Newsletter - June 2019

Congratulations & Celebrations


There is only one way to start this month's newsletter and that is to applaud those group members, and friends of the group, who completed the Hadrian Hundred last weekend. Congratulations go to:

  • David Purdy
  • John Sreeves
  • Paul Glynn (Wessex)


Well done too, to the following group members, and friends of the group, who took part in the event or the Marshals' Walk (MW), but who had to retire because of the inclement conditions:

  • Sheena Findlay
  • Lucy Robins
  • Clare Staff (MW)
  • Andy Todd (MW)
  • John Walker
  • Mike Buckley (Heart of England)
  • John Esslemont (Thames Valley)
  • Gwyneth Littlejohn (Bristol & West)


Also in this month's newsletter:

  • Button;
  • Pewsey Downsaround (PDA)
  • Walk Details Required
  • Wiltshire 50;
  • Shropshire Weekend;
  • Wiltshire's D-Day Role; and
  • Forthcoming Walks





Please spare a thought for Richard, Chris and Button Hotchkiss. Sadly Button's cancer has returned, and he has at most a few weeks of quality life left. He is still enjoying life and walks of 5 miles or so, but will not be able to do so much longer.

Richard and Chris are naturally both distressed, regarding Button as part of the family and who they expected to have a much longer life. He saw both Richard and Chris through serious illnesses and was a great comfort to them at these times.

Richard and Chris have requested that we do not send goodwill or sympathy messages and not to discuss Button when we next talk or meet, as they are already finding it particularly difficult to remain composed when asked about his health.



Pewsey Downsaround (PDA)


Click HERE to view the results and photographs from our recent event.



Walk Details Required

From Andy Todd:


"By now details for all the walks for 2019 should be available online. This means that my thoughts now turn to 2020. Walk leaders are needed for almost all dates in 2020. Please contact me at if you can lead a walk, particularly during the January - April period.

Also now is probably the time to start thinking about any walks you have an idea for which will require support from the group to happen. Again, please contact me if you have any ideas."



Wiltshire 50

From Andy Todd:


"We are organising another 50-mile group walk on 12th/13th October 2019, starting in Devizes.

The walk is group walk, so follows normal group walk rules. The full distance is 50 miles, but there is an option of getting as far as the first hall before returning to the start (~23 miles). Lesley has offered to keep us all well fed.

Please contact me at to book your place, or for more information.



Shropshire Weekend

From Adrian Crocker:


"I still have one place available for the group weekend in Shropshire. The details are as follows:

  • Date: 18th - 21st October 2019
  • Location: HF, Church Stretton, Shropshire
  • Full Board: 3 x dinners, 3 x breakfasts and 2 x packed lunches
  • Accommodation: Licenced bar. Ensuite rooms with tea/coffee-making facilities
  • Walks: 3 days walking plus evening activities
  • Cost: £240 per person (may be less depending on numbers of attendees)"


Wiltshire's D-Day Role


With the 75th anniversary of D-Day approaching, I thought I would remind you of Wiltshire's role in the preparations. Whilst it might have looked impressive from some of the paths we now walk on, I doubt that we'd have got anywhere near the sites at the time. 

Two RAF squadrons were based at Blakehill Farm, near Cricklade. Dakotas flew from there to Normandy on the night of June 5, towing gliders bound for Pegasus Bridge. A Dakota from Blakehill was the first aircraft to land in France after the invasion.

More than 7,000 aircraft were modified, serviced or repaired at RAF Wroughton during the war. Many of the Airspeed Horsa gliders that played a key part in D-Day were assembled and flight-tested at the airfield. It is thought that as many as 600 aircraft were at the base on the eve of the D-Day invasion.

Giant Hamilcar tank-carrying gliders were built at RAF Lyneham and used on D-Day, one of only three occasions they were used. They were designed to carry heavy cargo, such as the Tetrarch or M22 Locust light tank.

The Swindon Railway Works built the 4,000 landing craft used in the landings on the Normandy beaches. The works also made gears used in the towing of barrage balloons that were vital to protect the beaches in the weeks after the invasion.

Among the American troops stationed in Aldbourne were the men of Easy Company whose role on D-Day was to land behind enemy lines hours before the beach landings to create chaos among the defenders.



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
Sat 1st Jun 2019 Alton Circular Group 22ml. London
Sun 2nd Jun 2019 Every Which Way With Contours Group c20ml. Thames Valley
Sun 2nd Jun 2019 Roman Rockbourne Roamin' Group 19ml. Dorset
Sun 2nd Jun 2019 Wansdyke Wander Group 19ml. Wiltshire
Sat 8th Jun 2019 Mendip Meander Group c14ml. Bristol & West
Sat 8th Jun 2019 WD50k Social Group 31ml. Wessex
Sun 9th Jun 2019 Mid-Wilts Way - Part 1 Group 21ml. Wiltshire
Sun 9th Jun 2019 Stour Valley Way - Leg 3 LINEAR WALK Group 18ml. Dorset
Wed 12th Jun 2019 Thames Left Bank and views Group c18ml. Thames Valley
Wed 12th Jun 2019 Up on Wiltshire Heights - Evening Walk Group 6ml. Wiltshire
Thu 13th Jun 2019 A2A - Part 1 - Event Details Updated Group 20ml. Wiltshire
Sun 16th Jun 2019 From the nuclear age to the 13th century ... and back Group 20ml. Wiltshire
Sat 22nd Jun 2019 What hath night to do with sleep? Group 17ml. Wiltshire
Sun 23rd Jun 2019 A Midsummer Chase Group 20ml. Wessex
Sun 23rd Jun 2019 A Visit to the Thames Group c21ml. Thames Valley
Sun 23rd Jun 2019 In the East - Event Details Updated Group 17ml. Dorset
Sun 23rd Jun 2019 Parklands & Palaces Group 18ml. Bristol & West
Wed 26th Jun 2019 Clouts Wood and Salthrop - Evening Walk Group 6ml. Wiltshire
Wed 26th Jun 2019 Iron Age Remains, Industrial Architecture and the Thames Group c15ml. Thames Valley
Thu 27th Jun 2019 Litter Pick Group c10ml. Bristol & West


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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