term for the CHAIR arose because there was a queue of volunteers ! No more. I am willing to put myself forward for re-election for a fourth year.

Obviously this continues to have a big effect on our Club activities. It is difficult to plan anything and the following is a brief summary and is full of doubt.

  1. Caenarfon holiday 25/4/21 is in doubt and maybe deferred to later in the year. 41 have booked.
  2. August holiday to Europe. It seems pointless for Carol & Bill to put effort into something with a high risk of not going ahead.
  3. Chairman's ramble was planned for April. Postponed to possibly the summer.
  4. Coach ramble postponed from June to possibly September.
  5. Our Walks programme will resume when permitted. Safe to assume it will be as before, ie rule of 6 and needing to prebook. Also will probably be rather ad hoc and a month or two at a time.

A long list:
  • Ray Green for his contributions over the years.
  • The Officers for their efficient work
  • Ivan and Vanda for putting themselves forward to serve.
  • The support and advice I have received over the past 12 months from the Committee.

My best wishes
Ian (Chair)

HRC Christmas Message

Hello Fellow Hanliensians.
This time last year little did we envisage the club would only have two social events and only a few months of an organised walks programme.

My Chairman’s ramble in February went well. Mud caused cancellation of the B walk, so both groups combined for a walk around the Sandon Estate. We then had a lovely meal at the Greyhound at Burston.

Our annual Pie and Pea supper was held a month later than usual, in September, without a walk. Thirty of us sat down to an excellent meal at the Hotel Rudyard.

On a personal note I would like to thank members for their messages of support and also thank the committee for their support. I would like to wish you all, on behalf of myself and the committee, a Happy Christmas. Take care and keep safe and let’s look forward to walking with our fellow Hanliensians when we can in 2021.
Best wishes,
Ian (Chair)

Message from the Chairman29 November 2020

Stoke and Staffordshire will be in Tier 3 after 2/12/20. The consensus of the Committee is that the walks programme remains suspended until further notice.

Age UK have published a useful summary of restrictions and for Tier 3 to quote: ' journeys should be minimised'.

At Royal Stoke hospital there are 340 cases in I.T.U., twice that of the first wave. A critical incident was declared yesterday, Saturday 28 November.

Keep safe everybody. Ian ( chair)

Chairman's Update November 2020
(Suspension of Walks Programme)

Hello Fellow Hanliensians,
Unfortunately COVID is still having an adverse effect on our activities. The Committee had a telephone conference meeting on 21/10/20 and we have had some discussions since.

The main points arising were :

  1. AGM
    • Reluctantly we are unable to hold the 2020 AGM. It has three main functions, presentation and approval of Officer reports, election of Officers and Committee Members and a social one; it allows members to meet up.
    • The current Officers and Committee Members have kindly continued to serve until we can hold an AGM, hopefully in March 2021.
    • Details of how we intend to perform the normal business of the 2021 AGM will be announced after our January Committee meeting. There are ongoing discussions about the use of technology to assist in the operation of Club business including the AGM.
    • The positions of all Officers and Members are open to all club members and nominations can be received at or before the AGM
  2. Walks (but see Stop Press below)
    • We will continue with a 2 month programme.
    • Continue with 6 on walks [ 5 plus leader]. We decided for various reasons not to follow the Ramblers who allow up to 30.
    • Compilers. Phil Burgess will take over from Bill Walshaw for A/B walks. I will take over from John Critchlow for the Sunday C walks. Many thanks to Bill and John for their work over the years.
    • The 2021 Chairman’s Ramble will be in April. The mud of last February was very bad.
    • Please note there were no offers to lead Thursday A/B walks on the Nov/Dec programme.
    • It was felt that pubs should be an optional feature of walks, but lockdown 2 curtails this through November.
  3. Social Events.
    • The sad decision was made to cancel the Turkey Trot and A/B bash. We had already decided to cancel the Photocomp. It is impossible to plan to hold further events with a second wave upon us.
    • Many thanks to Bill and Carol for organising a successful holiday to Patterdale and an enjoyable Pie and Pea supper. Spring holiday arrangements are in hand to visit Caernarfon. Details later when discussions are completed.
  4. Membership
    • 9 new members have joined in 2020, bringing the total to 189.
    • According to the Constitution those joining AFTER the start of the Winter programme are deemed to be a member for the whole of the subsequent year. The committee felt as the programme has moved to a two month programme a definite date of 1/11/20 should be set for clarity.
  5. Hilary presented the Treasurer's accounts for the previous 3 months.
  6. Website Mike updated the site and paid (with great difficulty) for the Hosting Services and Domain Registration for the next 2 years. Please use the site.
  7. Round Robins. Bill has kindly agreed to keep sending these out. Please direct any walks queries to the leaders, or Walks Co-ordinator, Phil Burgess.
  8. Newsletter. It currently remains in abeyance as the walks programme is subject to change and we don’t need to send out booking forms. Allan Wells has been very ill but is improving and I am sure you will all wish to join me in sending him our best wishes.
    The Club only exists with the support of its members offering to lead and offering to stand for election to the Committee either as an ordinary member or as an Officer. Please step forward and assist in the running of the Club. Do you have any special skills that we could all benefit from? I would like to thank the Committee for their support in these trying times.

Keep safe everybody.
Ian [Chair]

In the light of the new restrictions we are suspending the walks programme until further notice. It may be possible to restart in December if restrictions are eased. See above for Government Guidance

2 points:

  1. Under the new restrictions we are allowed to make a ‘short journey‘ for the purpose of exercise . My interpretation is a journey to your nearest green space. I have Wetley Common a five minute walk away, so I feel I couldn’t justify any car journey.
  2. you are allowed outdoor exercise with members of your household or one other person.

Chairman's Update August 2020

Hello fellow Hanliensians, I thought it was time to provide you with another update on the club activities in the light of easing of lockdown and after last week's tele-conference committee meeting.

Walks Policy
This is to comply with current guidance and will continue for the foreseeable future.

  1. Maximum of 6 on a walk i.e. 5 plus the leader.
  2. No car sharing, the meeting point will be the start of the walk.
  3. Members will need to pre-book with the leader by email.
  4. First come first served, any surplus to go on a reserve list in the event of cancellations.

Walks Programme
A walks programme is being constructed in August for September and October. This programme will need to be compiled by 21 August so as to be ready for walks on Sept 3rd and 5th. We do need more leaders to continue to volunteer. The programme will be sent out to all members, via the current Round Robin system, on a monthly basis and will give members enough notice to book. It will also allow for any changes in the current restrictions to be accommodated. Unfortunately, we are unable to show all details on the club website due to data restrictions.

Walks compilers will gather the information, as done previously, which will then be forwarded to the Walks Co-ordinator, Phil Burgess. Initially this will continue on a monthly basis to allow the club to take into consideration any changes in the present Covid19 situation.

Round Robins
When Bill kindly offered to take this on, he did not foresee the increase in workload that COVID would bring with the ad hoc walks being offered weekly. It is for this reason that:

  1. The Round Robins, commencing with the September 2020 programme will be issued monthly.
  2. Members are to book on a walk or send queries by emailing the leader as listed.

We had a discussion at the committee meeting about whether to renew our subscription. There was strong support for renewal. It is an advert for the club as it is open to non-members to view. Mike has been putting on photos and advice about COVID. Many thanks. Please visit the website as we need to move with the times and more and more organisations use websites.

Social Programme
Bill and Carol have not been idle in this regard.

  1. Inghams cancelled the Italy holiday and those booked all had their deposits refunded. I realise that this has caused Bill & Carol a lot of work and worry, which is much appreciated.
  2. Patterdale self-drive holiday in October, 30 booked.
  3. A Pie and Pea has been organised for Weds 2/9/20 at Hotel Rudyard, the capacity of 30 has been reached. It may be possible to arrange a second if there is sufficient interest. There will be no walk.
  4. They are investigating Barmouth as a possible venue for next year’s Spring holiday, possibly late April. I am by a happy coincidence going to Harlech on Thursday, so am now going a day early and staying in the proposed hotel. What I do for the club!! I think it’s got good potential, seaside, mountains and less than a three-hour drive from Stoke. It also has a station so those wishing to go by train can do so.
  5. Photo competition. Sadly, it has been decided to cancel this year’s event due to the problems related to social distancing.

Publication currently remains suspended. Allan Wells continues his recovery at home.

Facebook page
Credit to Kath Moran for setting this up. This is a private group and provides an additional site to post photos as well as those Mike puts on the website.

Membership renewal
Probably due to the cancellation of the AGM and members not meeting up, this has been slower than in previous years. Hilary has sent out a reminder.

A big thank you to:

  1. The members who have volunteered to lead walks in these unusual times.
  2. the officers and members of the committee for their work on your behalf.
  3. the advice and support I have received from committee members over the last few months.
  4. those members who have renewed despite the club being in a state of semi-hibernation.
  5. Not forgetting a welcome to our new members and trust you will enjoy walking with us.

I hope you and your loved ones are keeping well and safe. Best wishes. Ian [Chair]

PS. The Committee is aware that the RA have issued guidance allowing an increase in group size on Ramblers walks. However, this has resulted in a number of queries and until they are resolved and considered, the existing group size of 6 on HRC walks will remain.

Chairman's Update May 2020

Dear Hanliensians
I thought it was time to give you an update on Club business in these extraordinary Coronavirus times. The Committee had a ‘virtual’ meeting via email and conference call. Officers submitted reports and we had an exchange of ideas.

In Summary:

  1. The resumption of Club activity remains under review.
  2. The publication of the newsletter is currently on hold.
  3. Next year (2021) the Chairman’s Ramble will be held in April. The mud of this year was the final straw for me organising it in February.
  4. I will organise the 2020 Turkey Trot at the Hotel Rudyard.
  5. Balance on Italy holiday has been put back and is now due by 8th July. Carol is awaiting further information from Inghams, details will be circulated to all participants when available. Latest government news suggests all foreign travel is off the agenda for the near future.
  6. No news on Patterdale self drive in October.
  7. Photocomp provisionally listed for November.
  8. Mike Everill has added a Coronavirus page to the website. Members are invited to send two photographs each for inclusion, which they can renew periodically.
  9. Mike has circulated an updated list of leaders, and members are requested to notify Mike of any changes to their preferred grades and days to lead. Offers from members to add their name to the leaders list are welcome.
  10. Coach holidays seem to be of declining interest .Only 13 booked for this year’s holiday to the Isle of Wight and Dunwoods cancelled due to low numbers. It is doubtful whether a coach holiday will feature on next year’s programme.

I received a long letter from John Knott, whose father was a founding member, with some details of earlier Club activities. Two of the Club photocomp prizes are in memory of deceased members namely Paul Rey, who died on a Club walk and Bill Broadhurst who was tragically killed cycling. On a lighter note he included a 1961 copy of the Staffordshire Knot (a local YHA publication) featuring a certain W.Walshaw leading cycling outings.

I am pleased to report that our publisher Allan Wells is now home after a prolonged spell in hospital. I am sure you will all join me in wishing Allan a continued recovery.

I would like to thank members of the Committee for their work and advice in these difficult times.

Countryside Code: A polite reminder that food waste counts as litter because :

  1. An apple core takes 2 months to decompose
  2. A banana skin 2 years.
  3. Orange peel 2 years.
  4. It might be harmful to wildlife.
So: Take nothing but photographs. Leave nothing but footprints.
I wish you and your loved ones continued good health.

Ian Bailey [chair]

From Kath Moran on our Facebook Group

Statement from Sarah Fowler, Chief Executive Peak District National Park Authority- 11 May

It is no surprise that as we take the first steps in the easing of 'lockdown' in this time of unprecedented national crisis, many of us turn to our national parks as a place of sanctuary. Across almost seven decades – and a past that has rarely seen anything of the magnitude of the coronavirus – our national parks have never been more relevant to the country’s need for health, wellbeing and connection with nature, beauty and history.

Whilst we may need our national parks at this time, our relationship with them remains precariously balanced with the current risks to everyone from Covid-19. So as we prepare to welcome you back, let us draw upon that remarkable sense of respect, kindness and humanity we have seen so far in our fight against this disease. This is why I am personally appealing today to anyone seeking to travel to the Peak District National Park. Before your journey, please carefully consider your own wellbeing and that of the Peak District’s many small communities - and be aware that the vast majority of facilities including hospitality businesses will be not be open for a little while yet.

Continuing to use local parks and outdoor areas close to your home can continue to provide the crucial breathing space for you and for us, to ensure the Peak District can be a safe and welcoming place to visit in the weeks to come. In this way we can ensure we don’t place undue pressure on public highways, emergency access or key workers. With around 2,000 Covid-19 cases across Derbyshire alone and local services and resources already fighting on a significant front, it is vital that we limit the impacts on our residential towns and villages wherever possible. With a huge collective effort in respecting our national parks right now, they can be protected and will be there for us all to enjoy far beyond this current coronavirus crisis, including a responsible and vital return for our tourism sector. Those who live and work in our communities are already working hard to ensure there will be a warm welcome so our National Park can equally be enjoyed safely by everyone.

Sarah Fowler, Chief Executive

HRC Chairman's Address April 2020

Greetings fellow Hanliensians.
It is traditional for the Chair to open the AGM with some opening remarks. This is a somewhat modified version in view of the pandemic.

I would like us to remember Mabel Hoyle an Honorary Life Member who passed away aged 94 since the last AGM. She joined the Club in 1947 and gave great service as Committee member 1963 to 1982, Secretary 1955 to 1962, Vice Chair 1983 to 1985 and Chair 1989 to 1990.

Peter Gannon died earlier this year after a distressing illness. He was no longer a Club member but I have fond memories of him leading me on my first Club walk. I was one of several members present in a large congregation at his funeral.

The date of the cancelled AGM marks the end of the clubs 90th Anniversary year. The highlight was a programme of 3 walks followed by a celebration meal at Gradbach Mill on the 23rd June to mark our Anniversary. Ron Scholes, an Honorary Life Member, gave an excellent after dinner speech, and by a happy coincidence it was also his 90th birthday in this past year. The sun shone and everyone enjoyed the day. Many thanks to Karl for organising the event and leading the A walk. I led the B walk and thanks to Stan Rogers who led the C walk.

Other events held during the year were :

  • Youlgreave YHA. weekend
  • Daffodil Dawdle
  • Coach Ramble to the Dales Way
  • Pie and Pea Supper
  • Photo Competition
  • A/B Xmas bash
  • Turkey Trot
  • Chairman's Ramble

Also Holidays to:

  • Patterdale (self drive)
  • Picos de Europa (Spain)
  • Morzine (France)
  • Ifracombe coach holiday.
Many thanks to all the hard work of the organisers and the Members who supported the events. Thanks are due to all the Leaders, without their efforts there would be no walks and events.

It has been a very wet winter. I think we hardly had two consecutive dry days. A record number of walks were cancelled.

The Year Ahead

It was pleasing that the A walk I led on 5/1/20 attracted 6 existing Members and 5 who had joined in the last year. The challenge is to retain these new Members, many of whom still work, and represent the future of our Club. We must continue to try to attract new members. Peter Johnson our Publicity Officer has worked hard to achieve this. However, we all need to try to recruit new members from amongst family, friends and acquaintances. A further challenge is to maintain the cohesiveness of the Club over the whole range of walking.abilities. This year I plan to organise the Turkey Trot at the Hotel Rudyard so there is room for all.
I will repeat my comments of last year that there is a lack of representation of D and G walkers on the Committee. I have made an effort to attend some G meals to keep in touch with D and G members. Many of them I know from my early days in the Club when I tended to do D walks.

Future Events

The Committee has decided to replace the BBQ with a summer picnic. This removes the worries over fire risks. Many thanks to Peter Johnson for his hard work organising BBQ's for many years.
Personal thoughts for future events:

  1. I feel the Chairman's Ramble should be moved to April from February for better weather. The fact it would occur a month after the Chairman's term of office ends is of secondary importance.
  2. The Coach Holidays have declined in popularity in recent years. However, any Club Member who is arranging one, and is willing to open it out to Members could have it advertised in a relevant Newsletter. It could then be included in the Programme and be a Club event. Otherwise it is likely that Self-drive will be arranged in Spring and Autumn.
  3. YHA weekends. They are a lot of work for the organiser. I would suggest that it might be better to choose a venue with a YH and members book what accommodation suits them, from YH to 5 star hotel! This is how some other walking clubs operate.

Some Thank Yous

I would like to thank our outgoing Social Secretary Jane Rushton for her hard work. I, on behalf of the Committee welcome Carol Merchant putting herself forward for election to succeed her and wish her every success. I would also like to thank my fellow Committee Members and Officers for their hard work and support during the last year. Allan Wells our publisher remains ill and we send him our best wishes.

It was decided at the last Committee meeting that they should remain unchanged at £10. Members who have not done so should arrange to pay as soon as possible.

I feel that we were rather ahead of the game in cancelling our programme and the AGM. A delay of 24 hours in cancelling the AGM buffet would have cost the Club £152. At the moment, the Club Programme is cancelled, publication of the next Newsletter postponed and there are no Committee meetings. It is difficult to foresee how long the current situation will continue.

I would like to conclude by stating my aims as Chair which are:

  1. to act as a link between all Members of the Club and the Committee
  2. to improve the cohesiveness of the Club
  3. to provide ideas to continue to improve all Club activities

In the meantime. Keep safe. Keep well.
Ian Bailey (Chair)

Message from the Club Chairman 24 March 2020

Dear Hanliensians
I thought I need to update you on Club business
  1. to confirm that all club activity listed on the current newsletter has been cancelled.
  2. it has been decided to cancel the coach ramble. There is no prospect of the current restrictions being lifted in time. All cheques for the coach ramble have been destroyed.
  3. Committee meetings have been suspended and we are making decisions by email and phone.
  4. the next newsletter will be deferred until a later date. There is no prospect of needing to publish a walks programme or booking forms at present.
  5. although the club currently remains in a state of hibernation I hope you will bear with me reminding you to send in your subs!
  6. on a happier note our Sunday D walk compiler John Brereton has offered to continue his efficient work. Many thanks to you.
  7. many thanks to Carol Merchant for standing for election as Social secretary .Also thanks to our outgoing secretary, Jane Rushton for her efforts during her tenure.
  8. there is now a Coronavirus page on the Club website ( www.HRCwalks.org.uk) which will collate all related Round Robin (RR) emails and useful information from relevant external organisations. The Club Facebook page is another useful source.
  9. please email me with any queries. If you wish to ring me it's best to avoid Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays when I am at work.

On a personal note I would like to thank my fellow Committee members for their support and advice in these difficult times.
Keep well and safe. Ian Bailey(Chair)

Message from the Club Chairman 17 March 2020

Hello Members
In view of the latest Government Coronavirus advice to avoid unnecessary travel and social contact it has been decided to:
  1. cancel the Walks Programme immediately until further notice.
  2. cancel the Atrium meal and walk. Carol will destroy all booking cheques.
  3. cancel the Daffodil Dawdle meal and walk. Further info from Jane to follow.
  4. cancel the Corris YH trip as it does involve unnecessary travel and involves close social contact. Further info from Karl to booked members to follow.

These are unprecedented times and it is hoped that we will all be able to revive our Club activities as soon as possible, in the meantime please stay safe.

Ian Bailey(Chair), Garry Melbourne (Vice Chair)

Staffordshire Police Advice On Exercise 27 March 2020

There’s been some confusion around whether people can visit and exercise in the Staffordshire countryside, including Cannock Chase, the Roaches and other country parks. We’re asking you not to visit these areas and to stay close to home to exercise for the daily exercise, as per the government guidelines on social distancing. We understand that there’s a small number of people who live within these immediate areas who may continue to walk dogs and exercise, but cars should only be used for essential journeys and not to travel somewhere to exercise. We all need to work together to prevent the spread of Covid-19, protect the NHS and save lives. Thank you for your support in staying at home and avoiding unnecessary travel. The beautiful Staffordshire countryside will still be there in a few weeks for us all to enjoy

Latest Pronouncement by the Government 23 March 2020


The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives. When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection. That is why the government is now (23 March 2020) introducing three new measures.

  1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes
  2. Closing non-essential shops and community spaces
  3. Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public
Every citizen must comply with these new measures. The relevant authorities, including the police, will be given the powers to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gatherings. These measures are effective immediately. The Government will look again at these measures in three weeks, and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.


You should only leave the house for one of four reasons.
  1. Shopping for basic necessities , for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
  2. One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household.
  3. Any medical need , or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
  4. Travelling to and from work , but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.

These four reasons are exceptions - even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household. These measures must be followed by everyone. Separate advice is available for individuals or households who are isolating , and for the most vulnerable who need to be shielded.

If you work in a critical sector outlined in this guidance , or your child has been identified as vulnerable, you can continue to take your children to school. Where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes.


Last week, the Government ordered certain businesses - including pubs, cinemas and theatres - to close. The Government is now extending this requirement to a further set of businesses and other venues, including:

  • all non-essential retail stores - this will include clothing and electronics stores; hair, beauty and nail salons; and outdoor and indoor markets, excluding food markets.
  • PDF Document

    The last pictures taken before the Club Programme was suspended - Long Mynd 15 March 2020

    Living Streets 24 March 2020

    Ashley Steadman has recommended Living Streets with usefull advice on social distancing

    The Prime Minister has announced new rules: we must all stay at home. This goes for people who have symptoms and those who don’t. It goes for everyone. However, we can still leave the home for vital shopping and medicine, to care for someone else, and once a day for daily exercise.

    Ramblers Members have new ideas on how to keep fit during Lockdown. Goto Ramblers

    Ramblers Update 24 March 2020

    On Monday 23 March, the Government announced that people will only be allowed to leave their home for the following very limited purposes:

    • shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
    • one form of exercise a day – for example a walk, run or cycle – alone or with members of your household;
    • any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
    • travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary.

    In line with previous advice, if you choose to walk for exercise you are advised to only walk locally to where you live. You should walk alone or with people from your household. You should not walk with friends or in groups. Keep 2m (6ft) distance from anyone you pass on your walk.

    If you’re are in a household with COVID-19 symptoms, you should self-isolate at home. Those aged 70 or older and those with pre-existing health conditions that put them at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 are particularly advised to practice social distancing. Please see Public Health England’s guidelines on social distancing.

    If you choose to walk locally for exercise, please:

    • Do not walk anywhere that you could get in to trouble and require the emergency services.
    • Avoid touching gates, fences etc. If you do, clean your hands with anti-bac and wash your hands as soon as possible.
    • Upon returning home, wash your hands.

    Ramblers Information 16 March 2020
    Ashley Steadman has provided the following statement from the Ramblers concerning their policy towards the Government Instructions and Advice.

    The Ramblers GB has today issued an update on what we all should do regarding the COVID-19 virus.

    Below is the information from HQ that explains what is happening...….

    You will have seen the announcements made by the Government yesterday evening (Monday 16 March 2020). We have been following Government advice and we continue to do so. Our top priority is protecting the health of our members, volunteers and staff. We also want to help suppress the spread of the COVID-19 virus. So, I want to update you on what the Ramblers is doing and what we need you to do.

    Ramblers GB is suspending all volunteer activities from Wednesday 18 March 2020. This includes group led walks, Walking for Health schemes, all training including walk leadership training, path maintenance working groups, coach trips and holidays, meetings, group and social events. All Ramblers activities must stop until further notice. This applies from Wednesday 18 March, to at least until 31 May, subject to further developments. We are also making the decision to cancel the General Council in April. Those who are attending will receive separate information about this.

    We will keep you updated with the latest information on our response to the COVID-19 virus on Ramblers
    The best way to contact us is to first check the coronavirus webpage link for information. If you have any questions, please get in touch via coronavirus@ramblers.zendesk.com and we will aim to get back to you as soon as possible. Please note that our offices will only have essential staff, with most Ramblers staff working from home.

    Subject to government advice and restrictions about those who are in households with symptoms or pre-existing health conditions: independent walks can continue and are an excellent way to maintain health and wellbeing - provided independent walkers can keep their distance from others.

    Walking Around Britain Update 23 March 2020

    Similar modification of advice as the Ramblers based on the Government's new directions. Basically the best advice for walking right now is to go out and walk with members of your household, or alone, and enjoy the outdoors. Remember to stay local - don't travel very far from your home. Otherwise stay at home.

    Information from Walking Around Britain 18 March 2020

    Kath Moran cited the following article from Walking Around Britain on the HRC Facebook Group, concerning Coronavirus and walking

    The current outbreak of the Covid-19 Coronavirus has many people rightfully worried. With talk of self-isolation, social distancing and the banning of gatherings, is it safe to be going out walking?
    The simple answer is - yes, it is safe to go out walking in Great Britain.
    The team at Walks Around Britain have read through many papers and research to find what we believe to be the current situation regarding Coronavirus and the outdoors. This feature provides our best interpretation of that research, but we are not medical practitioners. Last updated - 18/3/2020.

    Providing you are free of the symptoms of coronavirus, the current advice is that being in the outdoors is as safe as any place at the moment - actually, it's possibly safer. That's because it is believed that coronavirus is transmitted via touching infected materials or people. It is not thought the virus is passed on through the air. So being outdoors away from other people is one of the best things you can do to reduce the spread of the virus.

    The new guidelines on Monday 16th March 2020 advises to minimise non-essential travel. So take this as an opportunity to discover walks that are more closer to you local area. The best advice for walking right now is to go out and walk with a healthy friend or in a small group and enjoy the outdoors.

    Should I avoid touching gates?
    The latest information with the coronavirus is that it does not last very long on objects outside because of the exposure to sunlight. The effect of viruses on surfaces is rapidly diminished by the presence of Ultraviolet light (UVA) and sunlight is a source of a lot of UVA light. So the more sunlight a surface has on it, the less effective any virus is on it. And the even better news is surfaces and objects outdoors should have little virus on them. However, the issue is if someone coughs into his or her hand immediately before touching a gate, and then you touch the gate after them. Therefore, if you have to touch a gate immediately after someone else, do not touch your face after. Or use a glove, sleeve, or elbow - and then wash that item on your return home.

    Should you avoid walking in groups?
    In light of the most recent guidelines issued on Monday 16th March 2020, it is best to avoid walking in groups as part of the Government's advice on mimimising social interaction. If you do walk in a group of people you know, you could protect yourself as much as possible by spreading out a little bit further than you would usually and avoiding unnecessary hand-touching. And of course, don’t forget to wash your hands when you get back home.

    Can you go for a walk if you are self-isolated?
    No. The current advice from the UK Government is if you have any symptoms of coronavirus infection, however mild, do not leave your home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. However, because the current thinking is the virus is not airborne, you are able to go outside in your own garden providing you stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from your boundary. You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days, contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

    Can coronavirus be spread through sweat?
    According to the most recent information, transmission of the coronavirus happens between people who are in close contact with one another (about two metres or six feet) and through respiratory droplets, produced through a cough or sneeze - not sweat.

    How can walking help with Social Distancing?
    We've all decided to go walking somewhere for some peace and tranquillity, only to find everyone and their mothers has chosen the exact same walk as you. So, with the policy of Social Distancing - keeping around 2 metres or six feet away from others you don't know - perhaps this is a great opportunity to visit some places you've never been, or indeed places you'd never previously thought of to go walking...

    Can I catch coronavirus from dogs?
    There is no evidence that you can catch coronavirus from dogs or other pets. The virus is most commonly passed from person to person through coughing and sneezing. We know the virus can live on surfaces for some time, depending on the type of material, temperature and other factors - so in theory it could live on fur or pet hair. However, there’s currently no evidence that companion animals can spread Covid-19 to people.

    It’s best to follow standard good hygiene practices, such as regularly washing your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water, especially after handling or feeding your pet. It's also possibly wise to reduce your contact with other dogs you don't know.

    Should I go into a pub, cafe or tearoom after my walk?
    The official advice (now law) is to avoid pubs, cafes or tearooms. Pubs, cafes and tearooms are closed from 20 March 2020

    Walks Around Britain