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A Short History of SWANS

A Short History of SWANS

At the monthly meeting in April 2006, I put out a list asking for people interested in a short walks group with the aim of maintaining/improving mobility. S.W.A.N.S -  ie Short Walks And No Stiles!  The acronym came courtesy of Shirley Wilding who has been, and remains, my right hand since the very beginning.  I was amazed at the response; there were 24 names on the list, the majority opting to walk on Tuesday mornings.

In June 2006 about 10 people met at Oakfield Park and walked a circular route via the ford, Alison's Acre, Bouskell Park and the Long Walk back to Hospital Lane.

It was a beautiful day, and along the way we stopped to discuss where we would go next and the SWANS were in business!  We now put out a six monthly programme for autumn/winter and for spring/summer, as a result of planning meetings held in March and September.

Of the original 24, at least a dozen are still walking on the first and third Tuesdays in the month, along with many more who have joined along the way.  We welcome new members with open arms so do come and join us.  There are no rules!  Come as and when you wish.  We always meet at the walk start point and set off from there at 10.30 am.  The distance is usually 2-21/2 miles with a maximum of 3, but anyone who feels the need to turn back at any point is free to do so, just let someone know that's what you've done. (I don't want to lose anyone!)  Those who share cars usually give their driver a contribution to costs; this is a matter between drivers and passengers.

Although the aim is to maintain mobility I think we all appreciate the opportunity to stroll and chat; the social side is equally important.  Most walks end with coffee somewhere (and lunch for some), and we have an anniversary lunch each June, and a Christmas lunch in November.

By Pamela Runacres