LDWA – Norfolk & Suffolk Group AGM 2021

This weekend was the AGM walk for Norfolk & Suffolk LDWA, which was a ten-mile walk, lots of cake, a quick AGM and then a tour of Simon’s farm by tractor. It was also too hot, which I might mention a few times in the course of this post.

The walk went by the rather beautiful St. Mary’s Church in Stonham Parva.

It was commented on twice that I mentioned how far the walk was, and it was questioned why I’m in the LDWA given I’m forever trying to shorten walks. It’s that reality that given half a chance I don’t really do walking, but I get all involved with the gossip and chat, so that carries me round. And I quite like the adventure really, although I do sometimes think that some of these walks are a very long way when I could be in the pub (but, if people want walking inspiration they can follow David Morgan’s Twitter!).

The cakes, scones and sausage rolls which had very kindly been made by Diane, which was very much appreciated. At this point, I forgot that it was too hot, so the sausage rolls were a wonderful distraction.

The AGM section of the meeting about to begin. It was too hot, so I moved to a location in the shade. This meeting also marked the end of my brilliant (I used that word on numerous occasions) chairmanship of the group, meaning that it was time for someone else to hold one of the highest honours in the area in terms of long distance walking. I’m delighted that Simon Colchester will be taking over as chair, he’s very competent and I secretly think he’s now going to walk the 100. He himself did mention that every other former chair of the group has walked the 100 (did I mention that I’ve walked the 100?) but we’ll see….

I was also pleased that I wasn’t asked any difficult questions. Not because there’s anything to hide, but because it’s nice when things go to plan. My great idea to invite our group to numerous other groups also received support, so a fair sized group of us are going to Scotland next year to drink beer. I mean, er, to walk a bit and then drink beer.

After the AGM we went on a little tractor ride. I have to say, this wasn’t ideal for my hayfever in retrospect, and it was also too hot. I mentioned this to a few people on a few occasions. But it’s important not to be negative, so I tried to lift the mood by not constantly talking about the heat.

Simon has found the most remarkable selection of objects on his farm over the years. We have medieval items on the left, ancient bits and pieces in the middle (including dinosaur vertebrae) and stone age implements on the right. I might have got those a bit muddled up, but it’s something like that. Simon often brings items such as these to the Christmas parties in order for us to try and guess what they were. As a keen student of history, I always manage to get the answers wrong, but I make up for that inaccuracy with enthusiasm.

Simon talking about the history of the farm and he was able to show us how the farmland has been used over the last thousand years, including remains of medieval ploughing. It was quite hot at this point.

We walked to look a field planted with plants for wild birds, all part of the very diverse nature of Simon’s farm. For more information though, definitely come along to any future event that Simon organises, which will hopefully be at least annual as we need to experience Diane’s cakes and sausage rolls on a regular basis.

That was the end of the AGM for another year, and I gave my thanks to all of the committee who have been so helpful and supportive (and tolerant) over the last two years. I was very pleased to receive the lovely £30 gift voucher and Martin’s words were so lovely I tried to get the secretary to write them into the minutes, although I’m not sure she felt the same urgency as I did on that (but note “best chair” comments….)….. But, everything went off well and a new chapter begins in the future of Norfolk & Suffolk LDWA. Although, since I’m on the NEC for a few more years yet, they aren’t rid of me yet.

It was all really quite lovely. But it was too hot. I’m also pleased to report that my hayfever disappeared when I reached Norwich, as I’ve decided that my body copes much better in a city environment. Especially when it’s in a pub in a city environment.