There were 40 members that signed the attendance
register. Welcome The chair welcomed members to the AGM and
thanked them for attending.
1. Apologies for absence
The following members sent their apologies: Audrey Sheen, John Edwards,
David Gylee, Dave Barraclough, Judith Anderson, Andy Davies, Alan Catherall and
2. Minutes of the AGM held on 24tth November 2018 The minutes
were accepted unanimously as a true and fair record of this meeting (proposed
by Helen Richardson and seconded by Sue Munslow)
3. Matters arising from the AGM held on 24th November 2018
To clarify the question asked regarding the insurance
provided by the Ramblers. All ramblers are covered by what is known as
liability insurance when on an ECR group walk. Further information can be found
at the Ramblers website (www.ramblers.org.uk) where there is an Insurance Guide
(Login in your Account and go to Home >Volunteer zone >Support &
Development alphabetically sorted > volunteer toolkits > Insurance
toolkit and download the latest Insurance Guide)
4. Annual Reports from Officers (posted in the website for
During her address to the meeting the Chair
highlighted: a) Walk programme: this
year the Stroller Walks have become very successful and well attended. However,
the midweek and weekend walks have run with radical variations in the number of
walkers. There has been much discussion about this at the Committee and amongst
the members. In the light of the statistical data gathered in 2019 so far the
Committee decided to leave the programme unchanged as there was a diversity of
opinions that no clear way forward has evolved.
All the volunteers
were thanked for their contribution to this amazing and varied programme of
walks. The Walk Coordinators are always looking for new volunteers to lead
walks (see (d) below). b) The work carried out by the Footpath Committee was
highlighted and thanked for the work they do. c) There has been a change in the
responsibility for posting information in the ECR Website (Maggie Swindells)
and for circulating communications as bulk emails to the membership (Steve
Hull). The Committee are looking for volunteers with Facebook, WhatsApp and/or
Instagram knowledge so that we can make use of these media in our means of
communication to help to attract younger members. d) Several social and
training events were organized during 2019. The walk Leader introductory course
run in July was a success and the Committee may run another course in 2020 and
depending on demand will run them annually. e) The Committee are looking to co-opt
two volunteers to join. f) Finally, everyone who have volunteered and
contributed to make a success of ECR were acknowledged and appreciated very
much. There were no questions from the floor.
Key points made during the address were: a) A surplus of £1082.47 with our bank
balance standing at £5882.48 which is up on last year figure of £4801. ECR
remains in a robust financial position and has sufficient provision available
to invest in footpath improvement schemes once they have been identified. b)
Our funding for the year from Ramblers was £1200 (up from £800 requested last
year) c) Our self-funded activities generated a surplus of £63 d) ECR received
£610 in commissions from Ramblers Holidays which is a sizeable increase from
previous years. Donations totalling £200 were made to our local Mountain Rescue
Teams (Kinder, Buxton, Glossop and Oldham). ECR also donated £500 to Cheshire
East Council to help fund the repair of Harrop Bridge. e) The vast majority of
members are now using internet payments. A question from a member was asked
relating to expenses incurred by walk leaders at weekend away events (ie. Recce
charges). A rough framework was discussed at the last Committee meeting in
November and details will be finalized at the next Committee meeting due in
4.3 Membership Secretary
The following members that had passed away in the past year
were remembered with a minute silence: Derek Thornley, Nora Shercliff and
Since the last AGM
our membership numbers have gone down from 593 to 566 in line with national
figures. Our group are actively trying to recruit new members by leaving publicity
leaflets in local leisure centres, medical centres and libraries. Central
Office have started a campaign to keep new members by providing guidance to the
local groups in the country (see report in the website for details). The need for members to keep their personal
details up to date was emphasised to ensure that the ECR group members list
which is issued monthly by Central Office is up to date – changers can only be
done by the individual login into his/her Account in the Ramblers website. It
is important to update any change in an email address immediately so that the
change appears in the monthly membership list as the list is used to update the
bulk email service (used to send ECR communications to our members) on a
monthly basis. There were no questions from the floor.
4.4 Social & Events Secretary
A full and varied programme of events was provided to our
members, which were well supported. Our social programme depends so much on the
generosity of members who are prepared to give up their time to provide events
for all of us and they were thanked on behalf of all the membership for their
time, enthusiasm, imagination
and continued support. We are looking for volunteers to run a Weekend Away in
2020. There were no questions from the floor.
4.5 Footpath Committee Chairman
In the absence of
Dave Barraclough, Neil Collie stood in his place to answer any questions
arising from the report (posted in the website for reference). This year has
been an active but fairly routine year for the Footpath Committee activities.
The significant work done by Colin Park in the listing of potential Lost Ways
across Cheshire was acknowledged as he is now standing down from managing this
project on behalf of ECR. There were no questions from the floor.
4.6 Publicity Officer
This year has seen walk articles appearing in the
Macclesfield Express on all but one week. Walk articles from anyone leading
walks are welcome, especially if it is a new or unfamiliar area (instructions
on the format of an article are given in the report posted in the website). In
addition, walk articles are now posted in our website for those members that do
not have access to the newspaper. There were no questions from the floor.
5. Other Reports
5.1 Footpath Maintenance Projects Team (coordinated by Brian
The Team has carried out one project during this year – a
major path re-instatement on National Trust land in Alderley Edge. The
Coordinator hopes to engage the Team in several tasks in 2020. There were no questions from the floor. 5.2
ECR Walk Statistics (posted in the website for reference) In the light of the statistical analysis
available for 2019 the Committee have decided to leave our extensive and varied
Walk Programme format unchanged – see 4.1 (a) above. The work done by Ralph
Atherton and Andy Davies was acknowledged and appreciated. Ralph will not be
involved in the collection and data crunching anymore and this task will be
done by Andy from now on.
6. Election of Officers and Committee
The following stood for re-election and were elected
unopposed in block by a show of hands: Jane Gay (Chair), Colin Finlayson
(Treasurer), Sue Munslow (Membership Secretary), Maggie Swindells (Social &
Events Secretary), Dave Barraclough (Footpath Committee representative), Colin
Park (Publicity Officer) and Keith Anderson (Committee Member). Kathryn Carty
put forward her name for election to the vacant position of Secretary (duly
proposed and seconded). There were no other nominations received by the cut-off
date so Kathryn was unanimously elected by a show of hands. The Committee are
seeking to co-opt two additional volunteers to join. In addition, there is a vacancy for a
volunteer to take on the management of the Lost Ways project. The Chair thanked
the outgoing Secretary for the work done during the last 3 years.
7. Appointment of Independent Examiner (Auditor of Accounts)
Ken Hobbs was reappointed unanimously by a show of hands.
8. Motions None
9. Any other Business None
The meeting closed at 3 pm.
Adrian Flinn – ECR Committee Secretary 9th December
Dates of meetings to be held in 2020 (venues to be confirmed
in late summer):
For the fourth year running I will be
leading a ‘Long Walkers’ weekend and next year I am using Aberystwyth as a
Two linear walks will be on offer and
details are as follows.
Saturday 25th April.
We catch the bus (either Trawscymru 1
or 5) from close to Aberystwyth Railway Station southwards along the coast to
Llanon (Central Hotel) where we will return to Aberystwyth by following a
lovely section of the Wales Coast Path. Distance 12 miles; grade moderate.
Sunday 26th April.
Our walk will start in Aberystwyth
and follow the Wales Coast Path north to the edge of Borth where we will turn
inland to follow quiet lanes, tracks and paths via Llandre to Bow Street.
Distance 10.5 miles; grade moderate. (This walk will require a ‘car drivers
only’ car shuttle of approximately 4 miles between Aberystwyth and Bow Street
prior to the walk starting).
For anyone who prefers a ‘medium
length walk’. Both these walks are tailored to suit anyone wishing not to walk
the full distance. On the Saturday walk, buses can be caught back to
Aberystwyth from the village of Blaenplwyf which lies about one mile from the
coastal path via field paths or alternately the long walk can by joined from
Llanrhystud. On Sunday, a train can be caught back from Borth Station to
I will have all bus and train timings
prior to each walk.
Please book your own accommodation
for the weekend and when this is done please advise Colin Park – E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
I will need to know where you are
staying and for how many nights.
There is not a vast amount of
accommodation in Aberystwyth but details can be found on booking.com,
and Airbnb. There is a Premier Inn in the town centre and Park Lodge Hotel on
the outskirts of the town.
We can decide this nearer the time.
Some of you may want to go to an ‘Indian Restaurant’ or similar. This can be
discussed when I know who is going.
East Cheshire Ramblers Group
Minutes of the Committee meeting held on Monday 11th November 2019
Jane Gay – Chair
Colin Finlayson – Treasurer
Sue Munslow – Membership
Adrian Flinn – Secretary
Apologies: David Barraclough and Maggie
2. Matters arising from last
meeting (held on 2 September 2019)
“value for the cost of the subscription”. Not yet raised with Central Office. Action:
Colin Finlayson to report at next meeting
car usage through a dedicated App created by RA. Not a Central Office priority
as they have other more important IT projects on going. The Committee will encourage groups of
individuals to set up WhatsApp groups to contact each other and arrange lifts
to the walks starting points. Action: Jane Gay will raise at the forthcoming
Information (children and vulnerable adults). Pending – forward to next
meeting. Action: Secretary to add to agenda
grade descriptions (given in our ECR website under “About “ tab and FAQ’s
document to be updated to reflect any changes). Not implemented yet to allow
for further discussions to take place and to be finalized at next Committee
meeting. Action: Jane Gay
of future Footpath Maintenance project work. No contact with the Project
Coordinator yet and this matter will be discussed at the next Committee meeting
following the AGM. Action: Jane Gay
with Central Office on Lost Ways.No contact with Jack Cornish made yet.
Action: Dave Barraclough to make contact and report at next Committee
addition, the Committee will request the outgoing Project Coordinator of our
ECR Lost Ways project to set out the next steps needed to take the project
forward and help to recruit a replacement. Action: Adrian Flinn to contact
Colin Park with this request
3. New Issues
and finalise arrangements for the 2019 AGM. Everything is ready for the AGM on
23rd November 2019.
of Recce charges. A rough framework was discussed and final details will be
finalized/approved at the next Committee meeting. Action: Colin Finlayson
activities for charities under the banner of ECR. Two members want to
independently organize sponsor walks next summer to raise money for The
Christie to build an annex in Macclesfield to serve cancer patients in East
Cheshire and other surrounding counties. The Secretary contacted Central Office
(CO) for advice on what ECR can or cannot do to help under the Rambles
Association (RA) rules on fund raising for other charities. The questions posed
to RA and their response in given in the Appendix. The Committee discussed the
advice and agreed that the guidelines given were very clear. Action: Adrian
Flinn will forward the information in the Appendix to the two members for their
information and so they can understand the scope of the support that ECR can
provide to the two individuals to raise money through sponsor walks for this
very worthy cause.
3rd February 2020 at 1.30 pm at Chair house
I would be grateful if you could provide
advice on a question of sponsored walks . Our Committee would like to know for
the avoidance of doubt whether under the rules of the Ramblers Association (RA)
we can support two of our members that they want to organise
independently a series of sponsored walks next summer to raise money for a very
worthy cause (not RA). The organisers wish to advertise these walks under the
banner of our East Cheshire Ramblers Group (ECR) and use our bulk email system
to inform our members and post the walks details in our website. If this is not
permitted under the RA rules what are we allowed to do to help the organisers
to raise money for a worthy cause not related to the RA.
I look forward to receiving your response
on this matter.
ECR Committee Secretary
James Austin (Ramblers)
Nov 6, 11:17 GMT
Thanks for your email.
These situations are always tricky – we always want to support good causes
but as a charity we are tightly bound by the charity commissions rules on
fundraising for other charities.
The charity commissions rules state the the Ramblers state that we can only
fund-raise for other charities provided that it helps deliver our own
mission – so you need to consider the objectives of the charity that you’re
planning to raise funds for. If their objectives are consistent with
ours, then it is appropriate to fund-raise for them (an example would be
raising funds for the South West Coast Path Association to maintain the
coastal path). However if the charity’s objectives are different, it
isn’t appropriate to raise funds for them. This applies to all
fundraising, regardless of the scale or activity.
We can also help charities who do not share our charitable objectives to
put on events – but we’d urge caution. For example, we can share our
expertise (by organising walks), as this is part of our role in providing
information, advice and guidance to enable people to go walking.
However any such events must be covered by the insurance of other charity.
If the organisers in this case wish to advertise the walk under the banner
of ‘East Cheshire Ramblers’ and run the event under Ramblers insurance etc.
then I believe this would be in contravension of the charity commission
rules. If they chose to run the walks seperately, but you wanted to
advertise the event (but not insure, run or organise it) then I believe
that this would be allowed within the charity commission rules.
Alternatively, you could organise a joint fundraising event – for example
with 50% of proceeds would be donated to the Ramblers, and 50% to your
partner charity – and this would be fine of the Ramblers to promote
I hope that helps? If you have any questions or issues do let us know.
East Cheshire Ramblers Group
Minutes of the Committee meeting held on 2 September 2019
Jane Gay – Chair
Dave Barraclough – Footpath
Sue Munslow – Membership
Maggie Swindells – Social and
Adrian Flinn – Secretary
Apologies: Colin Finlayson and Keith
2. Matters arising from last
outstanding issues have been completed except:
“value for the cost of the subscription”. Not raised with Central Office yet. Action:
Colin Finlayson to report at next meeting
Car usage. Central Office contacted with the proposal and await a response. Action:
Jane Gay will report to Committee
3. New Issues
information (children and vulnerable adults): The guidance for walk leaders
available in the RA website was discussed and noted as we need to be familiar
with this guidance and ensure that it is implemented in the walks organized by
ECR if there are young people under 18 and/or vulnerable adults in a walk. The
existence/access of the guidance documents will be incorporated in the
“Frequently asked questions” posted in our website. Action: Maggie Swindells
will amend the FAQ’s document.
Walk Coordinators will be informed about the existence of the guidance and how
to access the information in the RA website and to let their Walk Leaders know
as well so that they can become familiar with the guidance in the rare occasion
that it may apply during a walk. Action: Jane Gay
4. Walks Programme
grade descriptions (given in our ECR website under “About” tab). After some
discussion it was agreed to update the definitions to bring them in line with
current practice. The Stroller walks description is required as well. The new
descriptions will be:
5-7 miles (approx.)
7-10 miles (approx.)
Walks on paths which are reasonably level with an easy pace. No great ascents
Walks on paths that involve rougher ground and there are some ascents and
Walks on rough ground with possible strenuous climbs and/or descents with a
3- 4 miles on even ground with very limited ascents
or descents and very few stiles
Action: (1) Maggie Swindells will add the revised descriptions
in the FAQ’s document that is posted in our website. Also, in this document
Walk Leaders will be encouraged to put a description of the terrain and ascents
in feet that are likely to be encountered in their walk. (2) Jane Gay will ask
the webmaster to amend the current descriptions to reflect the agreed changes
and include Stroller Walks
4.2 Midweek Medium Walks. Further
discussions took place in the light of new/latest statistical data provided by
the Walk Coordinator regarding attendance on these walks that we offer twice
weekly to our membership. The Committee
agreed that we should consider this issue again in the light of the figures for
the whole of this year and in the meantime the frequency of these walks remain
as they are. It was noted that volunteers offering to lead these medium midweek
walks are not coming forward and there are some gaps in the 2nd half
of this year programme. Action: Jane Gay will ask the Walk Coordinator to
record as part of the statistical analysis the number of cancelled walks
because of lack of leaders during 2019
5. Reports from Officers
5. 1 Chair
The Walk Leaders training course (basic) will be repeated next year (date to be
decided) to encourage new volunteers to come forward. See Appendix 1
See Appendix 2
See Appendix 3
Noted. The Social Programme draft for the 1H 2020 was circulated for
information. See Appendix 4
Noted. Two items raised were discussed under 7 below. See Appendix 5
An article is being put in the Macclesfield Express each week. No update
on Lost Paths project. The Committee would like to have the articles published
in the Macc Express posted in our website regularly on a weekly basis. Action: Adrian Flinn will contact Colin
6. Any other
6.1 Continuity of future Footpath Maintenance project
work. The Committee agreed that continuity of this essential work was essential
and provided a valuable service to our membership and wider walking public, in
particular, the vegetation clearance of the footpaths in our patch. Action:
Jane Gay will contact the Footpath Maintenance Project Coordinator to discuss
some of the ideas which came out of the
Committee discussion and to ascertain the Coordinator views as to how we can
achieve this aim
6.2 Newspaper articles on (a) Lost Ways and (b) Cycling
on footpaths (background is given in Appendix 5). It was agreed that in (a) we
should seek what progress as been achieved so far by Central Office. Action:
Dave Barraclough will contact Jack Cornish who is the manager of this project
at RA. Item (b) was noted and no action is necessary.
11th November 2019 at 1.30 pm at Chair house. The agenda for this
meeting will be mainly to discuss/finalise the arrangements of the AGM
Adrian Flinn – Secretary (9.9.2019)
The walk leaders training course on the 4th of July was excellent and fully
subscribed. We had six experienced leaders including our leader Gillian Kay who
had done all of the planning and had met with us so we knew exactly what we
were doing on the day. It seemed to go very well and was much appreciated. in
the end all on the waiting list of 10 were offered places. Several people were
unable to attend, the 2 main reasons being work commitments and the decision
that the course was not the right one for them. We had emphasised the fact that
it was a beginners course and several people decided that their map reading
skills were better than those we were teaching on the course. We should discuss
what we want to do next year. If the aim is to get people leading walks who are
unsure about map reading, then, I think the course was perfect. We could
perhaps follow it up with some information about GPS and apps.
On Saturday 16th May 2020 I’ve agreed the all 3 walks will start from or near
Macclesfield. See below. I’ve told weekend coordinators.
am contacting you with an idea to help promote physical activity and the
opportunities offered by the outdoors to residents of Macclesfield.
Saturday 16th May 2020, the second Macclesfield Bikeathon will take place. We
have an idea to build an even bigger event around this. With different events
going on, on the same day to promote a wide range of outdoor activities for
will be approaching many groups across the town associated with physical
East Cheshire Ramblers be interested in organising a special event on the day?
The detail can be ironed out closer to the time but I was thinking of a guided
walk or something like that?
let me know your thoughts and if this is something that you would like to do,
we will organise a meeting in September.
I was talking to Martin Dunkley the other
day and he was showing me the Facebook and WhatsApp that they use with his
Spanish walking group. Facebook and ECR do not seem to be in any way active. I
have spoken to Andy Davies, who I think set up the original Facebook link and
also Roger but neither of them seem to know anything about how to create a more
active Facebook and WhatsApp link which would only be available to members. I’m
wondering if anybody on the committee has any working knowledge of either of
I sent David Gylee the statistics which I
circulated to you all. Below is his response which I think we need to
discuss. Maybe he will put a motion to the AGM
Funnily enough I went with Andy Davies for
a curry recce on Friday evening at Bengal Tiger Lily and we had a chat about
walk numbers amongst other things. I asked him to let me have the numbers for
2019, so he sent me the latest figures.
There is a very clear trend from these
figures from Ralph taken together with the 2019 figures to date.
As the group ages, as we most certainly
are doing, the trend is towards Short walks, these are becoming the most popular
I was particularly interested in Medium
walks for 2019, and can clearly see that the mean average is falling from
previous years. So, Tuesday and Wednesday Medium walks average at 9 each,
Thursday averages at 8. There are some very low statistics, 1, 2, 3, 4 all
occur and some on more than one occasion.
Also noticeable is that when there is a
high number – 19 was the highest, then this is usually balanced by a low number
on the alternative Medium walk day. So, weather may be a factor, or the walk
leader may be a factor, or the start point, but it looks clear that medium
walkers decide to go on a certain day, and then ignore the other day in that
Added together, the average works out at
17, an easily manageable number for one walk leader.
I would suggest that we go back to one
Medium walk per week, alternating between Wednesday and Thursday, with the Long
walk alternating between Tuesday and Wednesday. So, for example one week would
have Long walk on Tuesday, Medium walk Wednesday, next week Long walk on
Wednesday, Medium walk on Thursday. On the other hand, short walks
average out in 2019 for 21 on Tuesdays, and 19 on Wednesday, so could be split
into two midweek walks, although organisation and a shortage of walk leaders
may prove to be difficult to overcome.
What I personally think would be a very
good solution, would be to have Long, Medium, and Short walks on different days
each week, but then rotating on those days over a 3 week cycle.
Tuesday – Long
Wednesday – Medium
Thursday – Short
Tuesday – Short
Wednesday – Long
Thursday – Medium
Tuesday – Medium
Wednesday – Short
Thursday – Long
but is probably far too radical for the members!! David
I will attempt to get this year’s medium
walk numbers from Andy and share those with you as well as ask his opinion on
Frank and I Attended David Derek Thornley’s funeral and it was great to see so
many of the long serving members there. The Ramblers must’ve been represented
by at least 30 people so that was good. His family were lovely and have given
me some maps and booklets to see if anybody wants them. I’ll share these at the
meeting and then take them to the AGM
Re AGM I have a homemade cake already
promised from Ruth Harrison!!
Brief report as follows :
Bank balance at 26/8/2019 – £6068
Bank Charges to date -£5.70
2019/2020 Budget – This was submitted on
26th July to RA requesting £1600 funding for ECR .We will be notified in late
September if our request has been accepted.
Annual Return 2019 :
Annual Year End accounts package has been
issued with a return date deadline of 21st October .
August 2019 Membership Report
ECR Membership Numbers
Numbers of new members joining each month
always fluctuate slightly but averaging about 3 at present compared with about
4 last year.
Early summer indicated a drop in membership
. Looking at those three months from 22 not renewing…..
1/3 did not renew after a year
1/3 not renewing had been members
from 2 to 10 years.
This trend is shown nationally …there are
1. people retiring later
2. more people may be walking but there are a
large number of other groups where membership may be free. For
example the growth of AIR and U3A groups. Congleton U3A has at least 4
groups representing 100 – 200 walkers.
ACTION…..all new members trying out walks
should be welcomed by all. Membership secretory to order more leaflets
for places such as the Macclesfield Medical Centre.
Recent email received….
Membership recruitment – please note the
new booklet, adverts, joining process and staff
We want members to feel part of our Ramblers community from the
moment they join us. In addition to the friendly welcome they’ll receive
locally, we’ve created a welcome
booklet, which, from early October,
will be sent to new members soon after they join, alongside their welcome
letter and membership card. The booklet will help them understand how to make
the most of their membership: introducing the range of benefits that they can
enjoy and reminding them of ways to get involved with their local groups,
volunteer and campaign with us.
This Summer we’ve been trialling new Facebook adverts to help us
recruit more of Britain’s walkers into our membership. We’ve been testing
different messages to see which have most appeal. Encouragingly, the adverts
trialled to date have been successful, especially the one which promotes our
taster walks: where a non-member can try out up to three walks for free before
joining the Ramblers.
We have also been making improvements to our joining process.
With more than 85% of new members joining online, we want to make sure that
this process is as easy as possible. From mid-September, we will be making some
significant improvements to the online join process, including sending a
follow-up email to anyone who doesn’t complete the whole process, asking for
feedback and giving details on how to contact us if they’ve been having
problems joining online.
And we know you will join us in welcoming Nicky Teegan this
month as our new membership acquisition officer – a vital new role as we
collectively aspire to grow our membership community. Nicky joins us from
Cyclehoop and is looking forward to working with you to support your membership
recruitment initiatives across Great Britain. We will continue to keep
you informed of progress. Please send any feedback to our head of
Secretary’s Report 2nd September 2019
Thanks go to all our fellow
ramblers who continue to co-ordinate walks, lead walks and provide social
events for our group. Their continued support and enthusiasm ensures that we
have a varied and interesting programme which we can all access and enjoy.
Three visits to the Blackden
Trust home of the author Alan Garner and his family, and organised by Brian
Griffith and Colin Park, were a real treat. The visits, which were all very
well attended, offered those who went a real insight into the author’s passion
about local history and what life was like for his children growing up in a
Tudor house with no amenities! Thanks to
Brian and Colin for all their hard work in organising the events.
led his Wincle History walk from the Ship Inn at Wincle on the 2nd
August. Fifteen walkers attended and the feedback was very positive. Those who
attended suggested that more history walks would be a good addition to our
annual programme and Rodney has kindly agreed to lead another walk next summer.
Thanks go to
Steve Hull for organising the evening walk programme which provides walkers
with a great opportunity to make the most of walking in the longer summer days.
Thanks too to Nick Wild for organising the meal after the final walk.
The coach trip
to Conway has been advertised and we’ve had a positive response with 38
confirmed bookings so far. Another advert will go out at the beginning of
Three Christmas meals have
been booked and all are preceded by a walk, details on the Social
Andy Davies has contacted
me to say that he has booked a Curry Night on Thursday 24th October
at the Bengal Tiger Lily, at Monks Heath.
The booking in February for
an ECR Talk about the story behind The Clink, the restaurant at Styal Prison,
has been confirmed.
organise or lead future events, coach trips and or weekends away would be
22nd August 2019
FOOTPATH COMMITTEE REPORT TO THE MAIN
ECR COMMITTEE MEETING September 2nd 2019
There has not
been a Footpath Committee Meeting since the last ECR Committee Meeting but
business has been continuing as normal with various e mail actions in progress.
I will be attending the bi-annual Cheshire East Footpath Secretaries Meeting in
the morning of September 2nd
– directly before the ECR Meeting and will report verbally on any key
1. The last ECR Meeting was unable to
discuss suggestions regarding the long term continuity of the Project Team and
I would like to encourage discussion to reach a conclusion. My previous
suggestions remain unchanged, as follows. It might be timely for the main
ECR Committee to consider how this work can be ensured of continuity in the
future. My personal view is that a small group of 2 to 4 people might
co-ordinate the work (not necessarily as a formal Committee). This would help
to ensure that we have continuity of experience as members come and go from
this work – as happens with the Footpath Committee.
2. It was timely that Jane Gay and Sue
Munslow circulated links of press articles regarding Lost ways and Cyclists on
Footpaths respectively. I have concerns on both these topics and will be
raising these also at the Cheshire FP Secretaries Meeting. I would like to
discuss these under AOB at the Meeting.
Briefly my concerns are:-
useful meeting last January with Jack Cornish, the Project Manager for
‘Don’t Lose Your Way’ learnt about the project but also urged that the costs of
claiming and establishing new paths need to be taken into account. He agreed to
take this into consideration. It still appears that costs are not being
considered at all. One enthusiastic Rambler in Suffolk has submitted more than
800 applications for new paths – all at the cost of the local PROW department’s
I will be updating the Lost Ways situation
across Cheshire at my meeting of Footpath Secretatires.
Cycling on Footpaths
About the same time as this article I saw a
TV news item by the British Cycling encouraging the formal opening of all
footpaths to cyclists. The background pictures of numbers of mountain bikers on
muddy footpaths were dreadful! I have also recently heard Peak District cycling
groups promoting routes across paths in the Peak District – which is obviously
illegal at present. The Ramblers policy seems much too weak “Let’s discuss each
case” and they should be more proactive to stop illegal use, much as they did
against the use of 4×4 vehicles on bridleways.
I suggest we
might discuss these views and possibly pass our conclusions to the other
Cheshire Ramblers Groups and onwards to Central Office.
3. I have listed a few points of interest
from the ongoing work of the Footpath Committee that illustrate what we are
SEMMMS Road – completion of outstanding commitments
for footpath access points. This is a protracted actionled by Neil Collie,
where we are maintaining pressure on CE PROW and the SEMMS contract company to
fulfil their various commitments for adequate access points and footpaths along
Proposed deletion Rainow FP15/Kettleshulme FP23 – another protracted problem!! We previously reported that PROW had
recommended refusal of this application to the CE ROW Committee and hoped that
this would allow proper reinstatement of the footpath (notably a new
bridge). Unfortunately the landowner has
appealed to the Secretary of State and there will now be a public enquiry. We
are not heavily involved but we will probably re-state our opposition to the
Link with Project Team – the Committee
has already been made aware of the Project Team completing the clearance of the
overgrown Alderley Edge FP2 in Clock House Wood of Alderley Edge National
Trust. The work was coordinated between Brian Richardson and Nick Brearley,
arising directly from Nick joining the Footpath Committee and using the
Inspection Database to identify a useful task. We hope to continue this
approach with Nick’s efforts. I hope
Brian Richardson can produce a short publicity article to pass to Colin Park on
this work. It is worth quoting Nick’s comments “I led a long walk yesterday which included FP2.
I must say that I can’t remember a better waymarked path and the clearance and
level adjustments worked very well, allowing easy progress. Chris Munslow was
on hand to give some background information about the work involved. There were
hopeful signs that the path is being used and that the time was well spent.”
Footpath Problems reported – a small
number of problems have been reported over the last 3 months, either via Central
Office, from local members of the public or ECR members. Advice is given on
these and action taken with PROW as necessary. Details are not described her
but one useful example can be described. A bridge on a path at Sutton was
washed away in the bad weather and reported to us. By the time it was raised
with PROW, they had already closed the path and started arrangements to replace
the bridge. However, the limitations of their publicity process were
demonstrated. Our knowledge of this problem was able to alert a Walk Leader
(Teresa Marshall) to re-route her planned walk. We may decide to renew
discussions with PROW over the way they show all types of closures on their
Annual Footpath Inspection The annual
inspection has been fully organised by Tony Battilana and is now in progress.
We expect many inspectors will leave their inspection until close to the
September 27th deadline – then we will be busy with our analysis
before the ECR AGM. A few minor problems have been raised with Tony.
East Cheshire Ramblers Group
Minutes of the Committee meeting held on Monday 24th June 2019
Jane Gay – Chair
Colin Finlayson – Treasurer
Maggie Swindells – Social and
Adrian Flinn – Secretary
Apologies: Keith Anderson, Dave
and Sue Munslow
2. Matters arising from last
Lost Ways:developments will be monitored as they happen as there is
Committee support for this activity. Action: Colin Finlayson
Leadership Day: Noted (see Chair report for background)
with other local walking groups in our Area: feedback was shared. No further
action is required at this time.
3. New Issues
information:carried forward to
next meeting. Action: Maggie Swindells
Committee attendance: Dave Barraclough has requested that he is no longer a
full time member of the Committee but will attend meetings as and when
available. Footpath Committee reports will be provided as usual. The Chair and
the rest of the Committee recorded their appreciation of all the excellent
contributions from Dave and hope that he will be able to attend our meetings
Budget preparation: figures were agreed by the Committee. Action: Colin
Finlayson will circulate by email a draft budget for final approval by the
Committee for submission to Central Office (CO) before the deadline on Friday
issue of “value for the cost of the subscription” to members will be raised
with CO. Action: Colin Finlayson
Projects Team: the Coordinator (Brian Richardson) has restarted this work. The
first project was vegetation clearance (Over Alderley FP2 in National Trust
land) conducted by a team of volunteers on 21 June.
4. Walks Programme
Medium Walks: It was reported that recently the number of walkers attending
these walks had dropped in a few walks. The Committee discussed this issue in
depth and considered the possible factors impacting on numbers and some figures
provided by the Walk Coordinator. Also, the figures from the first half of 2017
and 2018 were available for comparison. It was concluded that no changes to the
programme are needed at this time. Informal soundings will be carried out to
get a fuller picture during the second half of this year and may be convene a
meeting of Walk Coordinators to seek their views. Action: Jane Gay if
meeting is required
Walks: very successful. The Coordinator has proposed to increase the frequency
to weekly in the 2020 Walk programme.
Leaders Training on 4 July 2019: a small team convened by the Chair has spent
time with Gillian Kay (an experienced leader who has taught as a National Park
Ranger volunteer) to plan this course
which is fully booked with a waiting list.
5. Reports from Officers
5. 1 Chair
and some of the issues have been discussed separately. See Appendix 1
report. See item 3.3 above.
See Appendix 2
Noted. See Appendix 3
Noted. See Appendix 4
No Report. No issues to consider at this meeting.
6. Any other
6.1 Issue ECR members with name badges to wear during
walks (proposed by Keith Anderson to help remembering names): in theory a good
suggestion but after discussion it was considered impractical.
6.2 Sharing Car usage: Keith Anderson proposed that we
should make representation to CO to create an App accessible from our website
for lift sharing. Action: Jane Gay will write to CO with this proposal
6.3 Develop a more active collaboration with the other
two groups in our Cheshire East Area: it was agreed to send our Committee
members list (with contact details) to the other groups to facilitate
communications. Action: Jane Gay to send the list to Chairs in the other
2nd September 2019 at 1.30 pm at Chair house
Adrian Flinn – Secretary (30.6.2019)
agreed to hold a meeting on Monday
11th November 2019 at 1.30 pm at Chair house to finalize the arrangements
for the AGM on Saturday 23rd November 2019
up on the area leadership day on the 26th of April to which we were not
invited, or to be more correct to which Dave found he was invited the day
before the meeting. I contacted Steve Butterfield and he said there were four
from Congleton himself from South Cheshire and nobody from East Cheshire.
Obviously something has gone wrong with the advertising of this meeting.
Good afternoon Diane,
I am contacting you re the Area Leadership Day which was held at Crewe on
the 26th of April. Dave Barraclough seemed to get notice of this the day before
the event but was unable to attend and none of the committees members were able
to take up his place at such short notice. I’m not actually sure who the event
was open to.
We are East Cheshire Group which is a part of Cheshire East Area. Would you
like me to send you an up to date list of our committee members? It
sounded like a very interesting and useful day.
I have left a message on your mobile. Jane Gay Chair ECR
Subject: RE: Area
leadership day Crewe 26th April
Hi Jane, so sorry for slow response, I’ve been
catching up with email since getting back from my holiday.
We wanted to start offering days for people new to
Area Leadership roles and those on Area Committees/Councils and thinking about
taking up an area role in the future.
The Crewe meeting was the first in a series across the
country and was a piolet to see if volunteers found it useful, the logic for
offering East Cheshire committee members first was because they had
new people in role. It really was word of mouth after that so some people came
who were curious about areas and how the area support team worked.
I’m not sure why but Dave Barraclough was on my
original list of people who expressed an interest, that could have been my
mistake following the AGM, that is why I sent a reminder the day before.
I’m really pleased that you think this sort of meeting
would be useful and some of your committee would want to attend.
Future meeting dates are hot off the press, just
confirmed today, see below, and if volunteers want to attend and are
interested in taking on area roles or being on an area committee they are most welcome.
More information will go out in the volunteer newsletter.
We can also put on additional meetings if there is a
Thanks for getting in touch, if you want to discuss
this in more detail I’m happy to give you a ring.
20 May 2019
26 July 2019
17 September 2019
7 October 2019
As a result
of this Steve Butterfield and I have had a discussion about whether or not we
should have a more active Area set up. The first step is to circulate our
committee membership to the other two groups. With this in mind I have asked
Adrian to update the lists and we will discuss what we are happy to share with
the other two groups.
remember from our last meeting Neil Collie, after he had attended General
Council, thought it may be of benefit to us to have a slightly more active Area
Frank and I
have taken over putting information on to the website. We are now
responsible for most of the information which goes out to members and
that which is put onto the website. I’m hoping that Maggie and Steve Hull will
spend some time with us and then be able to carry out both of these tasks.
With this in mind I’ve set up a meeting on 1st July.
Murphy, David Gylee, Frank and myself have spent some time with Gillian Kay
planning the walk leader training which is on the 4th of July. I think this is
a trial session and that we will amend it after this initial course.
Below are two suggestions from Keith who is unable to
attend this meeting. I said we would discuss them and get back to him.
1. How about
issuing members with name badges and asking them to wear them. I, like many
others I think, struggle to remember names from a 20+ walk group and these
always seem to be 40-50% different members each time.
With all the publicity about car usage, should we be making representations to
Ramblers HQ to create an App, accessible from our website for lift sharing.
have absolutely no idea of the cost/effort/feasibility of such a thing but
thought it worth asking the question !
I have been
trialling the ramblers app and finding it really quite interesting and very
easy to use. I will feedback more about it at the meeting.
prospective member made enquiries about joining a walk and said the
was really good and I was made to feel very welcome, I’ll definitely come on
another walk probably Saturday or next week” let’s hope she joined.
Barraclough has requested that he is no longer an automatic member of the
committee but will attend meetings as and when he is available. I’d like to
record my thanks to Dave for all he has done and the help he has given to me
personally. Here’s hoping he is able to frequently attend our meetings!!!
For some years the rambler’s numbers
nationally have been slowly declining for reasons already discussed.
East Cheshire Ramblers are showing a
similar trend. From November 2018 to February 2019 we were averaging 3/4 new
members per month. During this four-month period our total membership fell by
five to 577.
However, from March to June this year we
have only averaged 1/2 new members per month.
During this time our membership has dropped by 13 to 562,
During the last two weeks I have left more
leaflets at the Town Hall and library.
Next week I am leaving some at the medical centre, hospital and the
My thanks go to all my
fellow ramblers who continue to offer and provide social events for our group.
Their continued support and enthusiasm ensures that we have a varied and
interesting programme which we can access and enjoy.
Despite the weather over recent
months the walks I’ve attended have been really interesting and have all been
well received. It’s interesting that a number of new members have joined us on
the short walks and most have turned up again!
Steve Hull organised an
excellent coach trip to Arnside on the 8th June ably assisted by
Ruth Harrison, who led the short walk, and Colin Park who led the long walk.
Steve led the medium walk, which I joined, and despite the rain which fell
softly but relentlessly all day, we really enjoyed our walk. A lot of time and effort goes into organising
our coach trips and I’d like to thank Steve, Ruth and Colin for the time and
effort they put into the day. It was much appreciated by all the walkers.
Melanie Davy organised an
excellent walking weekend in Ilkley. Due to a number of fires on the moors over
the Easter Weekend Melanie had to reorganise her plans which required
additional effort on her part. On behalf of all the members who attended I’d
like to thank Melanie for organising a very successful weekend away.
Twenty walkers joined Anne
Thompson for her Monyash walk on the 20th June. The scenic afternoon
walk, which culminated in an excellent meal for nineteen people, was prepared
by a specialist chef. Thank you to Anne
for organising this event.
Due to high demand Brian
Griffiths and Colin Park arranged a third date for a visit to Blackden Trust
this summer. Please see dates below.
additional special interest walk has been arranged for the 2nd
August. Rodney Hughes will lead a Wincle History walk from
the Ship Inn at Wincle which will take the old roman road to Wild Boar Clough
and will finish at Wincle Brewery. Rodney will provide a ‘Historic Talk’ along
The programme for the next
six months is detailed below for your information and will be published on the
ECR website. Three Christmas meals have been booked and all are preceded by a
walk. Andy Davies has contacted me to say that he’s arranging a Curry Night in
the Autumn and I’ve make a provisional booking in February for a ECR Talk about
the story behind The Clink, the restaurant at Styal Prison.
Any other ideas or
suggestions for future events would be warmly welcomed!
East Cheshire Ramblers
July to December 2019
Thanks to all those involved in organising
these events. Any ideas for the next programme would be warmly welcomed.
If you have any suggestions or ideas about
an event please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Christmas Lunch The Church House organised by Andy Davies preceded by a walk
organised by David Gylee
Saturday 14th December
Christmas Lunch at The Windmill organised by Teresa Marshall preceded by a
walk organised by Jane and Frank Gay.
Saturday 21st December
walk and meal organised by Georgie and Peter Everson
Wednesday 1st January
Sherry walk organised by Melanie Davy and Lorraine Tolley
vents to note:
Davies is hoping to organise a curry night in the autumn. Date and details to
February 2020 at Macclesfield Tennis Club – ‘The Clink’ – the story behind the
restaurant at Styal Prison
The Footpath Committee met on June 10th
for their regular meeting and a number of standard items were covered on the
agenda. Minutes of the Meeting are copied to the ECR Chair.
A summary of key points is:-
The annual footpath survey is
fully organised and resourced with Footpath Inspectors and is currently in
‘mid season’, with results requested by the end of September. It is
generally found that most inspectors leave their survey until the last few
weeks. There has been one example of ‘cropping’ – planting of crops to
obliterate the footpath – and this has been reported to PROW.
Progress on several ‘Priority
Paths was discussed and several Diversion Orders recorded. The work to
restore the Harrop Brook bridge (that ECR contributed £500 to the cost)
has not yet started.
Neil Collie attended the recent
ROW Committee Meeting to hear the outcome of the claim to delete Rainow
FP15/Kettleshulme FP23, where the report recommended rejection of the
claim, as we expected. The footpath should now be made walkable – but
there will be inevitable problems.
Nick Brearley has identified from
the database results that Over Alderley FP2 is a suitable candidate for
vegetation clearance. This is in the National Trust land and he has met
with the NT Warden to agree a work plan. Discussion is ongoing with Brian
Richardson to arrange a Working Party.
We are not aware of any other
project work being organised by the Project Team. It might be timely for
the main ECR Committee to consider how this work can be ensured of
continuity in the future. My personal view is that a small group of 2 to 4
people might co-ordinate the work (not necessarily as a formal Committee).
This would help to ensure that we have continuity of experience as members
come and go from this work – as happens with the Footpath Committee.
We are discussing how to improve
the information provided to ECR Members and the public, via the website,
on how to report footpath problems to PROW. This would include links to
the relevant PROW Offices in surrounding authorities (Cheshire West,
Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Trafford, Stockport). We are proposing to
discuss this topic at the next Cheshire Footpath Secretaries Meeting and
PROW Consultative Meeting in October.
Members may be interested in the
following event at the Wilmslow Guild
70 YEARS OF NATIONAL PARKS IN BRITAIN
FRIDAY 29 NOVEMBER 2019
In the UK there are 15 members in the
National Park family, which are protected areas because of their beautiful
countryside, wildlife and cultural heritage.2019 marks 70 years since the 1949
Act of Parliament was passed which established the family of National Parks in
England and Wales that we know and love. This was the result of decades of
dedicated struggle including mass protests and political lobbying. It means
that today the most beautiful countryside in England and Wales has the
strongest levels of protection. People live and work in the national parks and
the farms, villages and towns are protected along with the landscape and
The lecture will investigate some of
these parks and will concentrate on the geological background and geographical
processes which mould the individual landscapes as well as investigating the
social and historical aspects of the selected parks and the prominent
functional role tourism plays.
All members are invited to our AGM, which will be held on Saturday 23rd November 2019 starting at 2 pm. The venue is the Macclesfield Tennis Club, Learning Zone Campus, Park Lane, Macclesfield SK11 8LF
Papers for the AGM will be available on the website during the week ending Saturday, 9th November 2019 with a limited number of copies available at the meeting.
Any member wishing to submit a motion should be put in writing with the names of the proposer and seconder to be received by the Secretary not later than Saturday 2nd November 2019.
All officers and committee members retire each year but are eligible for re-election. The following are standing for re-election: Jane Gay (Chair), Colin Finlayson (Treasurer), Dave Barraclough (Footpath Committee Secretary), Sue Munslow (Membership Secretary), Colin Park (Publicity Officer), Kathryn Carty (Committee Member), Keith Anderson (Committee Member) and Maggie Swindells (Social Secretary)
Please note that the Secretary position will be vacant as the current incumbent has completed the 3 year term in the Office and will not seek re-election. The Committee will hope to get volunteers to stand as Secretary for election at the AGM (see below).
Also, the Committee is looking for additional volunteers to come forward to join as members.
The position of Project Coordinator for the “Lost Ways” project will be vacant as well. If you wish to stand for any of the Officers position or as a Committee Member, or you wish to nominate anyone else, please send the candidate’s name and statement of their willingness to stand, together with names of the proposer and seconder, to the Secretary Adrian Flinn (contact details above) by Saturday, 2nd November 2019.
We look forward to seeing you all there.
CHESHIRE EAST AREA AGM (comprising the three Groups of East Cheshire (i.e. East Cheshire Ramblers, Congleton and South Cheshire)
This meeting will be held on Tuesday 3rd December 2019, hosted by Congleton Group at The Hawk Inn, 137 Crewe Rd., Haslington, Crewe, CW1 5RG The meeting commences 7.00 p.m. for 7.30 p.m. All members are welcome to attend.
Adrian Flinn On behalf of the East Cheshire Ramblers Committee 9 October 2019
Manors, Baronies, and
Royal Hunting Lodges –– Our
A Local History Talk by Judith
“Local history is an engrossing subject, always something new to
discover, never an end in sight.”
Judith comes from a long-established Marple family, and
learnt about the history of the area by listening to relatives talking about
their lives. In 1992 she started running
adult education classes in local history, and has continued to teach and give
talks ever since.
After Duke William of Normandy had defeated Harold at the Battle of
Hastings on the 14th October 1066 he declared the Crown owned all
land in England. Much of England was uncultivated woodland, the preserve of
wild animals, and suitable areas were designated as royal hunting forests for
the delectation of the king and noblemen. Mellor was in the Royal Forest of the
Peak and Marple was in Macclesfield Forest. Judith’s talk looks at the history
of the local manors, baronies and hunting forests we pass by and through on our
walks throughout the year.
7pm for 7-30pm at Macclesfield Tennis Club
Please support this event and maybe bring
along a few friends.
which includes a light supper, a licensed pay bar is available.
Tickets can be bought from
Jane Gay, Colin Finlayson, Sue Munslow, Kathryn Carty, Adrian
Flinn, Keith Anderson
Maggie Swindells 16, Castle Hill Court, Prestbury, SK10 4UT