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Chairman’s Chatter – October 2017

Arthur's Chatter for the Autum quarter

Arthur

 This is my last Chairman’s Chatter as the ESW Constitution stipulates a maximum of 3 years in a Committee post, so at the AGM I will be stepping down. Liz will also be stepping down as Walks Co-ordinator and Keith as Publicity Officer.

It’s been great over these three years to see so many members enjoying themselves walking, at socials, and on group holidays. I’d like to thank all the committee, group officers, leaders, and members who continue to make it all happen.

I hope as many of you as possible will come to the AGM. It’s your opportunity to hear from the Committee and ask questions, and of course enjoy socialising with other members at the preceding ploughman’s lunch, and the tea afterwards.

During the summer the numbers on our walks dropped slightly, as members no doubt found other adventures to pursue. As the main holiday season finishes (after our holiday to Dovedale), and the woodlands look stunning in their autumn colours, I’m expecting more members out walking.

The BBQ in August was a great success, thanks as always to Rosie for the garden and Pamela and the social team for the organisation, and all the members who brought salads and desserts. I think we reached the limit of the numbers that even Rosie’s garden can accommodate!

I’ve heard excellent reports of the group holiday to France; thanks to Judy and Alice’s meticulous organisation.

I hope you followed the links in Notice Board to see Tony Pearson two appearances on YouTube. The first one (see HERE) focussed on the drastic reduction in Surrey CC’s budget for footpath maintenance, and what Ken’s Krew and similar teams in other Ramblers groups are doing to maintain the footpath network. The second one (see HERE) pointed out the health benefits of a brisk walk.

Our website continues to be very popular with around 3000+ hits per month. As the existing software on which it is built is obsolete, our Webmaster Brian is having to rebuild it on newer software. Thanks Brian. Our current thinking is that it will look much the same to the user. However one change we will be making is to bring the Walks Programme into line with the Ramblers standard – up to now we have our own version which works well for members but involves a great deal of work each quarter by the Walks Administrator and Webmaster to get it checked, formatted, emailed out to us, on our website, and on the central Ramblers Walks Finder. As the number of our walks has gone up so has the work involved. For the new website Brian is trying to minimise the changes visible to leaders and members, but some changes will be unavoidable.

As well as our website we have our own Facebook page www.facebook.com/eastsurreywalkers where weekly posts, mainly currently by Tony, are going out to 2000+ per week helped by sharing to other sites. I would encourage all members who use facebook to add their posts to the ESW page.

Arthur Darby

Chair East Surrey Walkers

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