Clitheroe Ramblers put on a party
Clitheroe Ramblers threw a party for founder member Pat Parrott when she reached her ninetieth birthday recently.
Meeting at the Cricket Club, members old and new heard colleagues recount Pat’s outstanding contribution to the successful local walking group and to relay many personal anecdotes of working and walking with her. A past member now living in Australia, had sent a poem and there was a specially composed song to celebrate her many achievements. One speaker said “All who walk in Ribble Valley owe her a huge debt of gratitude for the work she has done to preserve and improve their rights of way.”
Pat was presented with flowers and an album of photographs and historic press-cuttings recalling significant moments with Clitheroe Ramblers. Everyone enjoyed a buffet supper and catching up with past walking companions.
Clitheroe Ramblers was formed in March 18th 1969 and Pat was involved in its birth . She has been on the committee ever since and many of the early committee meetings took place at her home address..
She led her first walk for the Group on Monday 11th May 1970, a short evening walk as part of the Ramblers National Footpath week. She led her final walk at the age of 84 on 30th April 2013. Very appropriately this was “A Map and Compass Walk” to complete 44 successive years of leading walks for the group.
She was a Voluntary Warden from before 1969 with the Yorkshire Dales National Park and led walks for them. She also led walks for the Area Coach Rambles, Alpine Overland, which she founded with Fred Jackson, Dales Rail, Burnley Mountaineers and Bentham Group.
She became the group's first Footpath Secretary in 1974. and held the post for a total of 36 years over two spells 1974-82 and 1988 –2012, gradually building up her team of footpath workers to 8 including herself. Since 2012 she has been the Group's Countryside Officer. Other posts she has held have been Secretary,Treasurer and Membership and Minutes Secretaries. She has also been a Vice President of North East Lancs Area since the early 1980's.
My introduction to Pat took place on a Ramblers walk on the Wednesday evening of the 15th August1979. This was one of 5 evening walks in that week led by David Tomlinson and organised by North East Lancs area for the Ramblers National “Come Alive Campaign”
Pat must have created quite an impression on me as I signed up to join the Ramblers and 3 months later I was elected onto the Clitheroe Group committee. We served 38 years together on the committee and I found her inspirational and a tower of strength, always giving me advice whenever required.
She has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the 838 miles of public rights of way in the Ribble Valley. Under her stewardship, thousands of footpath reports were submitted, hundreds of diversion requests were dealt with and numerous public enquiries attended.
In 2004 our book of walks “25 Walks in the Ribble and Hodder valleys” was published. Pat together with Jane Donnelly edited the walks, previously published in “The Valley” Then in 2006 our second book “The Hodder Way” was published. The Hodder Way was the brainchild of Pat and was officially opened in 2006
In April 1980, Pat was one of a party of 20 English and Belgium people, who completed a 100 mile walk called “La Marche De L'Europe to promote unity in the EEC. It was a strenuous treck at a rapid pace covering about 20 miles a day. On reaching the European Parliament building in Strasbourg, Pat was asked at short notice to greet the assembly on behalf of the English party. At a later reception she presented a plaque from the Ribble Valley mayor, Councillor Jimmy Fell to his counterpart in Strasbourg. She was honoured again when she was nominated to present a letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Robert Runcie to the Bishop of Strasbourg.
In 2005 Pat was runner up in the Ribble Valley Adult Volunteer of the Year awards.
In May 2014, Pat was a guest at the Queen's Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, having been recommended by the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire.
Pat once described herself as a walking fanatic with an enduring love of the countryside.
The Clitheroe group and all who walk in the Ribble Valley owe Pat a huge debt of gratitude for all the work she has done to preserve and improve the rights of way. She has always been focused, thorough, tactful and efficient. She has first hand knowledge of complicated disputes going back many years and we are glad that we can still benefit from her advice.
7th September 2018
Treasure hunt, 17 May
The social committee organised a treasure hunt in Waddington, on May 17th. It was enjoyed by those taking part, despite some getting a little lost. All managed to find their way to the Country Kitchen Cafe where Tim provided a tasty supper. The winners, Paul and Hilary, only won by a time difference over Ann, Derek and Roy. The winners of the booby prize shall remain anonymous, but I hope they enjoyed their dolly mixtures.
Cheese and Wine Tasting 8th March 2017
The recent social event in March for Clitheroe Group and friends was a Cheese and Wine Tasting Evening at West Bradford Village Hall. Staff from the delicatessen counter at Booths Supermarket, Clitheroe, introduced participants to a selection of cheeses, and wines that would accompany these cheeses. Members were interested to note the flavour of cheeses change subtly, when eaten with recommended wine. As there was no fee for the presentation a donation was made in lieu to the North West Air Ambulance.
Christmas Lunch - 2016
On 6 December, 48 Ramblers enjoyed a delicious Christmas lunch at The Three Millstones at West Bradford. We had the pub to ourselves which made the atmosphere relaxed and informal. The food was very good and the service excellent. Before the meal 33 members took part in a five and a half mile walk in the surrounding area, ending up on a path by the river from Grindleton. Unfortunately, the promised views of Pendle did not materialise owing to low cloud, but the rain held off and we were all back at the Millstones in time for lunch having worked up a good appetite.
Afternoon tea walk Twenty Ramblers enjoyed a walk followed by afternoon tea in Barrowford on 12 July. The weather was warm and dry enough for us to sit outside and gorge ourselves on delicious sandwiches, savouries and cake provided by Christie and Sarah of ‘Simply by Design.’ This was a different form of social event for the group and I hope it proved a successful venture.
Social evening on 5 April Thirty five members and friends attended a social evening on 5 April. The speaker was Robert MacDonald, who had just started on his tenth round of the Scottish Munros, so he entitled his talk “Here We Go Again.” He illustrated this with pictures of his favourite places in the Scottish mountains – some precarious and rocky, some graceful and rolling with jagged ridges and tranquil lochs, all quite remote. We then tucked into a savoury supper provided by the social committee, and Brian Williams organized an excellent short quiz, the subject being Scotland! Thanks to all who attended.
The walk on 17th February will now be led by Hilary Ribchester and will start from Ribchester. The walk on Sunday 3rd March will now be led by Geoff Errington and will depart from Haslingden Grane.
Clitheroe Ramblers on camera
A few month’s ago we were approached by a TV company making a documentary about walking along the River Hodder. They asked if two of our members would walk an upper stretch while being interviewed about its beauties. Roger nominated us for this. (Sorry chaps but they wanted ladies!)
We did the filming on Wednesday 7th November, meeting the crew at Dunsop Bridge. The interviewer turned out to be Stuart Maconie who is President of The Ramblers Association.
The programme will go out on BBC North West on December 10th at 7.30. It was an enjoyable experience and Stuart Maconie was interested in all that Clitheroe Ramblers are doing. We presented him with a copy of our own book of walks-“The Hodder Way.”
Our photos show us with Stuart Maconie at the start of the walk and the TV crew at work.
Clitheroe “Kili Killer” Triumph!
Thursday 11thOctober saw Derek Russell, (of Clitheroe), reach the 5,895 metre summit of Mount Kilimanjaro; the tallest mountain in Africa.
Having set off from Barafu Camp at 10.30pm on Wednesday night, he climbed the equivalent height of Ben Nevis, (over 1,200metres), in pitch darkness to arrive at the iconic Uhuru Peak at 6.50am on Thursday morning – to be met by the most amazing views either had experienced in their lives.
Prior to summiting he had trekked for a total of 5 days, covering over 30 miles and ascending over 1,500metres – the equivalent of 3 Pendle Hills. In doing so he exposed himself to extremes of temperature, (from 30 degrees heat in equatorial rain forests to sub zero temperatures at Barafu Camp), and the potential of altitude sickness at the end of day one!
He had committed to the Challenge in 2017 with the joint aims of:-
Commenting on their assault of “Kili” Derek said, “The words hard and tough do not do the effort justice …. it was extremely hard, unbelievably tough, relentless, tiring beyond belief, and tested every one physically, mentally and emotionally… we genuinely all have been to hell and back!
“Somehow I made it to the top!! And to my immense pleasure everybody else in our group also made it onto KILIMANJARO’s plateau – a remarkable group achievement, and one that is rarely achieved.
“Summiting Kili however was only half the battle; having got up there, I then had to get off and back to civilisation. The big difference was that the group took nearly five and half days to get to the top, but just one day to get down. For me personally that was by far the hardest part; walking over 15 miles, and descending over 4,000m was so tough. I have never been in so much pain, so exhausted and so pleased to see a finish line in my life!”
Clitheroe Group Spring Break 2019 – from Josie Pickup
The spring break for 2019 will be at Shearings, Tarbet Hotel Loch Lomond, Monday to Friday 10th to 14th June inclusive, 4 nights. Please book direct with Shearings on 01942 447570. The hotel is now reaching maximum capacity but if you wish to book once the hotel is full , alternative accommodation is available at a hotel nearby. For further details please contact the writer. Once you have booked could you please let me know the booking reference so that I can arrange for the group to sit together for meals.
Clitheroe Group Autumn Break 2019 – from Josie Pickup.
The autumn break is being arranged for Weston-Super-Mare at the Grand Atlantic Hotel, Monday to Friday 7th October to 11th Oct. inclusive booking direct with Shearings on 01942 447570. Please book early to reserve a single room and a car parking place. Parking at this hotel is £6 per day. All walks will be 8 to 10 miles and moderate hopefully taking in the Cheddar Gorge. When you have booked could you let the writer have your booking reference in order that I can arrange for the group to sit together for meals.
Tel: Josie Pickup 07517 342 495