Three more choir walk records

The records tumbled again when the choir set off on its walk at Mugswell on Friday July 29.  Fifteen walkers, including Nick’s ex-job mate plus his dog Misty, started at the Well House Inn ­­– the highest number on any leg of a walk since the walking group’s first outing in February 2012.  The group headed south over rolling downland towards the M25, where a resounding version of My Lord benefited from the motorway tunnel’s acoustics.

Skirting corn-fields near the start



The group emerged into scenic Gatton Park on the North Downs Way where it studied the enigmatic Millennium Stone circle. 

Inspecting the Milennium Stones - photo Trevor Watkins

Then came a competition against the speed radar in the Royal Alexandra and Albert School. Phil Willis (under 60's category) was overall winner, registering 12 mph, a speed record for any choir walk. But Tony Keel (over 70's - just) clinched an amazing second place with 10 mph. Surprisingly, no aged hamstrings were tweaked.

Phil Willis hits 12mph - setting new choir speed record

Glorious rolling grassland accompanied us out of the school, through Reigate Hill Golf Club and Merstham Cricket Club before we arrived at the Feathers for much needed refreshment.

The record-breaking fifteen during the first leg

The group was joined by Dick Jones – making a momentary total of 16, another record, before the Nick Hewitt party departed – for the strenuous ascent up Ashtead Hill, where all were rewarded with more wonderful views over the earlier part of the walk.

Climbing Ashstead Hill

We paused at the site of Fanny's Farm, where the celebrated Fanny Maiklem and her daughter Nellie had run a unique farm and tea shop for 36 years. Our guide Dave asked for a moment of silence to remember Fanny, who had died just over a year ago, and to reflect that her ashes had been launched by firework from the farm and were probably still under our feet...

Taking a breather at the top

The final stretch was marked by increasing drizzle, and by the need for Dave to remove a fallen tree blocking the path, for which he had thoughtfully brought a bowsaw. The group arrived back for dinner damp but happy.  A reading of Pete’s new walking app revealed another choir walking record –  6.48 miles, the longest outing ever.

The group undaunted by the rain

The next walk is slated for Monday August 22.

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