By Lindsey Gwynne

Ramblers have many reasons for joining the 5-mile Polegate Ramblers. During a chilly and muddy walk from Folkington to Wilmington, I discussed with some of them why they were there.

Seeing a group of check-shirted, back-packed people at the station, newly retired Robert decided to give this rambling malarky a go. He found it most invigorating and relaxing and as soon as his wife Shirley retired she joined him in his pursuit. They both tried out the 3 distances on offer with the Polegate Ramblers and Shirley settled on 5 miles as it suited her level of stamina. Her husband mostly strides out with the 10-milers, but takes a turn with the 5-milers when health or commitments demands.  

Kate is a busy bee but a stirring meander through the countryside once a week does her the world of good, and she still has time to devote to her other hobbies in the afternoon.

June cares for her parents. A half-day walking is a tonic for her before she resumes her caring responsibilities in the afternoon.

Emma and Janette both work part-time. Emma joins walks when her shifts allow and Janette actually changed her working days so that she can walk with the Club.

Gemma turned up to her first ramble with a handbag and coat over her arm. She found it challenging to say the least and was assisted up the last hill by other walkers. She was buoyed up by their encouragement and turned up the next week, slightly better prepared. It was a real challenge for her but she persevered and is now as keen as any to stride out in boots, with poles and backpack, and her first gasping walk has passed into legend!

Newly retired Louise says that joining the Polegate Ramblers is the best decision she’s ever made. She has a job-lot of new buddies and has a fresh perspective on the countryside; no longer navigating by road and junction, but by footpath, village & church.

Many members have a spouse or partner who doesn’t walk. Coming as a single isn’t a problem and potential members will be warmly welcomed into the rambling family

Polegate Ramblers meet every Thursday for a choice of a 2-ish mile, 5-ish mile or 10-ish mile walk. Rambles are led by experienced members in the local area. New walkers can come from any of the nearby towns or villages and are always welcome. Email polegateramblers@gmail.com