Sunday, 18 December 2016

The 40th Alfriston walk...

Alfriston 2016:  Saturday 17th to Sunday 18th December 2016.  Despite the problems with the Southern trains (DOO dispute), most people made it to Falmer Station for 09:00.  It was a christmas miracle that Smoth was the first one there!!!  Apparently Pedantic Pete got off a train from Lewes and thought he`d missed us so sped on trying to catch us up, if only he`d known we were actually behind him!  Ian joined us as far as the hill going up and over to Woodingdean, he then left us to go and enjoy coffee and cake at the hostel at Southease!
The sun was out at Falmer after they`d forecast a dull but dry day.  As we got up onto the Downs it got even better, we were above the fog and it was one of the best walks ever!  The ground was covered in spider webs which were shining in the sun with all the dew on them.
Gladys was having a great time bounding about with Phil`s dog Tara, although Tara didn`t have age on her side!
As we walked down the farm road we left the sun and went into the fog, only to see Ruth walking up to us, stupid Gladys didn`t recognise her!
Some how we all managed to get a seat in the Abergavenny Arms at Rodmell and we saw the banner Ruth had prepared to celebrate the 40th walk.
As usual we ate and drank too much and stayed later than usual but we eventually made it to Southease church for the group photograph and for Michael to touch his marble.  Lycia had written a note for him to read-out and left it in a bible for him to find!  Brilliant idea but poor Michael was choked with tears reading it out.
Ian came all the way to the swing bridge and then left us to go to Alfriston with Ralph.  We wobbled on to Beddingham Hill, passing a huge fly-tipped pile of crap on the way!
The view from the top was amazing, the sun going down under the fog.  The trudge continued to Alfriston where we squeezed into the Singing Kettle.  There were so many of us that some had to stand and others were outside!  The youngest walkers, Cassia and Phoebe did well to do the whole distance again.  Joy had made us a cake after Lycia had spoken to the ladies, it was a lovely chocolate orange cake which somebody took home, I bet it was Michael :o)
After the tea and teacakes we went to the Deans Place Hotel where we were going to spend the evening and quite a few of us had booked in for the night.  We managed to reserve a whole room where we could eat and flop in sofas and armchairs, lovely.
Kathie arrived with her organ but we thought it might be 50/50 whether we sang carols or not.  For the sake of the other guests we rather hoped the singing wouldn`t take place, but it did and it was as bad as we imagined.

People taking part...  Michael, Smoth, Ian, Sensible Steve, Pedantic Pete, Bobby, Ted, Mark Odlum, Phil, Peter Cuthbert, Cassia, Isobel, Phoebe, James, Kamela,  Lydia, Fergus, Hayley, Roisan, Bryn, more to add.


Smoth meets Gladys...





The fog made the webs visible...




Bright sunshine along the Downs!

Eeefa on the right...

Gladys Dogs...


Sturdy...

















No need to adjust your monitor, he really is that colour...

Ruth sent away for this banner, brilliant...



1999 at the top and 2016 below...

1996 at the top and 2016 below...


Possibly the biggest group ever...



More webs...



The Singing Kettle ladies had made us a cake, arranged by Lycia Bish...


1981 above and 2016 below...

The evening was spent in the Deans Place hotel...



Kathie joined us with her organ...


Smoth`s glasses appear to be tangled with the curtains...



Smoth kipped in our car. Saved him from sleeping in the toilet block!


Video links below...

The gathering

Michael in the church...

Faffing about waiting for the group photograph...

A bridge too far...


No comments:

Post a comment