Walkers set distance record  

The choir walkers set a new distance record on a circular walk from Caterham on 10 February 2016.   The group's record now stands at 6.1 miles, the longest of thirty walks since its first outing four years ago.

Crisp and clear above Caterham

 

The walk began and ended at the Harrow in Caterham with a mid-point refreshment break at the Feathers in Merstham.  The highlights, pointed out by master navigator Dave Bannister, included:

  • Josiah Long’s tower, constructed to provide a view to the sea through the Shoreham Gap in the South Downs
  • Willey Park Farm, seventeenth-century farmhouse once owned by Battle Abbey
  • Rockshaw Road, where notorious 1960s courtesan Christine Keeler lived
  • Dual railway lines and tunnels build as a result of aggressive competition between South Eastern Railway and London Brighton and South Coast Railway in the late nineteenth-century

Bob Mackay celebrates on the ascent from Merstham

There were magnificent views on several stretches, including the North Downs Way and the bowl on Park Ham where the group descended and then re-ascended in time to catch a stunning blood-red sunset from the top of the Quarry Hangers Nature Reserve.

The descent at Park Ham

The weather was crisp and clear, although the going underfoot was muddy at times.  Bob Mackay, reputedly the second-oldest choir member, provided an inspiration to younger members in turning down a short-cut in favour of undertaking  the strenuous section at Park Ham.  The principal injury sustained during the walk was to John Marshall, who fell twice and gashed his hand on barbed-wire – the result, he claimed, of being pushed by a horse.

Sunset over the North Downs

An impressive nine walkers took part in the outing.  They were joined at the refreshment stops by social member Ted Mouat, Martin Perkins who is still recovering from the broken ankle sustained on the winter solstice walk on 21 December, and Peter and Hilary Smith.

The record-breaking nine

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