The Friday Walkers

By Jane Holmes

For more than twenty years we have been walking on the Cumbrian Fells with Reg almost every Friday.  We were known as ‘geriatric b’.   I was never sure who ‘geriatric a’ were.   We must have been on nearly a thousand walks.  It is very hard to summarise that.  Reg hoped the group would continue but how could it without our resident story teller.

The group began when David & Janet walked with Teresa and then Liz.  Then all four walked together led by David.  Some time later Pat & Reg joined them followed by the rest of us in ones and twos. Many of us met in 1988 at a WEA music class in Gosforth, taught by another David, who often joined us on birthday walks, in recent years.  Of course everyone in West Cumbria knows everyone else anyway but it underlies our shared interest in classical music.  Fifteen of us walked regularly at different stages, including Jack who isn’t mentioned elsewhere and who died in his 80s.  Our children and siblings would occasionally join us when visiting.  Some of the group, including David & Janet eventually stopped walking, and then Reg and Allan led the walks on alternate weeks.   David was a tough leader and the group memory might have embellished some early walks when David led us down into valleys late in the evening.  He refused to stop at non-Jennings pubs until eventually the evening meal was a pint and a packet of peanuts.

In the summer we walked till late and then went to the nearest pub to eat but in the winter we finished by four and then met at a local pub to gossip and eat.  Some of the group became diners rather than walkers and for many years there were 12 of us eating and talking.  How annoying we must have been with our great shouts of laughter.  On the last Friday before Christmas, for many years, we met at Fangs Brow at 10 and walked along the coffin trail and down through Holm wood to Loweswater and along to the Kirkstyle for Christmas lunch.

The photo was taken on one of these walks.  We are: Brian, Pat, Margaret, Jane, Reg, Liz, Teresa and Allan with Polly in the front row.  We are on our way to meet Emmelien, John, Mary and Peter at the Kirkstyle. Continue reading