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Cromford Weekend - April 2016

For our AGM 18 of us returned to the Willersley Castle Hotel.

On Friday we slowly arrived, mostly from the south. Two of our party tried out the swimming pool. We enjoyed our first evening meal and started off the weekend with some sedate Scrabble and chat.

On Saturday the A party walkers set off, led by Jonathan, with a climb to Riber Castle, where it was thought there was a Spa. Some of our party were already thinking of an alternative way to spend the weekend if the weather turned for the worse. However all hopes were dashed of such indolent pleasure as the place was derelict. We then proceeded to Dethick Church for elevenses, sitting among the daffodils. We had a short drinks stop, where Jonathan pointed out that a certain person present had come along on a day walk back in 1993 to celebrate a big birthday and we were having the break in the very same spot. We then went on to Crich where we had lunch by the Tramway museum and a pub stop at the Cliff inn. There occurred some non-sharing of biscuits on the other table; Chocolate biscuits will bring out the worst in people. We walked to the Cromford canal for the final stretch back to the house, where some Grebe chicks were to be seen. We walked ten miles and experienced a mixture of weather; sun, hail, rain and then more sun.

The B party took the High peak junction via the canal towpath, then onto the Midshires way to Whatstandwell canal towpath then to High peak junction woods and fields and to Cromford. They may have stopped at several teashops. They walked 8 miles.

We were joined by several day trippers, those being our northern friends and also Keith and Fiona from Luxembourg, for both walks.

And then we gathered for the AGM. Drum roll … We elected a new chairman, Julian, and a new secretary, Alison. The rest of the committee remained the same. After the meal, we had a picture quiz.

On Sunday the A party was led by both Aline and Hilary. We arrived at Bonsall, and then lunch at Darley followed by a long walk along the river to Matlock. We passed the 'Heights of Abraham' and then back to Cromford for tea at the mill.

The smaller B party walked to Matlock Bath where they went separate ways. Some went to see and ride a train and others went back to the hotel for a swim.

In the evening we had our now traditional game of 'Colin’s Pictionary', with hilarious results.

On Monday, led by Peter, we walked as one party to Sheep Pasture incline and joined the High Peak trail to the Sheep pasture winding house where we continued to Middleton top and Hopton incline. We descended to Grangemill, under heavy rain, and took refuge in the Holly Bush hotel, which had a welcome fireplace. When the raindrops had stopped bouncing, we emerged and set off on the Limestone way and back to Bonsall and Cromford. At this point our party had split, and some of us went into 'Scarthin Books', once voted a top bookshop in the world. It also turned out to be a good teashop, where we had a very enjoyable selection of scones and cakes.

After the meal there were two serious games of Scrabble, some competitive Contract Whist and some nerve jangling Janga.

Thank you to Aline for organising a successful and enjoyable weekend and thanks to those that led the walks.

Chris R