This year’s AGM venue was again Mankinholes Youth Hostel, near Todmorden in the Calder valley. Seven London members attended, mostly travelling up by train. Hugh and I came up to Todmorden via Leeds on Friday evening, had just enough time for a meal in a pub near the station, then caught a local bus out to the hostel.
On Saturday there was a session on navigation training, with a professional trainer, but I led an 11-mile circular walk, which started with an ascent of Stoodley Pike with its spectacular monument overlooking the hostel, then along a ridge to Hebden Bridge where we stopped for lunch, and coffee at a canal-side cafe.
Our lunch spot on the Rochdale Canal in Hebden Bridge
We then followed what must be one of the steepest cobbled streets in England up to Heptonstall, where Sylvia Plath is buried, then along a spectacular balcony wall overlooking Colden Clough, the combination of steep drops and wet rock being a little scary. At the head of the clough we turned south onto the Pennine Way, over a raise and very steeply down into the Calder valley — more slippery flagstones. The final stretches of the walk were along the Rochdale Canal, then back up to Mankinholes.
Looking down Colden Clough, with Hebden Bridge below and Heptonstall Church on the left
Saturday evening we had a wonderful meal, Gill Cox leading the cooks. The AGM on Sunday was inquorate, as not all regions had sent enough members to achieve the required ten per cent of total membership, so the new national committee members are all technically “acting”. We discussed trip charges, regional support, the timing of national committee meetings and a new online system for membership administration, which will involve moving to a regular annual renewal date. After lunch Dermot and I walked into Hebden Bridge, mostly along the canal, for the train home.