Stoke Newcastle Ramblers

Where walking is a pleasure

Minutes 23 Mar 17




Present:        D. & T. Adair, A. Bell, C. Bigley, J. Bigley (group member), I. Bradley, H. & M. Caton, A. & R. Clamp, J. Damarell (group member), J. Hammond, K. Twigge, D. Poole, L. & D. Wynne.

Apologies:    D. Fowler, S.J. & S. Merry, B. Wood.



1.    Minutes of Previous Meeting: These were accepted as a true record.

Matters Arising-

(a) Malham coach ramble and Ilfracombe holiday update
T. Adair reported that D. Martin has agreed to lead a coach ramble to Malham on Thursday 13 July 2017 in association with the Biddulph group. Details have been publicised at and these, together with a booking slip, will be included in the forthcoming summer printed programme. M. Sproston will provide assistance with vehicle and participant bookings.

D. Martin is also organising a 2018 coach holiday to Devon on behalf of the Biddulph group, but places will be available to Stoke/Newcastle members. These will be publicised in due course.

(b) Group business cards
J. Bigley reported that she had contacted Central Office and some sample designs she had prepared explained and discussed. A. Clamp suggested that our group logo should be added to the front of the cards with the National logo moved to the back. A. Bell gave vote of thanks to J. Bigley for her efforts. The estimated cost is £24 for 1000 cards.

(c) Group Logo
As a written document S. Merry presented possible designs for the group logo. These were discussed and, with amendments to the fingers, the
fingerpost logo was accepted by a show of hands. R. Clamp suggested the logo be included on all correspondence and the programme.

(d) Financial report
J. Hammond reported that a letter has been sent to the Cliffe Norton Hotel in Tenby requesting a retrospective receipt for the group’s payment. The hotel has had new owners since our visit and no reply has been received. Hence the explicit evidence requested by Ramblers HQ is not available. I. Braimah, Ramblers Finance Officer, has been advised of our situation and we have received no subsequent correspondence. While we can now consider this particular matter resolved, in future receipts should be requested for all payments made on behalf of the group at the time of payment and these receipts should be passed to the Treasurer as soon as possible for filing.   

J. Hammond also reported the group’s balance to be £688 at the year end.  A. Clamp requested a cheque for £130 to cover postage costs for the Summer programme.  It was agreed that efforts need to be made to reduce postage costs and A. Clamp suggested that this be an agenda item at the May committee meeting.

It was agreed that expenses of 30p/mile would be paid for the 126 miles incurred by H. Caton in connection with the placement of the George Shufflebotham memorial post. H. Caton also reported that £20 was donated from the group in connection with the membership recruitment stall at the Douglas Macmillan Hospice on 10 March 2017.

A. Bell reported that L. Berrington has sent £100 in memory of J. Berrington for use by the footpath maintenance team on footpath improvements as they wish. Both A. Bell and H. Caton have sent letters of thanks.

(e) A. Bell and H. Caton reported that the footpath on Trentham golf course is now fully passable.

2.    Summer Walks Programme Update

(a) Shorter walks inclusion

A. Clamp reported that four 4 mile walks had been included in the forthcoming summer programme; the remainder being 5-6 mile half-day walks. A balance needs to be struck so that our walking programme meets the needs of all our members.

(b) Ilkley weekend away notification

The schedule for the weekend was agreed at the 2 March 2017 Weekends Away Group meeting (WAG4) and details will be included in the hard copy summer walks programme. Furthermore, has been updated to contain this information. For the Saturday night meal, D. Poole and L. Bourne require a deposit of £10 per person by 1 August 2017.

(c) Sketch Crawl

A. Clamp reported that this event is being organised by Anthea Bond on Thursday 25 May 2017.  Places are limited to 10 and the cost is £10 per person.  Details of this event will be included in the forthcoming summer programme.

3.    Written and Verbal Reports from Officers and Representatives


  • Ramblers HQ have been alerted to our concerns regarding the Festival of Winter Walks. I do not think we are the only group who have raised the short notice they provided and they also communicated that they are mindful of the need to ensure good national, regional and local media coverage in order to attract new potential members. HQ have subsequently stated that dates for the next Festival of Winter Walks will be 23 December 2017 – 7 January 2018. Furthermore there will be a Walk About Festival in late spring 2018 which they also intend to become an annual event.
  • A group response has been sent to the current Ramblers survey. Based on replies received the following points were included:

o   Praise for the helpfulness of the personnel who support zendesk.

o   Praise for the Ramblers’ WalksFinder, but, more broadly, concern that lack of access to additional software inhibits some website developments.

o   Concern that limited central resources are devoted to footpath developments. In particular, more emphasis of aiding groups in their liaison with local councils concerning footpath maintenance would be welcome. More broadly, greater efforts are requested of Ramblers HQ in their lobbying of parliament and of local councils in general concerning the current cuts in spending on UK rights of way.

o   Our group, and perhaps others, would find it more reassuring if Ramblers executives were more visible; perhaps joining group walks on occasions. This would enhance relationships between groups and HQ.

o   The presence of the London HQ needs to be justified in the current era of modern business communications. An HQ north of the Trent could enable more resources to be devoted to footpaths; the area of greatest concern to members. Furthermore, other national campaigning organisations such as the National Trust, the Camping and Caravanning Club and the RSPB operate effectively from bases outside the capital.

  • Members have suggested two ideas for social evenings which could be a component of the next winter programme:

o   A cheeseboard evening when all participants bring along some of their favourite variety of cheese for sharing with all colleagues present. This could take place at a pub with the landlord’s agreement

o   A curry night where, perhaps on a special offer night, we book a table at a local restaurant. This would require more organisation than the previous item.



  • The decline in membership shown by the table below was discussed; age being considered the prime factor.


23 March 2017

1 February 2017




New members




Total membership







 Group Footpath Coordinator –

  • The upstairs room of White Star PH, Stoke has been booked 19:30-21:30 on 24 May, 5 July and 18 October 2017 for group committee meetings and also on 27 September 2017 for the group AGM. The landlord requests that no glasses be left in the room at the end of the meetings.

Countryside Officer –

  • The Judicial Review challenging the approval of the Moneystone Leisure Park has now been granted in the High Court. It is highly probable that the District Council SMDC will now accept that they were in error and will cancel the November decision SMD/2016/0378.

Social Secretary –

  • Ideas would be welcome concerning venues for future pub nights. In his absence, B. Wood was congratulated for the well-supported pub night he organised at Wetherspoons in Cheadle.


  • In response to a query from A. Clamp, C. Bigley agreed to investigate the possibility of placing a link to join the Ramblers on our home page. Any further comments as the website develops can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • It was also noted that Harry Scott has been invited to contribute an article on HS2 to our website blog, but he is yet to respond.

Walk programme secretaries

  • D. Adair, M. and H. Caton, and K. Twigg all reported that their respective sections of the forthcoming  summer programme were completely filled.

4.    Any Other Business

(a) A. Clamp and T. Adair plan to assess the maps available to members with a view to publicising their availability to members.

(b) A. Bell plans to organise a secateurs walk; the date and location are yet to be confirmed.

5.    Time, Date and Venue of next meeting 19.30 on Wednesday 24 May 2017 at White Star PH, Stoke.

The meeting closed at 20:50


Stoke Newcastle Ramblers Logo Green


If any members make a booking with Ramblers Worldwide Holidays, they can nominate our club to receive a small commission on the holiday cost. In the 2015/2016 we received £120. This grant is given with no strings attached, and can be used entirely at the discretion of the Committee.

Saturday, March 24, 2018