The inspirational core officers of Norfolk Area Ramblers, the secretary, Ken Hawkins, the chair, Richard P May and the treasurer, Peter James.
This year’s AGM was wonderfully hosted by Norwich group at Great Witchingham Village Hall and started with a walk around the local area, including along Marriott’s Way and we also stopped off at St. Faith’s church at Little Witchingham.
The walkers set off.
This is the church at Little Witchingham, which is now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. More about the church here…..
The wall paintings inside the church date from as early as the fourteenth century and it is a magnificent piece of history.
An innovation started by Richard May (right) was the introduction last year of an award to the group which had seen the largest increase in members. The first winners last year were Hike Norfolk, and this group won it again, with a 25% increase in membership. Congratulations to the group’s chair, Łukasz Banka, who couldn’t make it to the meeting, so Julian White (left, the younger one of the two people in the photo) collected the award on behalf of Hike Norfolk.
Congratulations to Norwich group who came second, with the award now hotting up, as there’s a similar policy to Brazil and the World Cup. When they won the World Cup for the third time, they were allowed to keep the trophy, so there’s a chance Hike Norfolk will be clearing a space on their collective mantelpiece for the permanent award. And Richard will be buying a new trophy.
During the meeting we heard from Peter James about the work that he’s been leading with working parties, where the Ramblers get involved directly with repairing footpaths and improving accessibility. Ken also gave an update on the Local Access Forum and we received positive news about the national membership numbers of the Ramblers.
After the main part of the meeting and formalities, we received a presentation from Jack Cornish (left) and Chris Hodgson (right).
Jack is the programme manager for Don’t Lose Your Way, which is a campaign to ensure that we don’t lose 10,000 miles of paths after 2026. There’s more information about this project on the Rambler’s web-site. Jack gave an interesting talk about the challenges ahead, as well as the opportunities, including more information about the on-line mapping scheme launching later this week.
Chris, the chair of Ramblers Cymru, gave an upbeat assessment of the organisation and provided food for thought (we hadn’t had the cakes yet incidentally, as the chairman makes us wait until the end….) about some new ways of engaging with current members and the community.
Richard, Jack and Chris then answered questions on a number of different areas, before then Richard confirming that we could eat the cakes.
The main event (well, for those who are very food orientated), the cakes kindly made by Norwich group members. A rather lovely selection.
We always welcome members and those interested in our work to attend the AGM, as well as encouraging members to get involved with the work of our area committee. We are constantly looking for new volunteers as there’s always plenty to do!