FORTHCOMING EVENTS 2022
Garden Party/B.B.Q (30th July)
Big Day Out – details to be confirmed (7th August)
Autumn Weekend/Week Away -Hawes, Wensleydale (16 – 23rd September)
PAST EVENTS 2022
Bempton Weekend Away (15th-18th July, 2022)
We could not have chosen better weather for our trip to Yorkshire’s East Coast – it was one of the hottest weekends on record! As is the norm on the Club’s ‘away-days’ the group met up on Friday evening for a meal and to plan the weekend. It was decided to have two walks on Saturday, one group walking from Speeton, along the coastal path, to Bempton RSPB Reserve (and back) the rest of the gang meandering on a circular route from Bempton, onto the coastal path also heading for the Reserve. It was a glorious morning, sunny with just a light breeze taking the edge of the temperatures. The coastal views were fantastic, the cliff tops lined with wild flowers and thankfully the thousands of seabirds flying around didn’t manage to ‘catch’ any of us!! One reason for our visiting Bempton was ‘puffin spotting’ and puffins we spotted (one much larger than the others). We were excited to hear that an albatross had taken up residence in the area, and several of the group did see ‘Albie’ flying amongst the gannets but the rest of us had to make do with a cardboard cut-out! There were bird watchers galore – all holding cameras with excessively large lenses – trying to spot the elusive albatross but most of them were disappointed. Our day had been a great success and when we met up in the evening for what was an excellent meal at the local pub there was much to talk about!
Sunday was quite cloudy but no-one complained as perhaps a little less sun was needed after the previous day’s heat. The A-team decided to walk from Bempton to Bridlington (and persuaded someone to drive over and collect them at the end of the day), the rest of us decided on a more leisurely approach – a walk from Flamborough South Landing (where we managed to find free parking) to Flamborough Head and back. They were both lovely walks with fantastic views and not too many people on the coastal path. However, as expected, Flamborough Head was very busy so no-one lingered there too long. A boot malfunction meant that one person had to tie the soles back on his boots and return to South Landing at a very slow ‘boots tied together’ pace whilst the others continued on to North Landing (for lunch), explored Flamborough village and then made their way along the road to South Landing and the cars. The A-team found that Bridlington was relatively quiet as their arrival was timed for later in the day, but there were still families enjoying walking and playing on the beach. Unfortunately our plans for an evening meal at the pub were scuppered as the pub only sold lunches. However, we didn’t starve – those in Bridlington had fish and chips (a real seaside treat) the rest had a very tasty home cooked meal prepared by a culinary wizard! Halcyon members are nothing if not resourceful.
Monday was a ‘hot one’ with very high temperatures and little breeze, but few people seemed in a rush to return to Sheffield so everyone filled the day well either taking a final walk on the cliff top path and hopefully catching a glimpse of Albie, or visiting Filey and Scarborough. But all good things do come to an end and sadly this was the end of our weekend – one which will give us lots to talk about for some time to come.
Spring Week/Weekend Away, Dorset (13th-20th May)
The suggestion that a break a little further afield than usual may well be compensation for the disappointment of having to cancel the two previous Spring weekends due to Covid was proposed and adventurous Halcyon members travelled ‘down south’ for a week in the sunshine(?). The base for the week was Winterbourne Abbas and the group were determined to make the most of the Club’s first visit to the area. Following the long journey everyone was happy to visit the local pub and enjoy a meal which marked the beginning of the trip.
The weather was a bit of a mixed bag, but that did not put a stop to any of the week’s outings. However during the first walk, along Chesil Beach, ominously dark clouds built up so it was about turn back to the café and shelter from the rain which did stop in time for some of the group to climb onto the ridge to complete the walk, others explored the craft shops. However the ridge walk was a big mistake as heavy rain started and a mission was mounted to ‘rescue’ the ladies from the storm – someone collected them in their car. The following day, to avoid another potential soaking, the group visited Bridport but when the sun came out they moved on to explore Lyme Regis and got blown about on The Cob. As the highest point in Dorset, Golden Cap, was so close it would have been remiss to pass it by unchallenged. The steep pull was certainly worth the effort as there were amazing panoramic coastal views in all directions. Following the previous day’s exertions climbing the ‘Cap’, everyone thought that Lulworth Cove would be an excellent area for a restful walk, but unfortunately the coastal path isn’t level and steep ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ certainly tested the calf muscles. What was the reward for the hard days walking? A fish and chip supper. Halcyon are never happier than when they can enjoy sunny relaxing coffee or lunch breaks, so after the exploration of Maiden Castle during the visit to Dorchester, the group did just that. They lay back, shut their eyes and let the world pass them by – Halcyon Horizonals Dorset Style! The final trip of the week took the group to Abbotsbury so that the ramble abandoned in the downpour a few days earlier could be completed. It was a beautiful walk with fantastic views on the way out and the return route followed the stunning Chesil Beach coastline. The week ended as it began with a meal at a local hostelry which brought yet another enjoyable Halcyon ‘voyage of discovery’ to a satisfactory close.
The group had enjoyed excellent walking, contended with a real mix of weather, eaten well and, of course, made the most of what the area had to offer, but there was a sad side to the adventure, as the person who originally suggested, and arranged, the Dorset visit had sadly passed away before the trip – her company was greatly missed.
Halcyon Table Tennis Tournament (8th March, 2022)
A table tennis ‘tournament’ had been arranged for early in March, but unfortunately not too many Halcyon considered that sport to be their particular forte, so it was a small group, with unproven expertise, that met for the challenge. Initially there was a warm up session where ability and proficiency were noted before the ‘official’ session commenced. Some members (mentioning no names) attacked with gusto and enthusiasm, whilst others just ‘did their best’. The spinners came out well having defied their opponents with swift and swirling moves. A fun time was had by all and it is pleasing to note that the ‘hand of friendship’ concluded a really entertaining evening.
Ten Pin Bowling Challenge (3rd March 2022)
Sheffield’s Hollywood Bowl was the venue for the Halcyon Bowling Challenge match. This was a new venture for us, so there was some uncertainty as to the experience or capability of any of the group. The rules appeared simple. Ensure the ball is sent down the allocated alley, it has to go alone and not have the bowler hanging onto it, select a ball weighted to suit you and not because you like the colour. Well that seemed straight forward, but only time would tell whether the instructions had been fully taken on board. The group was divided into two teams, each playing down their assigned alley, and everyone showed early promise but did that last? One person in particular had real skill and expertise but she was American and had played before! Occasionally there were high scores which everyone greeted with appropriate appreciation but, although bowling with enthusiasm, several people did manage to direct their ball down the gutters (and the scoreboard recorded that error of judgement in large flashing letters). It was obvious that several people had played the game before as their pre-bowl build-up was certainly different so we knew they were the folks who would do well (happily they were not all on the same team). Some people’s ability diminished as the evening progressed whilst others ‘peaked’ (generally much to their surprise). Although one team did win there was not much between the final scores after two games, and cupcakes were presented to the victors (by the person who in fact had the highest score of anyone). It was a really fun evening and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Halcyons certainly have hidden depths, or perhaps they occasionally just display signs of a misspent youth??
New Years Lunch (16th January 2022) The Club’s New Year Lunch was held at The Crispin, Great Longstone. Unfortunately during the week prior to the meal several people were diagnosed with COVID symptoms, were self-isolating, had infections or some other ailment, so the numbers did dwindle, but there were still sufficient members present to make the event worthwhile! As is usual a pre-lunch walk had been organised so everyone could work up an appetite. The day was chilly but no rain was forecast and, as it hadn’t been wet for some weeks, everyone set off with a spring in their step and hopeful that no rain meant no mud. Wrong – but thankfully the leader had taken into account our aversion to ‘squelch’ and managed to avoid most of it! It was an interesting walk and although it is a route we know well, several necessary detours were required to avoid trudging across ploughed fields of ‘sticky’ soil. However on the plus side we passed Tissington Cottage in Rowland where there is always a good selection of home-made jams, biscuits etc. on sale (proceeds to charity). The group didn’t linger and returned to Great Longstone in good time to change boots for cleaner footwear, ‘glam up’ (sort of) and make ourselves comfortable before the much enjoyed lunch was served. The day’s mini-challenge was a quiz and, after much thinking, whispering and whoops of achievement when a question was answered, the winners (much to their surprise and ours) were eventually declared. The raffle was very well supported and this year we donated over a £160 to the Edale Mountain Rescue Team, so a big thank you to everyone who purchased tickets, or made donations in absentia.
PAST EVENTS 2021
Mince Pie Ramble (19th December, 2021). It was a beautiful day for the Ramble, with sunshine ‘on the tops’ and mist in the valley. The group gathered in Eyam car park for mulled wine and festive eats, and to ensure we had the Christmas spirit a member had brought their guitar along to play for a pre-walk sing-a-long. Eventually everyone had sufficiently indulged in the very warming mulled wine and extensive festive treats to begin the walk and our own Father Christmas (occasionally minus his beard) helped lead the way out of the village. At the highest point of the walk we stopped and admired the view across to Curbar and Froggatt Edges, the sun reflecting on the low cloud giving a beautiful shimmering surface. Dropping into the valley we followed field and woodland paths to Grindleford and, after leaving the well walked track the route followed a nature trail through less visited woods. Although duckboards were in place, some of the more interestingly wet sections still had to be negotiated, generally without incident. At Froggatt Bridge the route took us alongside the river, the path running parallel with the road, and as we were ambling along we heard cries of excitement – a small boy walking along the pavement had just spotted (our) ‘Father Christmas’ and was shouting and waving enthusiastically. Of course Father Christmas and his helpers waved back. It was a lovely moment which brought smiles to everyone’s faces. The day ended as it had begun with a glass of mulled wine, a mince pie (or two) but no singing – once a day is enough for the Halcyon ‘choir’.
Autumn Social (30th October 2021): This year’s Autumn Social was held at the ‘Cowshed’, Bradway, in conjunction with an Ashgate Hospice fund raising evening. The event was a pea & pie supper and included quizzes, bingo and a raffle. Unfortunately, Halcyon didn’t win the quiz. The first ten questions comprised emoji interpretation which was perhaps one step too far into ‘modern’ thinking (but I suppose 8 out of 10 in that section wasn’t too bad?). When the answers to all 30 questions were read out there were several groans – of course we knew that one (but had forgotten). Once the quiz was over it was time for food and it has to be said that the steak pie and chips were excellent. The next part of the evening was the raffle – there were some very worthwhile prizes and a couple of ‘surprises’ which were certainly unexpected. At the end of the draw there was one last prize to award and I am delighted to say that one of our member’s number was pulled out and he received a large hamper full of ‘goodies’ which no doubt will be much enjoyed. The evening finished with an hilariously raucous game of bingo – the winner also receiving a hamper. The event was a great success, enjoyed by all, and raised £812.85 for Ashgate Hospice.
Autumn Weekend Away to Grange-over-Sands (17th – 20th September 2021): Unfortunately due to Covid the Halcyon Autumn Weekend 2020 had been cancelled, but happily we were able to transfer the accommodation booking to 2021. Grange over Sands is located in the Southern Lakes which is a little ‘off the beaten track’ as far as the Lake District mountains and lakes go, but there were still interesting walks to be discovered. Arriving on Friday we gathered to enjoy an excellent meal whilst planning our adventures, and there were certainly some of those (almost all unintentional!). Hampsfell and the Hospice with its stunning, albeit somewhat misty and indistinct, 360° views of the Lake District ‘tops’ was explored, on a cloudy and very ‘muggy’ morning and as we were so close to Cartmel and the famous Sticky Toffee Pudding Shop it would have been remiss not to visit – so we visited!. Sunday’s weather looked ominous, and wet, so we had a ‘make it up as you go along’ walk, but despite our optimism (it will stop raining soon if we shelter for a while) the heavy rain continued and there was only one thing for it – a café for refreshments! It did eventually brighten to a sunny afternoon, but by this time everyone had scattered to do their own thing. Monday found us travelling across Morecambe Bay by train to Arnside where, after a walk along the beach, we climbed Arnside Knott which gave us stunning views down the Bay and across to the Dales. Once the ‘official’ weekend was over, not everyone returned home so people made plans for their days out and the train took the strain along the Furness Line a couple of times when visits were paid to Barrow and Ulverstone. Some also took a trip to Morecambe and had their morning coffee at the wonderful Art Deco Midland Hotel. Whilst on our travels we ‘met’ such celebrities as Eric Morecambe, Emlyn Hughes and also Laurel and Hardy, all long gone but commemorated with fine statues. However, being so close to the magnificent Lake District, it was hard to resist the temptation to drive up there, so we did, and walked a well-known route from Elterwater village. All too soon our time in Grange was over but as usual we had great fun, the weather was, apart from one wet morning, very kind to us, and as we had not discovered all that the area has to offer perhaps we will have to pay a return visit?
Summer Barbecue (24th July, 2021): The barbecue was cancelled in 2020, and the date originally chosen for 2021 (17th July) was in doubt as Covid restrictions had not been officially removed. Halcyon is not a group to provoke controversy so the decision was taken to comply with Government guidelines and move the date to the following week, after all constraints had been lifted. The weather forecast for the early part of the week was not good and that for the weekend was just depressing with potentially heavy rain and cooler temperatures, so it was looking as if the rearranged date would have to be postponed as well. However it was perfect weather, reasonably warm and sunny; everyone lazed away the early evening, chatting, laughing and (mildly) imbibing before the serious part of the event – cooking the meats! The chefs wielded their cooking utensils with authority and rustled up perfectly cooked burgers, sausages (of all sizes), chops and other delicacies. The table groaned under the weight of salads, cold meats, cheese and such an array of desserts that we were spoilt for choice. Two of the Club’s senior members put in appearance so there were lots of ….. ‘do you remember’ moments. But inevitably all good things do come to an end and as evening fell we reluctantly cleared away the remains of the food, packed up the furniture and made our way home. The hostess did a perfect job of welcoming everyone, ensuring we were well fed and had our thirst quenched so thank you for all your efforts which were much appreciated.
Spring Weekend Away to Middleton in Teesdale (7th – 9th May 2021): Cancelled due to the ongoing COVID restrictions.
PAST EVENTS – 2020
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we had to cancel the remainder of our scheduled 2020 events – the AGM in April, the May Spring Weekend away, the ‘Big Day Out’ in July, the Autumn Weekend away in September and the ‘End of Year Social’ normally held in November.
Mince Pie Ramble (20th December 2020) Although Covid restrictions were still with us, the rules had been amended to allow groups to meet outdoors, so we took the opportunity to have a (socially distanced) Mince Pie Ramble starting from Calver. As usual the day began with glasses of mulled wine – a warming festive brew which certainly brought a rosy glow to the cheeks – but without mince pies or other delicacies (no shared food today)! It was great to see ‘people’ as everyone had been deprived of company on most of their walks during the year. It was a cold and dreary day but that didn’t dampen our spirits and we set off for the days walk and climbing Calver Low certainly warmed everyone up. A brisk walk brought us eventually onto windy Longstone Moor so no refreshment stop there. Eventually we found a broken down stone wall which provided shelter for lunch but it was a speedy affair as it was cold, windy and showery, so we didn’t linger and it wasn’t long before the group was marching along Coombes Dale en-route for Calver. As we expected, part of the Dale was flooded, and it was an interesting challenge to cross the ‘river’ without getting wet feet. Happily though, the day ended on a high as at the end of the walk more mulled wine was served, and enjoyed by those not having to drive! A good day in the midst of what was a difficult time for so many.
New Year’s Lunch (12th January 2020): It was a blustery and wet day when the group set-off from Foolow on the pre-lunch walk. Following weeks of rain the ground was soggy, boggy, and squelchy, and the occasional outcrop of slippery limestone gave those who weren’t paying attention the opportunity to practice some interesting moves! The steep, and muddy, descent to Cressbrook Dale concentrated the mind and, once in the Dale, a break-away group decided to clamber to the top of Peter’s Stone, the site of Derbyshire’s last public gibbet, just to see what they could see. Quite a lot apparently! We eventually regrouped and continued across field tracks and over a series of very interesting stiles to reach Grindon from where it was a short walk to Foolow. Once (extremely) muddy footwear had been consigned to car boots we made our way to the Bull’s Head for lunch. The Halcyon lunch is not complete without the quiz which always provides a bit of a challenge, and of course the raffle. A big thank you to everyone who provided the excellent selection of prizes, and to all those who purchased raffle tickets – this year we raised £112 which has been donated to the Edale Mountain Rescue Team.