Walking Matters

Godalming & Haslemere Ramblers

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Photographic evening

Winter returned for our spring photographic evening. Fortunately, as the temperature had been above zero for several days, the snow didn’t settle on roads or pavements until after the end of the event.

There were six presentations with a break for refreshments halfway. Members brought food and the social committee organised tea and coffee. The attendance was at least fifty. Members also brought items for a raffle and this raised £100—more than enough to pay for the hire of the hall.

We saw photographs from holidays in Cambodia and Laos, Swanage and the Isle of Purbeck, the Andes, New Zealand and Sri Lanka and a collection of photos taken on G&HR coach walks over the past fifteen years.


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Quiz night

We like walking and we like eating and, judging by the turnout this evening, we like quizzes. About fifty turned up for the event. We started with food (always popular) and then arranged ourselves into groups of six or seven at seven tables ready to answer questions devised by our two quiz masters. Some fortified themselves for the mental exertion with fish & chips followed by large ice cream sundaes; others were abstemious and settled for fewer calories.

There was a good mix of questions (none on football or TV soaps by general demand) all of which had been carefully checked by the setters to ensure that none were ambiguous. However, they did allow half a point for stating that Woking was the landing place of the Martians in HG Wells’ The War of the Worlds. Those who knew the exact place, Horsell Common, were quick to complain about the generosity.

The first question required a simple Yes or No answer to get our brains in action. The most easterly point in England is in Suffolk. Those at my table struggled. We tried to picture the coastline. More by luck than judgement we got the correct answer.

What five African countries have a coastline on the Mediterranean? Our confidence increased.

What bush cultivated for its dark red acidic fruit was known as fenberry? We agonised over this but eventually wrote down the right answer.

If Mercury, Venus and Earth are numbers one, two and three, what is number six? Several knew there was a mnemonic to remember the order of planets orbiting the sun but none could remember it. We hit on Saturn by chance. There are many mnemonics; a simple one is My Very Educated Mother Just Showed Us Nine Planets.

We’ve all seen it, we were told. What was created by Harry Beck in 1931? That floored us.

Who wrote the lyrics and who wrote the music to Land of Hope and Glory? We managed only the composer.

Which Dickens’ novel featured a cricket match between the All-Muggleton team and the Dingley Dell Cricket club? None of us had read Pickwick Papers.

What did Hiram Bingham discover in 1911? We thought the tomb of Tutankhamum (Howard Carter 1922) but when the correct answer was given (Machu Picchu) there was a slapping of heads.

In poker what would a hand with three kings and two sevens be known as? Two ex-poker players at my table knew straightaway.

In the song The Twelve Days of Christmas what are there nine of? We sang (quietly) and reached five easily but our memories failed us beyond that.

In January 2018, Britain’s Rob Cross and Lisa Ashton became world champions in what? None of us were darts enthusiasts.

In the 18th century, Charles Hutton, English mathematician, invented what? We were given a clue: useful for reading maps. No help at my table.

The final question (out of 30) was The ancient Romans called London Londinium; what was Lutetia? We guessed correctly.

It was a good evening. We came away feeling ready for more.

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St Martha’s Hill & Shalford

Today’s eight mile walk would have been the third in the Festival of Winter Walks. It was due to start from the car park off Halfpenny Lane on St Martha’s Hill. The walk was cancelled because snow started early in the morning. The conditions for walking were likely to be little changed from usual but those for driving to the start were likely to be hazardous.

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Busbridge Lakes bridleway 163

This bridleway was closed two years ago. It is now open to pedestrians and cyclists. A notice has been pinned to both ends: Bridleway open to pedestrians and cyclists. Until further work is carried out it remains closed to equestrian traffic.

However, as the council has removed the barriers which prevented only horses from passing, hoof prints show that horse riders have used it.

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Annual photographic evening

Last night’s event went well. About 50 turned up to watch presentations by five people. One person was late and crept in at the back near the end of the first presentation. He said that his wife was away for the weekend so he’d taken the opportunity to watch the rugby on the telly.

The presenters were allowed fifteen minutes to show their photos. There was a break after the third one for the buffet followed by the raffle. The buffet, brought by members, looked impressive. People tucked in, some as if they hadn’t eaten all day.

The raffle (items donated by members) raised £130. There were six boxes of chocolates in it, three of which were identical. The boxes of eggs were quickly taken as were the bottles of wine. One person who plays bridge was glad to choose two packs of playing cards as her prize. The last item to go was not the CD of songs by Vera Lynn but was the book of G & H R’s walks.

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A confusion of signs

The signs for the new 40mph limit on the A25 from the area between the A248 to Newlands Corner are a mess. The installers have confused repeaters with terminal signs. They’ve used them in the wrong place erecting terminal signs instead of repeaters and vice versa. These signs are not interchangeable. The signs marking the start of the 40mph limit from the national speed limit on the A248 just before its junction with the A25 are still small repeaters (as noted February 19, Shere Circular).

On the A25 towards Newlands Corner are repeaters and terminal signs. In one place there are back to back 40mph terminal signs. No wonder the installers ran out of these signs and had none left to correctly mark the start of the 40 mph limit on the A248.

See Traffic Signs Manual, chapter 3 Regulatory Signs, section 14 Speed Limits.

14.1 Traffic authorities have a duty under section 85 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 to erect and maintain prescribed speed limit signs on their roads in accordance with the Secretary of State’s directions; i.e. the signs must be prescribed by and provided in accordance with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 unless they have been specially authorised. Signs that do not strictly follow the Regulations and the Directions (see para 1.4 in respect of Northern Ireland), or have not been specially authorised are not lawfully placed and the speed limit might be unenforceable. To avoid the risk of failed prosecutions, it is of the greatest importance that speed limits be signed lawfully. It is equally important that speed limits be signed clearly and in accordance with this guidance, so that at no time will drivers be in any doubt about the prevailing limit.