13 March, 2017

Association News, Issue 92

Greetings to all readers and a warm welcome to the nine new members who have joined the Association since our last issue. As usual, the spring QV? is a bumper edition, with all the news of our Presentation Dinner in Torquay, the proud trophy recipients, and articles about eight End-to-End trips.

The weekend in Torquay was a great success, with ten of our fourteen awardees present, which was lovely. The Association AGM was well-attended, and I can announce some changes to the Committee: Jack Adams and Cliff Harrison both stepped down after many years of service to the Association. We will have tributes to them in the Summer Issue, in thanks for all they have contributed. We welcome on board our new IT Team Karen Bower and Ian Holmes, who will be managing our website and social media. Eldon Mackridge has taken over from Jack Adams as the new Social Secretary.

We also welcome Patrick Jordan to the Committee, and our honorary chaplain, Revd David King. I will include an introduction to these members in the Summer edition, but in the meantime, we welcome them and thank them for the benefit they bring to the Association.

Looking ahead, I’ve let the Committee know that I’ll be stepping down as editor of QV? after the Winter 2018 edition. We are looking for a new editor to job-shadow starting from Spring 2018, so if you would like to take on the position, please be in touch with us!

The late summer holiday weekend will be 21st – 24th September in Oxfordshire, and as you will see from the invitation, there are a host of things to see and do in the area. I encourage you to let Eldon know if you are planning to attend; I am sure it will be a lovely time for all who can make it. The 2018 Presentation weekend at the Tooraq Hotel in Torquay is booked for the same dates as usual: the last weekend in January. The AGM and Presentation evening will be Saturday 27th January 2018. Our Chairman Brian Dawson writes: Please put it in your diaries!
Thank you to Kathryn Hough, who kindly wrote up an account of the latest Presentation Weekend and took the photos of our recipients. The indomitable Mr Neville Tetley also wrote me a letter of appreciation to everyone for the enjoyable time he had.

The first End-to-End trip is from Kevin Clements, who began at a run and ended on a bicycle; what a story of determination to finish the journey, no matter how the challenge unfolds! Shanks Pony Trophy recipient Patrick McGuinness also faced injuries on his trip, necessitating a hospital stop, bandaging and painkillers for a broken toe!

The next article is from walker Susan Liechti, winner of the Committee Cup, who wrote (not in her first language, but so beautifully-expressed!) about her amazingly-long trip from Zurich. She is already on another expedition this year and as I write, is near Rugby. You can follow her progress and thoughts at swissalpinesnail.com.

Richard Owen (awarded the Chambers/Hume-Spry Cup) cycled in June last year, and wrote an honest, heartfelt account of his solo trip, which you will enjoy reading. 

Paul Ucheck sent me the tale of his barefoot walk, and I was also lucky enough to meet Paul in person when he was in Cape Town last November, visiting his daughter. Paul is planning another long walk this year, also in aid of cancer, for the charity Cancervive. He will be walking barefoot from Durban to Johannesburg starting on 1st August, and I will keep you up to date on this adventure. 

Katharine and Paul, November 2016

Nicky Watling sent me a great read about the JoGLE tandem cycle trip she and her husband Gary made. I’ve included the first half of her account, and you can look forward to the rest in the Summer Issue. Hats off also to Louise George who wrote a lovely article of her family’s train and bus trip. Many of you will have met the Georges at the Presentation Weekend, as their daughter Sophie now holds the record for the youngest person to travel End-to-End; she was only two at the time.

We end off this issue with a ‘vintage’ account of a walk undertaken by Bob Carter in 1976, and some suitably orange-tinted photographs of his journey. Bob plans to walk again this year, and the intended fast pace he is planning has me crossing fingers for an injury-free expedition. All of the best!

The deadlines for QV? submissions will remain the same each year, and they are –
Spring Edition: 30th January for End-to-End articles, and 15th February for other submissions.
Summer Edition: 8th June.
Winter Edition: 30th September.

Our Association welcomes and includes all members equally and doesn’t view one method of travel above any other. Our adventures, journeys, and efforts to raise funds for charities, or raise awareness of issues close to our hearts, are all meritorious and worthy of support. Our newest Committee member Patrick Jordan has proposed that in an effort to attract and retain more members, particularly those using motorized transport, we consider offering a range of certified challenges in addition to the End-to-End. To be clear, no one is suggesting we change our core requirement for membership – we remain the Land’s End - John o’ Groats Association – but that members who complete additional challenges, such as LEJoG plus the four extreme points of mainland Britain, for example, be awarded a certificate for this journey, once verified.

Patrick has written a thoughtful proposal here. Please read through it, and post a comment with your opinion so we can hear what our membership thinks of this idea. Patrick has covered all aspects including route advice, financial issues, verification, and promotion. He has volunteered to promote the additional challenges, if adopted, within the long-distance riding and driving communities, and is happy to write to walking and cycling websites and magazines. I look forward to a lively debate on the idea. Please share your thoughts!

As always, I would be delighted to hear from you with your news, stories and photographs of End-to-End trips, whether upcoming or completed, and any other travel articles you’d like to share with our members. Please be in touch!

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