St Francis of Assisi Catholic Rambler's Club

(affiliated to H.F. Holidays)


The Club is approved by the Archbishop of Westminster; affiliated to the Rambers Association. 


Programme of Rambles / Events for Spring 2015

(Items for the next programme by the 3rd of May please)

Ramble Programme March to May 2015


Finally a spring programme of walks has been compiled. Thanks to the usual suspects for your contributions, but it is only the regulars who made it possible, once more.


It is essential there is new blood coming on board very soon as it is unfair to expect the current leaders to do as much as they do, time and time again.


If the club had a pool of at least fifteen leaders to call upon this would mean they would only have to offer three to four walks a year instead of a few members doing as many as ten walks per year. Fifteen is not an unreasonable number.


I am sure that all the able bodied members are very grateful for what is done by the few; perhaps the tangible expression of that gratitude should be to offer to lead as well.


Sunday 1st March   OS map 188                                      Leader: Paul Brunning

Meet        : Cannon Street 0935 for 0957 train to Sevenoaks (arr 1039)

               Train also calls at London Bridge 1001 and Orpington 1030.

Lunch      :  Bricklayers Arms, Chipstead

Tea          : Possibly

Distance  :  9.5 miles returning from Sevenoaks

Fare         : £9.40 CDR Sevenoaks with Network card.

Paul will meet the ramblers at Sevenoaks


Sunday 8th March  OS map 177                                                   Leader: Paul Connolly

Meet        : Liverpool Street 0920 for 0944 train to Harold Wood (arr 1011). Train also calls Stratford 0951 - various Tube, Overground, and Docklands services

Lunch      : White Horse, Coxtie Green – no food on Sundays but ramblers can eat their own.

Tea         : Dairyman (Wetherspoons), Brentwood - hot meals available

Distance : 10 mostly level miles

Fare       : One day travelcard up to £12.00 also Oyster and Freedom Pass options plus single back from Brentwood to Harold Wood £2.00 with Network card. If you get 498 bus (every 30 minutes) from Brentwood High Street back to Harold Wood (15 mins) or Romford (25 mins), all above ticket and pass options are valid.

Paul will meet the ramblers at Harold Wood


Sunday 15th March                                                             Leader: John Burbage

Meet        : Cannon Street 9.15 for the 9.33 train to Belvedere, Kent (arr. 10.07).

Lunch      : Woolwich with a wide choice of pubs and cafes available. Opportunity to eat your sandwiches by the river.

Tea         : Selection of venues in Greenwich.

Distance : 11 miles with a mixture or woods, commons and street walking. In the morning we visit Lesnes Abbey c.1178 (Augustinian Canons) and a number of other historic sites in Woolwich. The afternoon will take a route along some of the Thames Path ending in Greenwich.

Fare      : Oyster Zone 5. Freedom Pass holders travel free. Rail fare £7.25 with Network Card to Belvedere returning from Greenwich.


Sunday 22nd March  (Explorer Map 136)                        Leader: Maurice Hickman                    

Meet         :  Cannon Street 0930 for 0957 train to Robertsbridge (arr 1115)

                Train also calls at London Bridge 1001 and Orpington 1019.

Lunch       :  Castle Inn, Bodiam

Tea           : Not likely

Distance   :  10 miles returning from Robertsbridge.

In the afternoon we shall visit Salehurst Wood (Woodland Trust) where 6 trees have been planted to celebrate the life of former Club member Gennet Berhre (R.I.P.).

Fare         : £11.90 CDR Robertsbridge with Network Card.

Leader may join train en-route.


Sunday 29th March   OS map 175                                    Leader: Jan Hildebrand

Meet       : Paddington 09:20 for 09:43 train to Shiplake (arrive 10.50)

Note there is a change at Twyford. Returns from Henley are at 07 past hr

Lunch            : The Flowing Spring, Play Hatch, home-made food, reasonable prices

Tea                 : Henley on Thames for those who do the optional 2.5 miles

Distance        : 6.5 miles circular from Shiplake with optional 2.5 miles to Henley (9


A picturesque, flat, easy walk with no uphill, the route is across open fields. After lunch is along the Thames Path from Sonning to Shiplake and continuing to Henley.

Fare       :  £15.70 off peak day return to Henley-on-Thames with Network Card

      (NB: both Shiplake and Henley are the same price)


Good Friday 3rd April   (Explorer maps 134 & 135)  Leader: Maurice Hickman

Meet               : Victoria at 10.10 for 1032 train to Three Bridges (arr. 1115)

Lunch            : Rowfant House, Rowfant (Good beer and food)

Tea                 : No T today

Distance        : 9 miles Returning from Three Bridges.

The key aspect of this walk is attending the Good Friday service at Worth Abbey.

Fare                : £11.40 CDR Three Bridges from with Network Card.

Please bring a change of shoes or overshoes for use in the Abbey.


Monday 6th April   OS map 166 Le                                   ader: Robert Slater

Meet: King's Cross 0930 for 0952 to Hitchin (arr.1022)

Lunch: Red Lion, Preston.

Tea: The Angel Vaults (Wetherspoons), Hitchin. Opening 10 March.

Distance: 10 miles returning from Hitchin.

Fare: £8.25 with Network Card. Robert will meet walkers at Hitchin.


Sunday 12th April                                        Leader: John Burbage

Meet       : Waterloo 08.45 for the 0900 train to Liphook (arr 1017).

Via Clapham Junction (0909) and Guildford (0943)

Lunch     : Choice of Devil’s Punch Bowl Hotel/Pub or National Trust Café (meals available) where there is a picnic area.

Tea        : Possible but with diversion.

Distance: 14 miles, returning from Witley. The route takes in the now fully restored Devils Punchbowl and numerous National Trust areas. A few hills but fine views.

Fare       : £14.85 (£10.05 from Zone 6) with Network Railcard.


Sunday 19th April  OS map 188                                        Leader: Paul Brunning

Meet        : Blackfriars 0920 for 0942 train to Otford (arr 10.37)

Lunch      : The Bull, Otford

Tea         : Possibly

Distance : 9.5 miles, returning from Shoreham – train every 30 minutes back to London

Fare       :  £8.80 CDR Otford with Network Card discount

Paul will meet the ramblers at Otford


Sunday 26th April    OS Explorer map 181                       Leader: Philip Groves

Meet               :   Euston 0940 for 1001 train to Tring (arr 1036)

Lunch            :  Late lunch at The Valiant Trooper, Aldbury

Tea                 :  Berkhamsted

Distance        :  around 16 fairly hilly miles, returning from Berkhamsted

Fare                : CDR to Tring with railcard, £10.35

NB Leader will meet group at Tring


 Saturday 2nd May     Leaders: Roger and Virginia Yelland

(Explorer Map 174: but better is the dedicated map of Epping Forest produced by OS for the Corporation of London).

The Epping Yomp (a circuit of Epping Forest and the Lea Valley - 21 miles): A May woodland frolic: Chingford to Chingford, brisk pace, but time for a glass of ale and a chat probably at The Forest Gate Inn at Bell Common, and possibly elsewhere also. Post walk rehydration at the Royal Forest Hotel, or in Chingford. Call Roger on 07910 358 646 if you need more information, or email

Meet   : Liverpool St 0905 for 0933 train to Chingford (Z5)(arr 0959) For some it may be better to join the train at Walthamstow Central (Victoria Line Z3)(0948).

Fare    : One day travelcard up to £12.00 also Oyster and Freedom Pass options.




Monday 4th May  OS map 153                                          Leader: Robert Slater.

Meet   : King's Cross 10.00 for 10.22 for Sandy(arr.1106).

Lunch            : The Crown, Northill. Meal in pub or barbecue in garden. Follow traditional May Day pageant from the hostelry to Ickwell village green. Watch the crowning of the May Queen and see the traditional dancing round the maypole and of course, the Morris Men perform. Wander round the stalls and have tea in the village hall. Excellent selection of cakes.

Tea     : If you wish for more why not try White Hart, Biggleswade, where walk finishes.

Distance:  8 miles

Fare: £8.90  return  to Sandy with Network card.

Robert will meet walkers at Sandy.


Sunday 10th May   Leader: Angela Shardlow

Meet               : Victoria 0850 for 0917 train to Chichester (Arr 1059)

Lunch            : Spotted Cow, Hunston

Tea                 : Chichester

Distance        : 8 level miles returning from Chichester

Fare                : £19.30 cdr Chichester with Network Card


Sunday 17th May  OS map 166                                       Leader : Robert Slater

Meet        : St Pancras International at 09.15 for 0934 train to Luton(arr. 1010)

Lunch            : The Plough, Woodside Rd., Nr. Slip End,Luton.

Tea     : The White House (Wetherspoons),  Luton.

Distance: 7 miles returning from Luton.

Fare:  £6.60 with Network Card. Morning visit to Stockwood Park to explore the Discovery Centre, galleries, museums, and gardens. Excellent collection of horse drawn carriages covering a few hundred years. Cafe available for morning coffee etc.

Robert will meet walkers at Luton. Mobile:07780 599922.


Sunday 24th May    OS map 187                           Leader: Paul Connolly

Meet               : Marylebone 0940 for 1006 train to Banbury (arr 1102)

Lunch            : Butchers Arms, Balscote.

                       Good grub, fine ales on gravity and traditional pub games

Tea                 : Banbury

Distance        : 13 level and undulating miles returning from Banbury

Fare                : £19.10 CDR Banbury with Network Card.


Monday 25th May  Bank holiday – A day of rest.



 Club Committee 2014-2015

(Please note: Addresses and telephone numbers are not included in this internet version of the programme)


President: Fr Peter Newby, Parish Priest,                  


St Mary Moorfields, 4-5 Eldon Street,                                                          


Secretary                                                      Membership Secretary           


Maurice Hickman                                          Antoinette Adkins,                                        


Treasurer                                                          Ramble List Compiler                              


Gillian McLauchlan                                           Paul Connolly,                                            




David Crundall


Other Committee Members


Henrietta Van-Zaelen


Denis O'Mahoney


Your Committee Needs You!

It is with much regret that Christine has decided to step down from the committee which

means that the committee is now one person short of a full committee.  Please think about

coming on to the committee as without a committee the Club cannot function.  There is a

clause in the Club constitution which provides for the eventuality of the Club being wound

up. If this were to happen sadly this would mean that the walks which leaders provide at great expense to themselves but at no expense to those who come on them would no longer exist.

As Paul has said there are walk leaders who would be only too willing to walk a ramble out with anyone.  Just contact any member of the committee.  There are also simple walks which can be downloaded off the internet.


News and Events - Spring/Summer 2015


Margaret Miller R.I.P.


Dear Friends,


As some of you will know, Geoff Miller’s sister-in-law Margaret (nee Milner-Walker) became very ill while she and her husband Alan were over here from Australia last Autumn.  We're very sad now to have to tell you that she died on Sunday 18th January.


She had fought breast cancer in 2012/2013 and had appeared to make a full recovery; but she started to suffer from severe breathing difficulties after they arrived here last September;  and at one time, there was a grave doubt as to whether she would be able to fly back to Australia.  But following intense treatment at Harefield Hospital, they got back in November, accompanied all the way by the registrar from Harefield.  She was able to enjoy Christmas at home with their family, but despite the best efforts of the hospital in Adelaide, her condition continued to deteriorate.


Please remember Margaret, Alan and all their family (7 children and 13 grandchildren) in your prayers.   Thankfully, most of the family live in the Adelaide area so can be a great support to each other.


Please pass the news on to anyone else who may remember Margaret.


Love, and God bless.


Marion & Geoff Miller(Club members)


Note:  Alan Miller joined the Club  in 1959-1960 and Margaret in 1960-1961.They married on 4 April 1964.


The English Catholic History Association

This Association visits places of Catholic interest.  This year's program includes

visits to Glastonbury in May and Stonor Park in June which may interest some Club members.  For details of the Association or to join contact the secretary whose telephone number is:  01935 823928.   Subscriptions are

£11 for first year.


Holiday in Glastonbury Tuesday May 19th to 26th

Staying at Little Orchard B&B.  Standard single rooms are £37.50-£40 per night.

Double or twin standard rooms as singles are £45-£50.  Double or twin ensuite rooms as singles are £60.  It is at foot of the Tor about 3/4 mile from town centre.

Details from Dorothy Hickman 01737 765231.


Some of us will be going to the English Catholic History Association's Day in Glastonbury on Wednesday 20th May - hence the dates.


21st April to 7th May - Santiago to Finisterre

Maurice is planning to walk from Santiago to Finisterre and back again.

He is planning to fly out from Gatwick on the 1740 Easyjet flight on Tuesday  21st April  and return on the1015 morning flight on Thursday 7th of May.  Anyone is welcome to join Maurice on this venture.  They can join for the whole of the walk or only part of it.  He is planning to stay a couple more days at the end of the walk in Santiago to soak up more of the atmosphere of this fantastic city but there is a more expensive evening flight back to Gatwick on Tuesday 5th of May if people prefer that.  The total cost including the flight will be about £600-£700 as where possible we shall stay overnight in the Spanish refugios which usually charge about 5 Euros for a bed for the night.  Of course you have to carry all you need for the whole journey (including a sleeping bag) on your backs.  Mattresses and pillows are provided at the refugios!


22nd - 25th May Sponsored Walk to Canterbury

Maurice is hoping to go on a sponsored walk again this year from St Martin in the Fields Church in Trafalgar Square to Canterbury.  This will be a 25th anniversary walk.  It is being organised by 'The Connection at St Martin-in-the-Fields' and all the money collected will go to the London homeless.  In 2015 'Connection' raised over £35,000 and hope to do better on this 25th year. On Friday 22nd of May they will walk from Trafalgar Square to Swanley (19 miles), Saturday 23rd from Swanley to Aylesford (19.5 miles), Sunday 24th from Aylesford to Charing (18 miles), and Monday 25th from Charing to Canterbury (3.5-18 miles ).  There are a range of last day walks of different length to choose from.  Booking closes on Friday 27th of May.  There is a special 'Early Bird' Reduction of £4 per day if you book before the 27th of February.  For more information go to:


June 10-13 Spirit in the City

Spirit in the City is a celebration of faith in the heart of London, hosted by the Catholic churches in the West End.  The annual festival aims to share the Good

news of Christianity, and welcomes people of all faiths, ages and walks of life in

the middle of the entertainment district.  It gives an opportunity to raise deeper questions of life.  We are all searching for new ways to connect with God and others

around us.  The events feature live music, workshops, talks, opportunities for prayer, reflection and reconciliation.  More details in next newsletter.


Friday July 3rd - Sunday July 5th  The Festival 50 Jubilee Pilgrimage


This is a Celebration Pilgrimage.  In 2015 the diocese of Arundel and Brighton is organising a major event in the Amex football stadium near the village of Falmer

in West Sussex on Sunday 5th of July at which both Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor (formerly bishop of  Arundel and Brighton and the previous Archbishop

of Canterbury Rowan Williams will be attending.


The cost of the Pilgrimage will be just £50.




Friday July 3rd

The pilgrimage will start from Arundel Cathedral on Friday 3rd July where there will be registration from 0830 - 0915.  This will be followed by a Commissioning Mass at 0930.  The pilgrims will then walk to the Towers Convent  where there will be a barn dance and Taize prayers on the Friday evening.  Pilgrims will sleep on the floor of the Convent overnight.

Saturday July 4th

Pilgrims will have breakfast together in the Convent.  Then there will be Mass.

After Mass pilgrims will walk along the beautiful South Downs way to the Sussex University Sports Centre in Falmer.  They will sleep there overnight.


Sunday July 5th

Pilgrims will process with banners into the Amex Stadium for the Festival 50 Celebrations.


For further information and an application form visit :



Arundel and Brighton Ecumenical Walking Pilgrimage

(Saturday 15th August to Sunday 30th August 2015)


The A & B Walking Pilgrimage this year will be around the diocese of Arundel and Brighton as this year the diocese celebrates 50 years since its foundation as a separate diocese from Southwark.


The walk will start in Chertsey on Saturday 15th August and finish at Arundel on Saturday 29th August.  There will be rest days in Worth Abbey and Brighton.  There will also be splendid accommodation at St John's Seminary in Wonersh and at The Towers Convent in Upper Beeding.


One of the walks will again be led by Francis(from Dorking to Redhill).

Maurice will be leading the next day's walk from Redhill to Worth Abbey.


More info and an application form from the pilgrim website:


Other Matters - Tony's email address

Tony Finnegan who runs the Club website (

is changing his email address from   to:


Are you on email?

If you are, please think of receiving your newsletter by email.  At the moment over 50 members are receiving their newsletter by email.  If you want your future

newsletters delivered this way email: