The walks schedule is printed many months in advance. Hampstead Ramblers have a policy of travelling via public transport whenever possible, and our walks always start from a tube or train station. Quite often our transport plans are disrupted and we have to take train replacement buses or use alternative routes.
Thankfully it is rare that we have to find alternative walks leaders, but this is what happened on Sunday May 10th.
The original walk leader, Michael Way, injured his foot earlier in the week and was unable to lead the 10 mile circular walk around Henley on Thames. Michael contacted me a couple of days ahead to see if I could lead. Unfortunately I had foolishly done a 12 mile walk in new boots earlier on in the week and was sporting a blister on each heel the size of a hen's egg!
Ramblers are reluctant to let each other down, and Michael worked on a simplified route which anyone could follow without much difficulty. Michael turned up at the appointed time, with map and guidebook in hand. He couldn't walk, but he could do a good handover to anyone who might volunteer.
Luckily, Hampstead Associate member Barbara Luke volunteered to take over, and the 10 mile route was walked as planned. Michael's wife Olga led an alternative, shorter walk.
A good time was had by all on a day that was a testament to the dedicated volunteers who make the Ramblers such an enjoyable group to belong to.