MEMBERS of Evesham Rambling Club marked seven decades of putting their best foot forward with a packed day of celebrations.
A group of 14 members took on a 12 mile circular walk from Evesham via Sedgeberrow, Aston Somerville, Childswickham, Wickhamford and Badsey.
Meanwhile another 25 members took on a slightly less demanding five mile walk with route around Evesham following the riverside and taking in the Evesham Battle Trail.
Many of these ramblers then enjoyed an afternoon boat trip along the River Avon to mark the club’s 70th birthday in style.
The club was founded in 1947 by Dudley Hughes and Leon Butler whose annual walks in the Cotswolds on Good Friday often took them far from home.
On their eventual return, the pair resolved to devise a way in which renewed delight in the Vale’s wonderful countryside could be shared with others and Evesham Rambling Club was born.
The first ramble by the club involved 17 walkers and was described as setting a ‘respectable standard with a hand written note from the time hailing the formation as ‘a most encouraging start’.
In the early years private cars were still something of a luxury and the club relied heavily on public transport.
Club archives show the number of walkers on rambles in the 1950s was often in the teens with membership climbing in the 1960s to 40 or 50 members.
Coaches were soon needed to ferry people to the starting point of a new adventure or back at the end of a walk.
As the club expanded so did the range of walks undertaken, including ‘Moonlight and Sunrise Rambles’ and weekends away in Wales, Dartmoor and the Peak District.
With a healthy membership and a varied programme of rambles, the club continues to offer much for local walkers.
In addition, the club still organises trips away with members having recently travelled abroad to the Dolomites and Germany.
A party of 30 are heading off to Jersey next month to walk around the island.
As well as putting their best foot forward, Evesham Rambling Club has also stepped out in the local community from taking part in the town’s carnival to carrying out footpath and walking bridge repairs.
To commemorate its 70th year, Evesham Rambling Club is establishing a circular walk around Evesham.
As well as successfully obtaining funding, working parties from the club have already been out preparing sections of the route.
Visit www.eveshamramblingclub.org.uk or call 01386 443234 for more information on how to be become a member.