LDWA – 2021 Groups’ Weekend

For the LDWA groups’ weekend this year we took over the entire YHA in Haworth, West Yorkshire. There were around 50 people present including NEC members and representatives from groups, with the weekend being productive and entertaining (or I thought it was, and I think that was the consensus). It’s always an interesting event to hear how our groups are getting on with promoting long distance walking, as well as their offering social and challenge events.

Some photos of YHA Haworth, a grand mansion which was originally built for a wealthy mill owner and turned into a youth hostel in the 1970s. These are the rooms on the lower floors, but there were no end of other rooms in this cavernous building across several floors, including the kitchen that could be reached by going down some gloomy stone stairs.

Some of the stained glass in the building.

I was disappointed to find that these weren’t just for me, but I tried to hide that disappointment.

Julie’s two daughters again provided the catering for the event, with another fine selection of food and drink offered up throughout the weekend. There wasn’t just main courses provided in the evening, these are three or four course affairs for everyone, with buffet breakfasts in the morning. I think it was unanimous just how good the food was and I’d definitely come back just for that.

Julie and I met the hostel’s rather lovely black cat, or at least it seemed to feel at home roaming the corridors of the hostel before demanding to be let out through a door. Good news that I don’t think that anyone saw any ghosts, but the building had a warm and homely feel. We did though have someone turning up late on the Saturday night hoping to stay in the hostel, not really an ideal arrangement for them as we had to say it was full as a private hire booking.

The room before my riveting inclusion and diversity session on the Saturday evening, which I am the project lead on as well as being the National Communications Officer. I won’t go into too much detail about what was discussed during the weekend as this was an internal event, but LDWA members will be able to see the discussions on the Toolkit in a few weeks time and there will be internal communications about it.

The wonderful Hazel Bound from Cornwall and Devon group with her British Empire Medal that she received a few weeks ago for her services to long distance walking and the LDWA. Much deserved.

I didn’t go on the walks on the Saturday as I needed to pop to a pub in Haworth, but I have photos from them which I’ll post separately. There were two walks offered though, a 15 mile and 25 mile option around the local countryside, with the weather holding out to be pleasant, mild and even sunny.

Anyway, hopefully the group representatives found the weekend useful and we’re likely to be in Derbyshire area next November. The majority of LDWA groups were able to send a representative this year (including from the history group which I founded last year), but hopefully next year we’ll get even more people so that the NEC can hear how they can best help groups. All very lovely.