December 11th – Orley Common & Christmas Lunch

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Once again Ernie led us on the last walk of year, a return visit to Orley Common, finishing at the Wellington Inn Ipplepen.

19 walkers set off on this bright but cold and misty morning. The mist conspired against us having the lovely distant views of Dartmoor we enjoyed last year.

Back at the Wellington Inn Bob welcomed several other members who were unable to walk with us today but who joined us for lunch. Thanks were offered to Bob & Jane for their coordinating role, and also to Dennis and Maureen G.

After this Ernie gave his usual summary of the year’s activities and presented the 2013 Welly Prize to Anne.


Ernie gives his report for 2013

Ernie gives his report for 2013

In spite of the good weather this summer my ramblings have been irregular so I had to dig deep to find a worthy recipient for the Welly Prize this year but a few odd scribbles in the little Black Book threw up a couple of ideas.

On the Teignmouth’Holcombe walk in July Arthur came close when he got carried away with his Sat Nav and ended up miles behind before we realised he was no longer with us-

On the same walk Val our lovely messy soprano at a loo stop only emerged from the facilities after the group performed three choruses of  “Why are we waiting?”. Could not give it to Val as she is already a member of the Stirring Prize fraternity-

This wilt be the tenth year of these fun awards so I was tempted to award myself especially as you will note from the following tail but modesty prevents: anyway,  its against the rules. That’s my excuse so here we go………

“A Flush with a Blush”

On a lovely early spring day a happy throng of 18 walkers led by little Ern set off from the Dartington Cider Press for a ramble around the Dartington estate via the banks of the river Dart .

Anne receives her Welly Prize

Anne receives her Welly Prize

The banks of the river were covered with a glorious array of daffodils and wild flowers. Little Ern, so taken with the scene, had gone into his own little world of William Wordsworth reverie “Wandering lonely as a cloud floating on high o’er vales and hills”. Suddenly coming down to earth he saw a “crowd of walkers that he was hosting, not the golden daffodils”!

Back from his vacant pensive state he also realised that they had overshot the return path back up to Dartington Hall by half a mile back along.
All was not lost –  SBO Orton in his best Capt Mainwaring mode ordered the about turn and marched the happy throng back on course.  Little Ern just followed with mind still ” blissfully fluttering and dancing in the breeze.”

Arriving at the Hall and after all the excitement of almost getting lost loo facilities were required.
One lady returned from the facilities somewhat agitated saying  “quick lets scarper before the emergency gang arrives as I pulled the alarm instead of the flush!”
Litlle Ern now back on track rushed the party to the adjacent Japanese Garden out of harms way and for a little calm and quiet contemplation.

Thus Ann for your flush with a blush you are the “Welly Prize” winner for 2013.”


orley12Maureen K was on hand with her camera to take orley15 a few shots of the misty landscape as well as photos of us all in party mode at the Wellington.

You can see all of Maureen’s photos by clicking on this link

November 27th – Loddiswell and the River Avon

On a somewhat cool autumn morning, Jenni & Tony led 21 walkers from the Avon Mill Garden Centre on a delightful walk alongside the River Avon returning via the track of the dismantled railway line. The dull and overcast skies did not prevent us from enjoying the bright autumnal colours.

Click here to see the photos taken on this walk

Loddiswell Station, on the now dismantled South Brent to Kingsbridge line,  closed in 1963 after 70 years of operation. There is an excellent collection of photos together with a full history at this website

We last did this walk in 2008. You can watch the video of that walk below. Look out for Tim waving from the bridge and compare it with today’s photo at the same spot.

November 13th – South Brent & Shipley

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On a chilly but very bright morning, 21 walkers met in the carpark behind the Packhorse Inn in South Brent. Val and Neil led us on a 5 1/2 mile walk through the lanes to Shipley Bridge and then we returned via Lydia Bridge to the Packhorse for a very sociable lunch

Along the way we enjoyed fine views over Brent Moor and Shipley Tor, as well as wonderful river scenery.
Our thanks to Val & Neil for a very enjoyable walk.



October 30th – Berry Head

Unbelievably, barely a couple of days after the worst storm to hit Britain since 1987, Arthur managed to conjure up a fine day with

plenty of sunshine and blue skies.

Following a few cancelled walks and various members taking holidays etc, no less than 22 walkers turned out for this walk which visited the forts and coastline of Berry Head with lots of interesting things to see and plenty of time for everyone to catch up on their latest news.
Returning to the Berry Head Hotel we were seated on a single long banqueting table in the best part of the restaurant to enjoy the views across Torbay while we ate from the extensive menu, No chance of an “Old Codgers Menu” at this venue!
Following a tip-off, Val announced to the assembled crowd, including a vast number of upmarket fellow diners, that today happened to be my birthday. I was then treated to a somewhat rowdy rendition of the world’s most performed song. Doubtless there is scope for one of Ernie’s awards here, but to whom? Fortunately perhaps, Ernie was not present so we’ll never know.
Our thanks to Arthur for organizing this very successful event.

September 4th – Grimspound

Click here to see all  my photos for this walk

As the early morning mists cleared, Bob and Jane led 11 walkers on this walk from the Warren House Inn.

Passing  through the troughs and hillocks of the the old tin workings we reached the bronze age settlement of Grimspound.

We made our way over Hookney Tor to Bennet’s Cross and then returned to the Warren House Inn for lunch

On one of the last days of the summer, this  walk under blue skies and a hot sun will be one to remember.

August 21st – Scorriton

Twenty walkers, led by Graham, set out from  Scorriton for a 4 mile walk on Dartmoor.

After a steep climb from Michelcombe we reached Scorriton Moor and then continued on a circular walk to return to Scorriton.
Along the way we observed the deer herd from a distance.
Once again the Tradesmans Arms managed to provide an excellent lunch menu.
Click here to see Maureen’s photos

August 7th – East Portlemouth

Bob and Jane led 12 other walkers on this walk in glorious sunshine; absolutely perfect walking conditions.

After parking at the top of the hill with wonderful views over the river to Salcombe we set off down to the delight sandy Millbay beach which was crowded with holidaymakers.
We continued around the coast  as far as Gara enjoying the far reaching views before turning inland to Millbay.
The final steep climb back to cars exhausted everyone and we were glad to set off for lunch at the Pigs Nose Inn, a short drive away in East Prawle.
Photos were also taken by Maureen & Jaki,, with some lovely closeups of wildlife from Jaki
You can see Jaki and Maureens photos by clicking here. 
We did the same walk in 2007 when the weather was exactly the same as today. I made a video of the photos I took on that walk.

Music:- Freddie Mercury Queen, One Year of Love

July 24th – Holcombe

Heather and Tim lead 17 walkers along the sea wall from Teignmouth to Holcombe on a lovely warm summer’s day.

Passing under the railway, up Smugglers’ Lane and across the main road, we went through Holcombe village and into the countryside before returning to Teignmouth.
Bob took some splendid photos and you can see them by clicking here 
You can see my photos by clicking  here 

June 26th – Haytor


Maureen and Dave led 15 walkers on this circular tour of Haytor.
Granite Tramway & Haytor
Along the way we observed the quarries and tramways and watched the schoolchildren learning how to rock climb.
The weather was perfect for walking, warm though without the sunshine to make it too hot. It was a windless day and visibility was excellent with wide ranging views.

See the photos I took by clicking on this link.

Bob was also on the walk taking photos and you can see his photos by clicking on this second link.

May 29th – Exminster Marshes

A bright Spring morning allowed Val & Neil to lead 18 walkers on a very pleasant walk alongside  the Exeter Canal to Turf Lock.
From there we followed the path beside the River Exe as far as Powderham Church  where we were fortunate to be allowed a look inside.
We returned to the Swans Nest via the Nature Reserve for lunch.
You can see the photos I took by clicking on this link.
Jaki and Maureen took more photos including some excellent close-ups of the flora & fauna which you can see by clicking on this link