NEWSLETTER  Spring 2022

This is the content of the Spring 2022 Newsletter excluding what is already  within the website e.g Walks Programme and  Holiday / Event details

CHAT FROM THE CHAIR

As you may know I have been hors de combat (a fight between two ladies of easy virtue?) since January but am hoping to return to the fray in due course.

When I reminisced at the Christmas lunch how could I have forgotten about a jolly little old lady who walked with us regularly?  I remember going to her 80th birthday party somewhere on the hill that leads up to the Merry Maidens.  She died aged 96 in 2009 but it was only when I saw her obituary in The Telegraph that I learnt that she wasn't just Freda Holland, she was Freda Holland George Medal.  Freda, a nurse, was on night duty at the Dellwood nursing home on Easter Sunday in 1954 when she opened a door to discover that the ward containing 15 babies, none older than 9 days, was on fire.  She dashed into the room and brought out all 15 one by one.  Freda herself was badly burned and taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.  Sadly within the next two weeks 13 of the babies died from burns and smoke poisoning.  The hospital did not tell her the news until she herself was taken off the critical list.  Paul Darling one of the two survivors was in hospital for 17 days.  He kept in touch and said that he was eternally grateful for her bravery.  The coroner described it as Reading's greatest tragedy and Reading's Fire Chief made it clear that many more patients would have died without Freda's swift action  That June the Queen awarded her the George Medal citing "With complete disregard for her own safety".

Unforeseen hitches continue to disturb our walks, not one but two car parks closed for filming; the Velo-Life cafe closed for "an unexpected power failure"; a pub name change to confuse folk trying to locate the start and a footpath closed for tree cutting.  Still I must congratulate our group's stoic attitude to this latest hitch which added an extra two miles to our search for Queen Cynthia, bless her little cotton socks.

Spring is on its way so carry on rambling.

Tom Harrison, Chairman.

CAR PARKING

Many of our popular car parks for starting walks are now charging 7 days a week, particularly in South Oxfordshire which includes Goring, Henley and Wallingford.  In addition some Henley car parks now restrict the maximum stay to 3 hours including Sundays.

Car park charges have also been applied by the Culden Fawr Estate which covers Mill End and Hambleden.

EVENT BOOKING

Events may be booked either on line or by paper form.

To make an on line booking send the organiser an email stating the information requested on the booking form/s (along with any additional information e.g. special dietary requirements) with a copy to the Treasurer, Vyv James, vyv@vyvjames.com; please pay by on line banking, Sort Code 08 92 99, Account 65274075, include the online payment reference given on the booking form.

To make a paper booking print the form/s at the end of the newsletter, complete and send to the organiser (along with any additional information e.g. special dietary requirements); please pay by cheque payable to Reading Rambling Club.

Please do not mix methods.