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On Saturday 12 January 22 members walked from the The Swan in the small Staffordshire village of Whiston, near Penkridge. The early light rain had cleared and there was no flooding although it was generally muddy underfoot. The 5-mile low-level circuit followed field paths and quiet lanes, including part of the Staffordshire Way, to return us to The Swan for a good lunch. Thank you to Keith for an enjoyable walk.
On Saturday 16 February 35 members enjoyed a 5 mile walk in bright sunshine. After pre-ordering our meals at the Bull’s Head in Shenstone we set off, with Janet and John Clews leading, alongside Black Brook. Passing Shenstone Pumping Station with its truncated chimney, we followed the southerly direction of Ryknild Street through Footherley, where we stopped for a coffee break at our half-way point. There were some field paths, quiet lanes and pavements and if it was a little soft underfoot in places, our boots were pretty clean at the end of the walk. We had a good lunch at the Bull and came out afterwards to find the clouds had thickened and it had turned cooler.
After driving through heavy rain the skies cleared as 17 walkers met at Kenilworth Castle car park on Saturday 9 March. David Allabarton led us over parkland and fields with no stiles or hills. We found some shelter from the strong westerly wind for our coffee stop and after crossing the Pleasance, the site of a 15th century royal pleasure palace, we were rewarded by a stunning view of Kenilworth Castle’s red sandstone ruins on our return journey. The group then enjoyed a hearty lunch at ‘The Clarendon’.
On Saturday 13 April, thirty walkers met at the Swan Inn, Fradley Junction for an easy but satisfying 5 mile walk, led by Christine Adamson. We had some bright sunshine which was welcome against the cold wind and it was dry underfoot as there had been no recent rain. Fradley is at the junction of the Coventry Canal, which links into the south-east waterways, and the Trent and Mersey Canal. There were original Trent and Mersey Canal mile-posts dated 1819 on the first part of our route and we stopped for an early coffee break at Alrewas Cricket pitch. After passing the Victorian Church with its slim spire in Fradley village we joined the Coventry canal for our return to the Swan where we were joined by some non-walkers for lunch.
On Saturday 11 May Peter Turner led nine other walkers on a 5 mile route around Chorley and Farewell. Numbers were lower than normal as many of the usual walkers had returned from a walking holiday only the day before. The walk was through fields and along quiet lanes with just over 892 feet of total ascent. The weather was mainly sunny until our coffee break at Farewell Church and then we had a few spots of rain. We enjoyed lunch at the Barley Mow in Chorley, where we had pre-ordered our meals.