AGM 2014 – a great turnout!

Club members on email may have received up to 4 notifications of the Club’s AGM – due in part to a last minute change of venue! This publicity resulted in the biggest attendance for years. Thanks to everyone who managed to come; the Committee hopes you found it worthwhile. We liked our new venue at St James Church Wulfstan Way and will use it again.

The ‘business’ part of the meeting included a review of the past year’s activities, together with a summary of events planned for 2015. On a regular weekly basis we will be starting a fourth Wednesday walk – termed ‘B-am’. This is a morning walk of 5 to 7 miles, taken at a moderate pace. No specific arrangements are being made for a pub lunch, although there is nothing to stop participants arranging such a meal informally. This walk may prove popular with many Club members who can only manage a morning ramble, but who want a bit of a leg stretch. The current Wednesday B  all day walk will continue – termed Wednesday ‘all’.

There are some changes to the Committee. The past President Jill Tuffnell has stood down; after 5 years in post she was keen to see some ‘new blood’ taking over. Jenny U has been elected as President and we wish her well.  Thanks were given to everyone on the Club’s Committee for their hard work during the year – without our members we wouldn’t have a programme of walks!

Harriet, who has represented the Cambridge Group of the Ramblers on the Club’s Committee for many years, was elected as an Honorary Club member.

There was considerable discussion regarding how we can safeguard our rights of way network. Without well kept paths, we would have nowhere to walk! It is important that any problems with paths, such as overgrown vegetation, a broken stile or ploughing, are reported to the relevant Council. If the Councils don’t receive reports they won’t know of or deal with the problems; furthermore, they may argue that there are no problems and cut their maintenance budgets! It was agreed that we would compile some guidance as to how to lodge problems & complaints online. For anyone with a Smartphone there is a very useful app called ‘Fix My Street’ which can be used on-site to log and forward problems with rights of way in the countryside. You don’t even have to know the local Council area involved.

At the end of the formal meeting, Jill was very touched to be presented by the Club with a Glynn Thomas print of Wandlebury. This will take pride of place in her home!

Our speaker was Veronica Bennett from the National Trust, talking about Wimpole Hall. This very interesting presentation ran through the history of the buildings and their owners, together with many plans and both early and more recent photographs. Veronica also covered the history of the formal gardens and the wider estate, including both the south and north avenues as well as the recently restored walled garden and Home Farm.

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