St Francis of Assisi Catholic Rambler's Club

The Club is approved by the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster.

Affiliated to the Ramblers Association and H.F. Holidays

Programme of Rambles / Events for Summer 2018

(Items for the next programme by early August please)


Ramble list - June to August 2018

Greetings ramblers,

You are probably aware there are substantial changes to train times which came in on 20th May. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the outbound journeys shown are accurate no doubt there will be some alterations which cannot be reasonably foreseen.

In the light of the above, checks will be made before each ramble and changes notified via the website and by email as per current practice.

If you are intending to come on a ramble and have not provided us with an email address it is essential you check with National Rail on 03457 48 49 50 or use for up to date journey information.

Please note; the following rambles are not on a Sunday.

Saturday 16th June

Saturday 28th July

Saturday 4th August

Saturday 11th August

Saturday 25th August

Monday 27th August


Sunday 3rd June                                   Leader: Paul Brunning OS map 188

Meet: Blackfriars 9.20. for 9.42 train to Eynsford arrives 10.35

Lunch: The Crown Shoreham

Tea: Hmmm……

Distance: 9 miles returning from Eynsford

Fare: £8.00 cdr Eynsford with Network card. 2


Sunday 10th June                  Leader: Robert Slater (Landranger Map 153)


Please be advised of the following change to the outward journey.


Trains for Biggleswade will only be from Kings Cross.


If you are going for 11.00am Mass the train leaves 10.09 and calls Finsbury Park 10.16 arriving Biggleswade 10.53.


For those heading straight for the lunch stop it's 11.09 calling Finsbury Park 11.16 and arriving 11.53.


Apart from the return trains going back to Kings Cross there are no other changes to what's in the programme.

Meet: St Pancras International Platform B 1050 for 1110 train to Biggleswade (arr 1153)

Train starts London Bridge 1055 calling Blackfriars 1101, Farringdon 1105, Finsbury Park 1117.

Lunch: Crown Hotel - Wetherspoons, Biggleswade

Tea: The White Hart

Distance: 7 miles.

Fare: £9.40 Biggleswade return with Network Rail Card

Walk begins after lunch to visit RSPB headquarters and Nature Reserve (Sandy). Comprising woodland, heathland, and gardens.

Robert will meet walkers at Biggleswade. 

There is 11am Mass at St. Peter's Church,7a Station Rd, Biggleswade, just up from the station and en-route to the lunch stop. Anyone wishing to attend should catch the train an hour before.


To see some Photographs taken on this ramble click HERE


Saturday 16th June                         Leaders: Maria Vaz and Pauline Lobo (Explorer maps 172 & 181)

Meet: Baker Street at 0915 for 0935 Metropolitan line to Chalfont & Latimer (arr. 1020). Train starts 0916 from Aldgate and calls Kings Cross 0927.

The 0957 Chiltern Railways from Marylebone arrives in Chalfont & Latimer at 1028.

Lunch: Lots of eating options on Chesham High Street

Tea: Possibly… in Amersham

Distance: 11 mile ramble in the Chilterns: some gentle hills, great views, expect some muddy paths after wet weather. Returning from Amersham

Fare: Oyster/Freedom Pass/Travelcard options


To see some Photographs taken on this ramble click HERE


Sunday 24th June                 Leader: Maurice Hickman Explorer Map OL34

Meet: Victoria 0900 for 0933 train to Horsham (arr. 1032)

Train also from London Bridge 0919 arriving Horsham 1025.

Lunch: Red Lyon, Slinfold

Tea: The Lynd Cross (Wetherspoon), Horsham

Distance: 12 miles, returning from Horsham

Fare: £14.25 with Network Card.

In the afternoon we shall be following The West Sussex Literary Trail. 3


Sunday 1st July                                   Leader: Lizzie Cripps (OS map 171)

Meet: Paddington 0850 for 0907 train to Twyford (arr 0953). Change for the 1023 train to Henley on Thames (arr 1035). There will be time for a toilet stop and coffee at Twyford to ensure the walk commences promptly on arrival at Henley

Lunch: Stag & Huntsman, Hambledon. (Benches nearby for those with packed lunch.)

Tea: Catherine Wheel, Henley (Wetherspoons)

Distance: 10.5 leisurely miles returning from Henley

Fare: £13.95 with Network Card CDR Henley


Sunday 8th July                                Leaders: Sue and Bryan Shakespeare

Meet: Kings Cross 0940 for 1002 train to Knebworth arrives 10.38.

Train also calls Finsbury Park 1009. No toilets at Knebworth station.

Lunch: The Red Lion Woolmer Green

Tea: Sorry, no tea stops open

Distance: Easy walk mostly fields and woodland approximately 7 miles.

Fare: £6.20 with Network Card


To see some Photographs taken on this ramble click HERE


Sunday 15th July                                 Leader: John Burbage OS map 175


NB. There will be an opportunity on 15th July to watch the World Cup Final should anyone wish to do so. The start of the match coincides 

with the tea stop in Cookham where there will be a number of venues 
showing it. The walk will continue but those staying for the match
can follow a simple route back to Maidenhead or take the hourly
train service from Cookham Station. Further details if required
will be available on the day.

Meet: Paddington 0910 for the 0930 train to Burnham, Bucks (arr 1005)

Lunch: The Blackwood Arms, Littleworth Common. A lovely little pub in a woodland setting. Good food with larger and smaller portions available on most mains to suit all budgets. Outdoor facilities available for picnickers.

Tea: Teapot Tea Shop, Cookham

Distance: 13 miles returning from Maidenhead. The walk passes through Burnham Beeches and is mainly on the level but with some gentle rises and falls. Possibly muddy in places

Fare: Off-peak day return Maidenhead £8.45 (£3.95 from Z6) with Network Card


To see some Photographs taken on this ramble click HERE 


Sunday 22nd July              Leader: Maurice Hickman (Explorer Map 123)

Meet: Victoria 0915 for 0946 train to Eastbourne (arr. 1110)

Lunch: Tiger Inn, East Dean

Tea: Birling Gap (opportunity for swim here if weather fine)

Distance: 12 miles, returning from Eastbourne

Fare: £22.05 with Network Card 4


Saturday 28th July      Leader: Kevin MacNamara (OS Landranger 179)

Meet: Victoria 08 15 for 08 40 train to Margate (arr 10 25).

Also high speed train from St Pancras International 0909 calling

Stratford International 0916 arriving Margate 1039.

Lunch: The Captain Digby, Kingsgate Bay

Tea: The Royal Victoria Pavilion (Wetherspoons), Ramsgate or other options nearby

Distance: 9 miles, returning from Ramsgate. The walk is mostly along the cliff top path with views over the channel, and several secluded coves.

Fare: From Victoria £17.80 CDR Ramsgate with Railcards – Not valid on HS1 trains.

From St Pancras £21.90 with Railcards

Kevin will meet the walkers at Margate


To see some Photographs taken on this ramble click HERE


Saturday 4th August Leaders: Catherine Scott, Ann Brooks, and the Yellands (OS Explorer 148) Edith Dempster Memorial Pilgrimage

Meet: London Victoria at 08.30 for 08.55 train to Maidstone East (arr 09.57).

Lunch: The Barn at Aylesford Priory. There are Public Houses and Restaurant options in the village. Call Roger on 07910 358646

Tea: Before leaving Aylesford Priory.

Distance: 7 miles. A slow, contemplative amble along the River Medway to Aylesford Priory (3.5 flat miles), returning to Maidstone by the same route. With Train or Bus options from Aylesford to return to Maidstone. We will attend the 12 noon mass (Edith, who died of cancer recently at the age of fifty-one, is included in the mass intentions at the Priory for a year). After lunch Catherine and Virginia will lead us in prayers: for Edith, for other Club members, deceased and indisposed, and for our own intentions. There will also be free time at the Priory. For those who want a slightly longer walk Roger will lead a short “loop” from the Priory after lunch.

Fare: Super Off Peak Day Return Maidstone East £12.60 with railcards.


Saturday 11th August         Leader: Angela Shardlow Explorer map 121

Meet: Victoria 0840 for 0906 train to Arundel (Arr 1026). Train also calls Clapham Junction 0913 and East Croydon 0923

Lunch: The George, Burpham

Tea: Arundel

Distance: 9 miles returning from Arundel

Fare: £20.20 CDR with Network Card

Angela will meet the ramblers at Arundel 5


Sunday 19h August                              Leader: Paul Brunning OS map 188


Please note the time to meet and the train to catch differ from what is stated in the printed programme:

Meet Charing Cross 0930 for the 0955 train to Orpington and then change to a replacement bus to Chelsfield arriving at 1042.

Lunch: The Three Horseshoes Knockholt

Tea: Sevenoaks

Distance: 9 miles returning from Sevenoaks

Fare: £8.50 cdr Sevenoaks with railcards


To see some photographs taken on the above ramble on 19 August click HERE


Saturday 25 August         Leader: David Crundall OS map Landranger 177

Please note the change to the travel arrangements for this ramble as the train will not begin from Victoria as was stated in the printed programme.


MEET: Blackfriars 0950 for the 1010 to Sole Street arriving 1054.

Lunch: Ship Inn, Cobham, Kent

Tea: Railway Inn, Sole Street

Distance: 12 miles. The western half of this walk follows the Wealdway

Fare: Off Peak Day Return £15.10 (£9.95 with Network Card).


To see some photographs taken on the above ramble on 25 August click HERE


Monday 27th August       Leader: Robert Slater (Landranger map 166)

Meet: St Pancras International Platform B 0930 for 0948 train to Harlington(arr.1035). Ramblers can pick up this train at East Croydon 0918, London Bridge 0933, Blackfriars 0939 and Farringdon 0943

Lunch: The Cross Keys, Pulloxhill. Good selection of meals at reasonable prices

Tea: The Carpenters Arms, Harlington

Distance: 8 miles returning from Harlington

Fare: £8.70 with Network Railcard

Blackberry Picking in afternoon, assuming they are ripe by then.

Robert will meet walkers at Harlington. 


To see some photographs taken on the above ramble on 25 August click HERE


News and Forthcoming Events


Edith Dempster R.I.P.

It is with great sadness that I have to report the death of Edith who was a regular on our walks and was loved by all who got to know her. She was always friendly and approachable. She was only 51 years old when she died and had she lived she would have had many years of life to look forward to. Her funeral took place at the Roman Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart and Mary Immaculate in Mill Hill and this was followed by her cremation at Hendon Crematorium.

A copy of the homily spoken at her funeral Mass was kindly given to St Francis Ramblers Club by Father Michael McCullagh.

"To be love at the heart of the Church."

I think Edith Dempster whom we mourn today would have loved St. Terese of Lisieux and for many reasons. Well, first of all St.Terese has come from the country which has provided so many beautiful perfumes and secondly it was said of St.Terese that wherever she was there was the smell of sanctity or holiness. However, the greatest reason that Edith would have loved St. Terese was because St. Terese had only one ambition in her very short life and that was to be love at the heart of her community. Now here in our church today we have a circle of friends- in fact we have many circles uniting as one larger circle. Today we are a community made up of many communities, her family community, her god-children, Chloe and Stuart, her Boots community where Edith worked for thirty years, her singing communities, her walking community, her hospital and care community, her praying community, and her various communities of dear friends from Europe and South America. This word, community comes from the word communion, of one union. Edith was someone who lived communion all of her life, from her childhood days in Bolivia where she embraced and was embraced by her wider family circle. She remained for her entire life in communion with her dear mother, Rosa and with her late husband, John. How she wished to have that communion with John. Shortly before Edith died she said to her friend Angela. ‘’ I wish John was here’’. Angela responded by saying ‘’ John is here’’. At that moment she was again in communion with him. This Mass today for Edith is a union of Heaven and Earth. Perfume may have been a product which Edith dispensed but the perfume of her own life, her love of people, her love of singing and dancing, especially the Salsa, enriched the life of all who knew and loved her. This community at Mill Hill today pours blessings of gratitude on dear Edith. They blessed her in the opening hymn: "May the Lord bless and keep you." The reading from Isaiah speaks of a beautiful community in heaven, it’s a feast for all people of rich food and wine- a place where death will be no more.

The psalm speaks of the good shepherd. It says ‘my head thou dost with oil anoint’. We pray that that special oil is scented with a high class perfume. Again, the gospel says that Jesus has gone to prepare a special room for Edith in heaven. I can’t imagine Edith staying in one room- she will want to see all the perfumes in heaven; she will wish to join all the choirs; all the dancing troupes; all the walking groups, and she will wish to meet all the customers she served over thirty years in Boots and all of her friends. How will we remember dear Edith today? If today, you or I can build community wherever we are, if we can be love at the centre of a circle of friends we knock on heaven’s door and say no credit to me, Lord but to Edith who left me the example. In that way we remind God of this selfless, giving and loving person, Edith Dempster. May she rest in peace in the company of Angels. 7


Irene Ratnam

It is with great sadness we have to advise Antoinette Connolly's mother, Irene Ratnam, passed away peacefully on Friday 18th May. Antoinette was with her at the time and considers it a blessing to have been present at her passing.

Those members who met Irene will recall her kindness and generosity of spirit. She was also a woman of immense faith.

We offer our prayers and condolences to Antoinette and Paul, and her family.

Adrian Armstrong

Many members will remember Adrian who came out on walks many years ago.

He is now in residential care at Moreland House, 5-7 Manor Road, Gidea Park,

RM11 2EB. Phone number: 01708 442 654.

It's just about 5 mins from Gidea Park Station and visitors are always welcome. Just phone before setting off to ensure there is nothing to make it a wasted journey.

If visiting on a Sunday the local parish, Christ the Eternal High Priest, is close by and 2 minutes walk from Gidea Park Station. Mass is at 9.00am,11.00am, and 6.30pm if you need to attend there. Address: 410 Brentwood Rd, Hornchurch, Romford RM2 6DH

Buckfast Millenium Pilgrimage 11th to 26th August 2018

This year the Arundel and Brighton Ecumenical Walking Pilgrimage will be from Salisbury to Buckfast Abbey. 2018 marks the 1000th anniversary since the original monastery at Buckfast was founded during the reign of King Cnut in 1018. The theme for the Pilgrimage will be 'Building Our Faith'. The pilgrims will be walking about 15 miles per day on average. They will stop at pubs for lunch and sleep on the floors of churches, schools or community halls.

Pilgrims will be expected to make their own way to Salisbury and home from Buckfast (A trip on the South Devon Railway from Buckfastleigh to Totnes, linking to Totnes mainline station is being organised on Sunday 26th August at a small extra cost). Our luggage and bedding is transported to each overnight stay so only a daypack is needed to be carried on each day's walk.

Maurice will be leading the first day of the Pilgrimage from Salisbury to Lover and Francis the second from Lover to Ringwood.

Breakfast, packed lunch and dinner are included in the price which is £210 for the two weeks.

There will be a rest day in Sidmouth and Wareham. We shall also be stopping at Lulworth, Dorchester, Bridport and Lyme Regis. For full details go to: 8


 Club Committee 2017-2018

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


President:  Fr Chris Vipers, Parish Priest,     Membership Secretary         

St Mary Moorfields, 4-5 Eldon Street,             Antoinette Adkins,

EC2M 7LS                                                                  



Secretary                                                        Ramble List Compiler

Maurice Hickman                                             Paul Connolly


Treasurer                                                         Publicity

John Burbage                                                   David Crundall


Other Duties
Maria Vaz