Category Archives: The Newsletter

This is the new venue where members and potential members of the Ipswich Outdoor Group can read about recent events, share news that is relevant to group interests but not appropriate for group emails, write about group initiatives – anything from charity fund-raising to activism aimed at keeping our footpaths open – present opinion editorials on issues close to their hearts, post classified ads, cartoons, pictures or anything else that occurs. Unlike the old Newsletter, it will be updated as and when new material comes to hand and, as this is a work in progress, it will be formatted as we go along and get an idea of what is required. Feel free to offer suggestions if any occur to you.

For the moment, content is divided into three categories: reports of past doings; announcements about upcoming events or issues of note, whether IOG instigated or particularly related to IOG interests; and classifieds, where you can advertise items for sale, for rent, or wanted. Follow the links to the right to filter.

Please send all contributions to Marie-Louise Karttunen for prompt posting.

Cycle Maintenance Evening with Elmy Cycles – Tuesday 19th March

Text and pics contributed by Christina.

This was a repeat of a hugely informative earlier event which proved so popular we held it again.

For some of us it was a bit of a rush to get to the cycle shop at 6.30pm. Like last year Steve hosted a two hour talk and hands-on demo of chain maintenance and different tyres and how to use the gears in a way which protects the chain – avoid big jumps and instead “keep the chain in a straight line”. Over a warming cup of tea (probably no heating at this time of the day) we wrote our questions on a piece of paper, and most of them got answered in the course of the evening. Did you know that treaded tyres look nice, but they are only of use if you ride on soft ground such as mud or grass?  Steve explained it is best  to buy puncture resistant rather than puncture proof tyres, and not to buy gel-filled tyres: they are messy, rather heavy, and you can still get punctures.

Other interesting topics we covered were how to fix a puncture and replace the inner tube with the right technique, without a trusty spoon or using a tyre lever or anything other than your hands (buy a thin lever only if you must). We were told what essential puncture repair kit to carry and were amazed to learn that a £5 note put inside the tyre can make all the difference since it has the right size and apparently does not tear.

For me it was the second cycle maintenance evening and I still learnt a lot, and some matters became clearer the second time round.

For Janice and her husband Colin and for Glenys’ daughter Sophie it was their first IOG event. Janice e-mailed me afterwards to say  it was an evening filled with interesting detail and also most enjoyable.

A massive thank you to Steve for having us after a probably long work day.


 

Glen’s Stanton Strolls – Sunday March 17th

Text contributed by Glen; pics by Christina

Twenty-seven of us decided that for some reason St Patrick’s Day was best celebrated by a visit to “a homestead on stony ground”, which apparently is what Stanton, a sleepy village in north-west Suffolk, means.

Though we were sprinkled by bouts of hail and rain, fortunately these were very short-lived and we enjoyed some sunshine and spectacular cloudscapes while being airbrushed by an enthusiastic breeze.

For the first circular walk instalment we traversed ancient tracks, passed by Wyken Hall, and then a Buddhist retreat centre, and latterly Stanton Windmill before a drinkstop in the village’s Cock pub.

Seventeen participants ventured out for the post-pub second loop, the highlight of which was the fascinating walk through The Grundle, a sunken lane carved out during the Ice Age leading out from the village, so different from surrounding terrain.


 

Southwold Geology Walk – Saturday 16th March

Text contributed by M-L; pics by Andy and various.

Despite a yellow wind warning (more of which anon) about 12 IOGers gathered in front of Southwold Pier at 9am on Saturday morning to explore the cliffs of Southwold under the guidance of geologist Colleen Nunn and her friend Pam.

We began by threading our way along the slightly slippery upper level of the concrete stairs edging an uneasy sea to a pile of boulders and concrete slabs that I personally found a bit of a test (but not nearly as much of a test as when returning, considerably less fresh, a few hours later).

Good advice, quite unheeded.

We then strolled up the beach (with the wind behind us) until Colleen and Pam reached a spot they felt exemplified the formations on that stretch of shore.

According to Colleen:

The cliffs here are formed of glacial deposits over the Wroxham Crag Formation, which in turn overlies the Norwich Crag. [The layers, dating back nearly 2.5 million years and still clearly visible in the cliff faces, were pointed out by our enthusiastic guides, who described how the area was once part of the Rhine Delta.]  The deposits are quite variable [some having travelled all the way from Scandinavia] and include intertidal mudflats, offshore sand and pebble banks as well as marine and fluvial deposits. Our two guides also pointed out sedimentary structures in the cliff face including ice wedge casts, cross bedding and former channels. Apparently the cliffs here can contain mammalian fossils although these are from a particular ‘bed’ which is only present in part of the cliff and finds are few are far between now as the cliff has eroded and there is only a small outcrop left.

Naturally, as the cliffs are part of an SSSI, we observed but did not touch.

From there we made our way past Covehithe Cliffs and Benacre Broad – marvelling at the erosion and the precarity of a house whose garden was already on the beach – before heading inland to follow narrow lanes and woodland tracks back to the partially ruined church at Covehithe for a lunch break.

It was a relief to be out of the worst of the wind, which was picking up, but there was no way around  returning to the beach at Covehithe for an unrelenting slog into an oncoming sandstorm for over 3 miles (according to the pace recorded by Lou’s GPS and the time taken). Heads went down and, apart from the irrepressible Tess and Colleen, people made their way back up the beach in dogged solitude – and at a spanking pace.

Fortunately, all things must pass and after negotiating the slabs of concrete once again, we were all free to revive ourselves in time-honoured style.

A fascinating walk, the usual great company, and many thanks to Colleen and Pam for their enthusiasm and willingness to share their expertise. There is talk of checking out some chalk in the future.


 

Francis’s 20-miler – Campsea Ashe to Saxmundham – Saturday 9th March

Pics contributed by Christina et al., text by al.
Route map of walk.

I didn’t read the bit that said we had to do all 20 miles on foot – I thought that was why we caught the train!

Anyway we did it – 20 of us. Strong wind from behind helped us along but ruined the comb-overs. Rain visited for a bit but so did sunshine. Some nutters spent most of the 20 miles practicing the conga (more hokey cokey than conga); what is the group coming to?

Started at Campsea Ashe and finished (we were completely finished) at Saxmundham for dinner. Here are the photos to prove it.


 

Sarah’s Tunstall Forest Walk from Snape Maltings – Saturday 2nd March

Pics contributed by Andy et al.

 

On Saturday Sarah led a circular walk, departing from, and returning to, Snape Maltings. This was a route  of just over 9 miles taking in Iken Cliffs, Tunstall Forest and Chillesford, mostly following the Suffolk Coast Path and the Sandlings Walk. The ed. was not there, but it appears that the day ended in traditional style 🙂


 

Glen’s ‘Brain Teaser’ – Sunday 17th

Story contributed by M-L; pics by Andy

Last Sunday 22 IOGers gathered in lovely sunshine at a carpark near Braintree station to join our leader Glen on an 11-mile saunter through the greening Essex countryside. We began by following the winding River Brain out of  town, heading south towards Black Notley past the Grade 2-listed Black Notley Hall buildings. Then it was westwards to Great Notley, stopping for a welcome drink in the sun outside The Prince Louis pub, Notley Green, where we were joined by Karen – visiting from northern parts – for the latter part of the walk.

Refreshed, we made our way through Great Notley Country Park. Remarkably, no one was diverted onto the giant seesaw or the Sky Ropes in the play area, indeed no; sedately we climbed the man-made hillock, considered the rather grim ‘Bird of Freedom’ for a few minutes (a solid concrete plinth with an old aeroplane propeller embedded in it – light and airy it was not), and wended our way north to Rayne. From here it was east back towards our starting point.

When we reached Flitch Way some detached themselves and returned to cars and home while others felt they required a final beverage and cake. This was provided by the Booking Hall Café in the former Rayne Station.

Some of us know how to enjoy life to the full!


 

Ian’s Chelmondiston to Shotley Trudge in the Sludge – Sunday 10th February

Pics and story – an anonymous donation.

Ian (our Micky the Cobra lookalike) sat quietly in his car hoping no one in their right mind would turn up. No one in their right mind turned up. But there were 18 IOGers who did. Can’t imagine Ian was the draw – and it wasn’t the weather.

The worst was after the Bristol Arms pub stop. Indecently no one had a beer – eh? There was a torturous, strong, biting coastal wind along the Orwell southern bank whilst the path was very slippery. That was exhausting.

Windy, cold and wet. Utterly miserable. How do I persuade the rest of the IOG that they missed out on a treat? But they did miss out – especially that feeling of relief when you saw the end.


 

 

Games Night 2 – Let’s Twist again – 5th February

Words contributed by Toby & Tess, pics by Peter

When are all these 40-somethings going to start acting like adults?
Obviously I’m not referring to the sensible, reserved, erudite 60-
somethings nor the 20-somethings who can be excused for their behaviour.” [anonymous bystander]

Tuesday night saw the second indoor games outing for the Outdoor group – our goal was to play games of skill and chance in our usual room upstairs at the Thomas Wolsey.

Despite Tess worrying she might be playing solitaire by herself, right at the start we had enough people for a game of Perudo, where the all players have several dice and you bid on what everyone has rolled. Or bluff. Badly in my case.

Several others turned up and started with Exploding Kittens, a game where you try not to get the exploding card. With the opportunity to place exploding kittens in the pack to ambush your fellow players, you soon find out who your friends are.

Then we got our shoes off and got on with the main event – Twister. Sadly, I don’t know my right from my left so got kicked out early, but Tess and Rachael proved more flexible.

Tess also wanted me to point out that whilst we were playing 5 Second Rule, a board game that requires you to name three things within five seconds, every person playing failed to be able to name three mountains. That sounds horrendous for an outdoor group, but to be fair we were all so noisy and excited by that point that most people simply hadn’t heard what was being asked until it was too late. 😉 [Chairman Pete]


 

Paul’s Off Road Cycling – Saturday12th January

Text and pics contributed by Rachael

There was a little bit of confusion as to where we should be meeting. Some of us went to the coordinates stated on the instructions while the rest correctly went to the carpark where we met last time we did this ride. Fortunately we were only about a half a mile apart so after a few minutes, all 11 of us were gathered together and on our way. It was a surprisingly warm day for January, perfect for a cycle ride through the forest.

The route took us out along some very sandy and muddy tracks. It was hard going at times with most of us losing control in the deep sand now and again. It was lovely when there was a stretch of hard, smooth track where we could relax and have a chat as we rode along. The route was quite wiggly, making use of as many bridleways and byways as possible. We headed in a clockwise direction from Sutton Heath carpark, heading northwards into Tangham Forest, then southwards to Hollesley and out onto more open tracks towards the River Deben at Ramsholt  We stopped for a half an hour or so to have a picnic lunch on route.

As we passed Ramsholt Church Steve unfortunately got a puncture, apparently the muddiest puncture repair he has ever had to deal with. While he spent a few minutes sorting it, the rest of us took the opportunity to take a break from the saddle. I certainly was getting a bit sore from all the bumpy tracks at this point. The recent hedge trimming along the route was most likely the cause of the puncture. Paul had received two punctures on his pre-ride and another couple of us got one towards the end of the ride. Fortunately ours didn’t need dealing with till after we got back.