I resigned from the Ramblers Association about eight years ago. I was on the local committee and also on the area regional committee when I attended a conference held at some University over a weekend one summer.
It was just before the last general election, but one, when a director of the association told all of us to vote labour and to tell the rest of the membership to do so.
This was the point when I stormed out of the conference, returned to London and resigned from the regional committee, the local committee and the Association itself.
It wasn’t because I wasn’t a socialist. Most of you know I am UKIP and was then. But I would have done the same even if everyone was told to vote for my own party. I mean – it wasn’t British – and I was extremely offended.
Anyway, eight years later I contacted the CEO of the association and said I wanted to rejoin but wanted his assurance that this wouldn’t happen again. Now please listen to his words carefully!
He said, “You must be mistaken, nothing like that has never happened. And I assure you, nothing like that would ever happen again!”
Anyway I rejoined and, today, Pam and I went for our first walk with our local group. We were told to meet at Putney Bridge Station. We got good connections from Finchley and as we were early, got off the train at Fulham Broadway and had breakfast at the Wetherspoons pub (called Lloyds bar) above the station.
We had sausage, egg and bacon, with hash browns, tomatoes and baked beans for £1.99, washed down by an excellent italian style coffee for 89p. The portions were huge! How on earth do they do it?
We then went on to Putney Bridge where we joined 29 ramblers and went along the river, going to Richmond. As we were not used to walking, we didn’t want to start off walking 10 miles so left them half way and returned by bus to a South African pub called Zulu for a drink or two on Fulham Palace Road. I am rather partial to South African brandy so was a happy bunny. We then caught a bus to Brompton Tube and then went to Bayswater where we downed an excellent Chinese meal.
Altogether a good day. We’ll go with them for a ramble next sunday.