Group News
Ramblers 3 • Leader Trevor Ford
Above Hythe
In lieu of a yomp over the Seven Sisters on the south coast, we headed in
September to look over the east coast. Starting at Farthing Common with
fabulous views all around, we crossed the small wooded triangle to pick
up the North Downs Way where it crosses the road sign-posted to
Lyminge. Continuing along the footpath, I think I was the first to see the sea
- you never quite forget those childhood games. Rounding a bend, we
could look across to the radio mast at Tolsford Hill. “That’s where we’re
having lunch,” I said. “But don’t be fooled; it may look close, but it’s still 3
miles away.” Dropping down a grassy path in a steep-sided valley, we
came to a signpost which I had missed when originally tracing the route.
It’s all “access land” here, so you can wander at will. This time we climbed
up towards the fence and along the North Downs Way to a stile, then over
and parallel to Postling Wood and above the village church itself. Slowly
dropping down to the bottom of the field and skirting the edge, we came to
a gate onto the road. Crossing this, we began our ascent to the top of
Tolsford Hill while more and more of the bay between Hythe and
Folkestone revealed itself. We went round the radio station - a slight
detour from when my guide-book was written - and only slightly scaring the
herd of cattle to the trig point for a packed lunch. The weather was not
overly hot, but we were still glad of the breeze after our climb up. The track
down, though not completely vertiginous, was rocky, so still demanded
attention to foot-placements and judicious use of walking poles for those
who had them. (I needed mine after an ankle injury the week before).
Halfway down, we turned onto a bridle way (again, if missed it was a long
walk back up from the bottom). This contoured around the fringes of
Tolsford Hill on some meadows. Clearly, it had been dry for so many
months that the fallen branches showed no signs of decay. We emerged
then to cross a small country road and into a delightfully named, but
narrow, Cuckoo Lane which took us towards Postling. We crossed a
couple of fields, over a plank bridge into Postling itself, past the church
and then onto a footpath, eventually joining up with our original outward
journey in a figure of Q-shape. (I don’t usually like retracing my steps, but
there seemed little choice). Even going back uphill, though, it had rural
charms to press us onward. Overall it was a fabulous day in terms of
weather, views, terrain and company. 

Trevor Ford

Pictures taken during this walk may be viewed on the Gallery page of our


Local History 2 • Leaders Joyce Savinson & Joy O’Donnell
Visit to Charter House
We were a small party for this trip to London. We travelled to Farringdon
Station where there are plenty of places for lunch. Charter House dates
from 1348 when a Carthusian monastery was built close to the burial
ground of Black Death victims. The monastery was disowned by Henry VIII
and made into a private mansion, then, over the years, into a hospital, an
alms-house and school. The house was damaged during the Blitz and
restored. It was opened to the public in 2017. We all enjoyed our visit and
would recommend this to everyone.

Sheila Fallon

Book ReadingLeader June Reid
The book for September was Lamentation written by C. J. Sansome and
chosen by Carole. This is an historical novel and also a thriller set during
the last years of Henry VIII. The king was slowly dying and the country was
in disarray during the religious wars. The author brings to life brilliantly the
sights and smells of Tudor England and we are taken into the darker
corners of history where all life is uncertain and suspicion bounds. This
murder mystery is enthralling, but it is the characterisation of the main
players which lifts this book out of the ordinary. Shardlake, the main
character, is a hunchbacked lawyer who is honest and true. He has
featured in several previous books written by the author and is a beguiling
hero. This is a great tome of a book and a rather daunting read but well
worth it. Once you begin, the pages just fly by.

June Reid

Pictures taken during the Parks & Gardens Group’s visit to Kelsey Park,
Beckenham, on 26th September 2019 may be viewed on the Gallery page
of our website.

Sidcup and District U3A