Winter Walk 2020
Photos and Report by Cally Smith
And they're off
“And EACC members then a-bed, shall think themselves accursed they were not there and hold their manhood cheap, whiles any speaks that walked with us upon storm Ciara’s morn”
The objective of the winter walk is to blow away the cobwebs - well, with storm Ciara raging and forecast to be gusting 60mph+, there weren't many cobwebs left by 10am and we hadn't even started! There was a Plan B in place involving Waxham Barns, but as we drive into the car park at The Hill House PH and I could see Roger (Lily) pulling on his boots I knew that it was going to be Storm v EACC. Jimmy and Carolyn (Moon Daisy) were putting reefs in their waterproofs, whilst Anthony (Matilda) had even brought a chainsaw so we could cut our way through if needed. Now that's the kind of member we like! We counted 28 souls heading out and I made a mental note to have a recount when we got to the halfway point. Winds from the south west blowing onto on a north east coast and means you could lose people.
Barbara and Mike Barnes (Pilot) had devised a great route out through the cleared caravan site (what an improvement!) and across the fields to Cart Gap and then back along the cliffs or beach. Trialled twice, they hadn't done it in storm force 8 - 10 wind, but whilst the route out was blustery and howling, the return along the beach was sheltered and surprisingly calm. Due to the conditions we had the beach to ourselves and it was spectacular with a cauldron of a sea and pounding surf, whilst the wind blown contrary spray made it look like the crests of the waves were going backwards. A brooding slate sky said rain before lunch.
The EACC pop up tea stall was a welcome sight in the car park at Cart Gap, promising hot drinks, cake and the prospect of a wee warming dram. Having tried a couple of spots, the only place that offered sufficient shelter to set up the tea stall was in the entrance to the disabled loo, just large enough for boiler, table, barista and a variety of teapots and cafetières. Whilst we do endeavour to offer the highest of standards, this year we were slightly constrained, so although we offered a choice of white and Demerara sugar in lump form, the porcelain sugar bowls and silver tongs were missing. For this many apologies, the staff have been reprimanded. Luckily no-one needed access to the disabled loo while we were there. We were also able to utilise Ian’s (Kobweb) massive truck as a windbreak which was a great help, and the slightly more hygienic boot of my car for the biscuits and cake. A few locals slightly surprised, the RNLI taking it all in their stride, as you would expect; another classic British Sunday morning, and another quality experience!
We made the pub just before the rain started, taking refuge in a cosy bar with good ale and a very decent lunch. Thirty two people turned out for the walk and/or tea stop and/or lunch which is tremendous given the conditions - but this is EACC, and we're not put off so easily. All the same, I'm glad that we didn't need that chainsaw.
Thank to Barbara and Mike Barnes for organising the route. If you are up that way it is well worth visiting the churchyard and viewing the commemoration stone for the crew of HMS Invincible drowned en route to the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801. Only discovered in the 1950s when there was excavation work going on locally, the stone for the mass grave for over 100 sailors was commissioned by the current HMS Invincible and there is an annual service of remembrance.
At your convenience
What no tongs?
Who have we lost?