Spring Walk 2018

Tuesday May 15th – Our Spring Walk & Pub Lunch took place on a gloriously sunny day. How could it have been otherwise!

The members gathered outside the Swan in Ley Hill. This attractive old pub faces the open land of Ley Hill Common and was originally three cottages dating from the 16th Century.

Sam, the bubbly landlady, unlocked the pub and came out to meet us – so some much needed relief was had before we set off!

Thirteen members went off on the walk with another five joining us later for the lunch.

Passing the little village Memorial Hall the footpath led to Tyler’s Hill. This woodland is full of large deep holes from which clay was excavated for the local brick and tile making  industry. We wound our way past and through these dips and on through open fields with distant views across the Chess valley, then followed a long, wide, but fortunately shady, path along a typical Chilterns “bottom”.  Finally we strolled up through open parkland and woods to reach the far end of the Common.

Ley Hill Common is the home of a golf course, and here Ralph Broomby was delighted to re-make his acquaintance with a par three hole of particular difficulty with the green located in a valley well below the tees. After admiring this tricky golf hole we strolled back across the springy turf of the common to the pub.

During the walk we learnt how to distinguish the scented native bluebell from the oft-planted Spanish species, smelt and tasted the leaves of Garlic Mustard, and discovered the extraordinary reproductive strategy of the Cuckoo Pint (also known as Lords & Ladies).

Inside the Swan still has the wooden beams, inglenook fireplace and the old original stove. Fortunately padded cushioning has been fitted to the old beams though I still managed to bump my head on one beam. After a rest with drinks in the cool garden we went in for our meal. Tables had been thoughtfully arranged in a U shape for us. Very conveniently the landlady had taken main course orders previously and had set up a tab for the various couples and singles present. The meals were excellent and quite a few found the desserts irresistible. The Swan delivered good food and excellent service.

All in all it was a relaxed day out. We learned about bricks and how they are laid as well as some natural history. And we enjoyed the good weather in some lovely Chiltern countryside.

Gwyndaf John

2018 Annual General Meeting

On 11th May 2018 we held our annual general meeting at Coleshill Village Hall.

People started arriving at 7pm, and by 7:30 there were 44 members present as Kay Day called the room to order.

The minutes for the previous AGM were agreed and Kay reviewed the past year, starting with the passing of Mike Stythe, an enthusiastic supporter of CDWS and who had organised memorable trips to Snowdonia. Kay remembered how Mike’s army background meant that he always planned for the unexpected, including carrying a foldable stretcher in his rucksack in case of mishaps on the walk!

Two of the past year’s events had been beset by snow, many were unable to attend the Christmas party due to impassable roads (leaving generous supplies of canapes for those who were able to attend). Then the St David’s Day Dinner had to be postponed as snow meant that even the staff at the Harewood Downs golf club were unsure that they would be able to get in. On that basis, Kay hoped that there would be no snow forecast for the summer lunch on 1st July!

Kay reviewed the past year’s events and thanked Ernest Morris for hosting the Summer Lunch, Colin & Di Thomas for hosting the Christmas drinks and Pam Britton & Chris Thomas for arranging the golf day.

There were 7 new members this year meaning that we now have approximately 120 members.

Graham Beavan gave his financial report, showing that the society’s finances were in good form with an underlying balance of about £2,800. Graham also announced that he is planning to move houses, and would soon he stepping down from the committee.

We then came to the election of the committee. Ann Thomas and Jean Owen are both retiring from the committee, and Kay and Jonathan Pegler are stepping down from positions as Chairman and vice Chairman after many years of service, but would still be standing as committee members.

Colin Picton has been seconded to the committee as Minutes Secretary, and was now proposed and elected.

David Powell was proposed as the new chairman, with Rob Britton as vice chairman, and these were both elected unopposed.

Ann Evans thanked Kay for her years of service as Chairman, Vice Chairman and Minutes Secretary and present her with a bouquet of flowers.

Ann Tennant then served a choice of chicken or beef stew with a choice of desserts.

David Powell thanked Ann Tenant for once again providing such a good meal, and then ran through the list of coming events: Spring Walk, Aberystwyth trip, Summer Lunch, Windsor Races, Golf Day, Bristol coach trip, Musical evening and Christmas Drinks.

David then introduced the evening’s entertainment – Tony and Margaret Curtis with Jayne Pegler reciting light hearted and amusing works by among others Carol Ann Duffy, Idris Davies and (of course) Dylan Thomas.

The evening ended around 9:30 with Jonathan Pegler leading the singing of the national Anthem.