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.
“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.
Julian goes out epically and happily
Not being ones to point the finger…
It’s getting cosy
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]
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.
The sky was clear and the air was cold and frosty as we headed down to Fludgers Pub on Felixstowe’s seafront, where a group of eight hardy IOGers had gathered to see the sun rise over the sea. A small band of cloud was lying along the horizon so it was a little late arriving and it wasn’t until 7.40 that we saw the first proper glimmer of sun emerge into view. However, within 5 minutes it was gleaming across the water.
We headed north along the prom and onto the beach. It was such a hard frost that even the shingle was firm to walk on today, but we soon warmed up as we made our way along the promenade towards Felixstowe Ferry.
We looped across and around the golf course and met up with a couple of late arisers at the Ferryboat Inn before returning back along the promenade for a short way. The sun now beaming on our faces.
The route then took us inland along a few little icy lanes, across fields and through some lovely woodland. Through the woods we tiptoed carefully and we were able to see a few Felixstowe Fairies.
We then headed into the town with our tummies rumbling. So the next stop was Ruby’s Kitchen tearoom where we all enjoyed a rather nice breakfast.
Fully refreshed, we continued our journey back through the gardens and had our photo taken with a few of the locals.
The full walk distance was around 12 miles. Beginning in picturesquely titled Pesthouse Lane in Barham it wound towards Barham Green and Skeet’s Green before making its way through Shrubland Park to Norwich Road (where people favouring a 4.5 mile stroll could rejoin their cars), Old Hall Estate, past Shrubland Quarry to Coddenham, then back past Hemingstone Hall and Oak Wood to the start point.
I have just returned from another four-day epic trip organised by Angela, staying in the snowy surrounds of Great Hucklow, not too far from Bakewell in the heart of the Peak District.
It’s been an incredibly active weekend, full of the usual IOG snowy shenanigans – we’ve had falls, bumps and bruises, late nights, heated discussions over board games and been asked to keep the noise down too often for people of our expected maturity level! Many thanks to Angela for organising, and all who organised walks – Sarah & Simon, Ian, Alan and Torben, plus anyone else I’ve neglected to mention. Extra plaudits to the heroes who offered to drive the rest of us up north, and the incredibly well-organised and patient staff at The Nightingale Centre, which was our home for the duration of the weekend. Finally, John organised a cracking charity quiz on the Saturday evening which went down very well – not only with us, but the other group who were staying at the centre that jumped in as well.
I drove up with Torben and a pair of tortoises, ready to collect Alan in Edale. The first mistake – I was not really with it, when I blearily got in the car at 06:00. I wasn’t really sure that time existed before then. Many things were left behind that I rued later, including the sit mat I was given for Christmas that would have been very much appreciated on the cold, wet ground in the Peak District at this time of year! We met up with Alan at Edale, who guided us around a very pleasant walk up on to the ridge of just under 10 miles, before finally heading back down to the hostel just before it snowed.
We made it over to the centre after dark, and were the last to sign-in – pretty much everyone else had arrived in good time and decamped to the very nearby pub. A sensible choice!
After settling in, the next day was spent roaming the area to the south – staying down below to avoid the mist that would have ruined the views of climbing anyway, passing by my namesake rock and at one point, standing around watching a man being dragged down a hill by a sheep dog (others were there to help, so we were fine with laughing at someone else’s misfortune!). It all ended in smiles.
My third day of hiking, An Arduous Abney Amble (apologies to Glen for pinching his alliterative title style), was gainfully led by Sarah with a bit of helpful pointing from Simon. Any hopes I had of today being an easier time were swiftly dispelled, as we clambered up hill and down dale. The snow had melted into the muddy paths and made them even more slippery! I was very glad I had brought along my trusty pole, and lost count of the number of members on the walk I ended up catching and pushing back up who hadn’t quite had the same forethought. I will neglect to mention names, even of the ones who should know better. haha.
We said our goodbyes on day four, and most sensible people headed home to get back at a reasonable time. I am many things, but sensible is not one of them so I joined the hardy crew to follow Alan’s nice circular loop starting from Castleton YHA around some of the remaining peaks, including my trusty old friend Mam Tor. This was a pleasant way to finish the weekend off, and tire everyone out for the long drive home.
Meanwhile, Torben has taken advantage of what I regard as rather thrilling technology to share with us the walks that he led over the weekend. Fantastic! With no more effort than a click of the mouse you can join him. This is the way to travel (luckily I am in a minority with that view or there would be no IOG; in fact, the world would still be flat – ed.).
And on a slightly gentler note…
Story and pics from Angela
Twenty-six IOG members took part in this residential event – and for some it was their first experience of an IOG trip. The Nightingale Centre in Great Hucklow provided a warm and welcoming venue for the group, conveniently situated for walks from the door, an important factor on Saturday when the roads were still icy from the previous evening’s snow, and with the village pub situated next door. The Centre is well located within easy reach of Bakewell, Buxton and Monsal Head, with numerous options for walks close by and we were well looked after during our stay.
On Saturday a group of 18 of us, led by Simon, walked across the fields to the “Plague village” of Eyam where we learnt about the horrific events of 1666 which have made this area famous (the tailor who imported flea infested cloth from London; the star crossed lovers unable to meet; basic provisions left by neighbours in return for money disinfected in vinegar, and the woman who buried her husband on the hillside alongside her five children).
Leaving the village behind we climbed steadily upwards visiting key sites on the way including Riley Graves before a descent for a welcome pub stop to warm ourselves up before the return on foot to Great Hucklow.
Sunday included opportunities for both high level (see Torben’s videos above) and gentler walks, with a few of us opting to visit the nearby National Trust property at Longshaw.
On our final day several brave people who had remembered to pack their swimming gear made an early morning trip to nearby Hathersage Lido for a dip before breakfast.
Despite the cold temperatures and misty conditions we all made the most of an enjoyable three days away with good company in a beautiful part of the UK.
And, once again, some humorous lines from Glen to celebrate the event and thank the organiser.
Great Hucklow Gratitude
It’s clearly been a popular trip that those who missed it will rue
It must also have been an important one as our Chairman came too
While most of us were still in bed, sleeping like a log
There were some hardy chappies who went off for a jog
Far too strenuous for most
Too much of a slog
In yesterday’s mist, all those sheep, couldn’t see ’em
As a few of us strode out and shuffled to Eyam
Sliding down slopes, so tricky with mud
One fell to earth with a dignified thud
But positive walkplans, no time to be vague
And heartrending stories, all caused by the Plague
While on the way, some people went a little off-piste
Others later went to the Queen Anne
And came back very happy!
Excited chat during dinner, some animated yelpings
Plus the same usual suspects having ample second helpings
A thoughtful menu to satisfy vegetarians
And everyone else, including unitarians
On to the evening and people relax
Whether it’s cards, jenga or puzzles, just chill to the max
Good friendly people with outwardly respectable facades
That all goes downhill quickly when they’re playing charades
Those of us who saw it mainly felt pity
At Ian’s unforgettable rendition of Sex in the City!
Thanks to all the walk leaders taking charge of their groups
Something new for the New Year: a date with the Ipswich Oap Group. And a lovely day it was. A wonderful long walk 8 miles once around the power stations at Sizewell.
I wish dearest Hilda was here to see it. All these young men needing guidance.
And more delights. My favourite Emva Cream (I’m not allowed that at the home) with our sandwiches at the Eels Foot public house.
So many people (including youngsters and pets) turned out – it was like a big family day at the beach. The leader, a fellow called Ian reminded me of my grandson’s friend “Micky the Cobra” – such a nice young man and he’ll be out soon.
Eleven members spotted Tess’s games night on the programme – well, eleven turned up. It was a great evening so watch out for the next one. Scrub that. It was a great evening and eleven (or twelve) is the perfect number. The venue: our very own private room at the Thos Wolsey. Two games took up most the evening, Articulate and Codenames. I think there was also a very quick game of chess – inadequate IQ in the room for a decent match.
Have a look at the pictures. The first (above) was Articulate. You are mainly looking at losers save for the three on the right to the front of the shot who joined late and came up from behind – an amazing victory by Kevin, Claire, Torben and me (the photographer).
And this was after Codenames. Again mostly losers save Kevin, Tess, Torben and me. I can see a theme. The usual stalwarts of such events (e.g. The Machine and Blue Thunder chairperson formerly known as samwise) were consistently on the losing sides.
Just a new year notice about our regular evening jog / run from the town centre, every Thursday evening. We aim to set off around 18:30, and I’m able to offer changing / shower facilities so that we can go out afterwards for dinner, if participants want to.
I only noticed late last year that this had somehow ended up only on the paper programme and was missing from the online version – so now seems like a good time for a wider reminder. 🙂
We’ve got a route that works quite well over the dark of winter so we don’t need head torches, and I’m currently expecting at least four of us to be in attendance. As it’s dark, bright / reflective clothing is recommended. We’re really not going to be moving crazy fast – we stick with the slowest person in the group (usually me). The full route is around 10km, but we’ll likely be splitting up and doing a shorter route a little over 5km too. It’s all easily adaptable, depending on whatever people feel like doing.
You asked for a few words on Paul’s Westerfield to Woodbridge walk, mostly following the Fynn River. It was a lovely event, more social activity than active activity – half the frigging group turned up. Reckon it was the two-for-one dinner that did it. 8.5ish miles an easy stroll – too namby-pamby for some who wouldn’t get out of bed for less than twelve miles.
So another 5 miles were added; topped and tailed by that stalwart of the group (chairman take note and remove his name from your blacklist) for the seven or so heavy-weights.
Two pubs (what is the IOG coming to?), a train journey (some of you still owe me for the fare) and an enjoyable meal at the end. Cheers Paul.