Newsletter - January 2019

On behalf of the Wiltshire LDWA committee, I'd like to begin by wishing you all a very Happy New Year. We look forward to walking with as many of you as possible over the next 12 months.

In this month's newsletter:

  • Remembering Mark Rendall;
  • Annual General Meeting (AGM);
  • Weather Wit; and
  • Forthcoming Walks



Remembering Mark Rendall


Graham Instrell has issued the following press release:

"On 1st December 2018 a new kissing gate at Giant’s Grave, near Pewsey, was dedicated to the memory of Dr Mark Rendall, who passed away in December 2017, aged 75. Mark was a very popular and respected GP in the Melksham area, who retired in 2003, best known in Steeple Ashton, where he lived, and Seend. He was an advocate of walking for good health. The gate was funded by the Long Distance Walkers Association (LDWA), Wiltshire, of which he was chairman. Mark’s widow, Dorothy, and their family joined 20 of the walking group to unveil the plaque and be the first through the gate after a short dedication. The gate is located near Oare, just north of Pewsey on both the Mid-Wilts Way and White Horse Trail at a point with wonderful views over Pewsey Vale, Ordnance Survey location SU171634. Approach from the car park at Clench Common or from Oare."

Dorothy Rendall The Rendall Family Kissing Gate


On the day, as the rain continued to fall, Lesley Bellis led the tribute to Mark. She hoped that he would have approved of the location, explaining that it was chosen because it was on all 4 routes of the annual Pewsey Downsaround, and would therefore have nearly 300 individuals pass through it on the day. Before raising a toast to Mark, she thanked Graham for all his hard work in turning an idea into reality. Dorothy was then invited to untie the ribbon and pass through the gate.


Dorothy Rendall has sent us the following message:

"I and all the family found yesterday a truly amazing and wonderful experience. To see you all again at the memorial you had erected in memory of Mark reflected the ethos of the LDWA, the friendship, love of the countryside, and tolerance. I have many happy memories of walks and trips away and when I was no longer able to join in Mark always came back a tired happy man, having had time with likeminded friends. He valued your friendship, the LDWA meant a great deal to him. Thank you all for your kindness, and for arranging yesterday. I move into Wallingford in April, five minutes from the Thames towpath. If any walkers want food or a bed they are very welcome. You have my phone number and email address. From the family we wish you all a happy, healthy Christmas and New Year. With love, Dorothy"



Annual General Meeting (AGM)


The key points from the recent AGM are as follows:

  • Lesley Bellis began by congratulating those members who completed the Cinque Ports 100 in Kent in May. She also thanked those members who had travelled down to Hythe to help at the checkpoint. Lesley then thanked the committee for their efforts over the year, not least our outgoing Treasurer, Carol Holmes, for managing the purse strings over the last four years. Special mentions were made to kissing gate 'supremo' Graham Instrell for his work, to Andy Todd for organising the Wiltshire 50 group walk, and to Bea Therin for guiding us along the Cotswold Way;
  • Richard Hotchkiss was unanimously elected Treasurer;
  • Andy Todd will continue as Walks Secretary for a further year;
  • Adrian Crocker's proposed weekend away to the Shropshire Hills next October was accepted;
  • The committee were asked to explore the options for hosting a Wiltshire 50;
  • John Walker's proposed walk along the Mid-Wilts Way was also accepted; and
  • Graham Instrell invited walk leaders to consider offering shorter walk options in order to attract more members.


Weather Wit


There's a technical term for a sunny, warm day that follows two rainy days. It's called Monday!


Forthcoming Walks


Finally, here's the usual look ahead to all the group walks and challenge events that are taking place this month within a 50-mile radius of the geographical centre of Wiltshire.


Date Name Type Mileage Organiser
Sun 6th Jan 2019 After the Christmas Excess Group 15ml. Dorset
Sun 6th Jan 2019 Shawford Winter Warmer Group 18ml. Wessex
Sun 6th Jan 2019 The last chance saloon – The Stirrup Cup Group 20ml. Wiltshire
Sun 6th Jan 2019 Varied Walking from Ewelme 2 Group c19ml. Thames Valley
Wed 9th Jan 2019 Exploring Ashton Court Estate Group 15ml. Bristol & West
Sat 12th Jan 2019 Church Pews or Bar Stools Group 18ml. Bristol & West
Sun 13th Jan 2019 Saunter Around the Stour Group 16ml. Dorset
Thu 17th Jan 2019 An Amble Around an Airfield - Event Details Updated Group 15.5ml. Wiltshire
Sun 20th Jan 2019 By Poplar Request Group 18ml. Wessex
Sun 20th Jan 2019 Take the high road Group 15ml. Wiltshire
Sun 27th Jan 2019 CoSARC Stonehenge Stomp - Event Details Updated Challenge  25, 18.8, 12.5 or 6.3ml. (Non LDWA)
Sun 27th Jan 2019 NFC Marshals' walk Group 26.6 or 18ml. Wessex
Sun 27th Jan 2019 Offa's Twisted Wye Kanter 3 - LDWA MEMBERS ONLY Challenge  26, 22, 19, 16 or 12ml. South Wales
Sun 27th Jan 2019 Wayfaring to Overton Group c18ml. Thames Valley


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That's it for another newsletter. All our newsletters are available via the Wiltshire LDWA website. If you have anything to contribute to future editions, please can you get it to me by the 20th of each month. I look forward to seeing you out on our group walks this month.

Warmest regards


Secretary of the Wiltshire LDWA