50th Anniversary

24th July 2021 

A Special Day in the Life of Petersfield Ramblers

The wonderful celebration cake made by Sheila

Preparations for Petersfield Ramblers’ 50th AGM and anniversary celebration started last year with the booking of Liss Pavilion, well, the previous year actually, because the 50th anniversary celebration was a year late due to the Covid pandemic lock-down.  

The day started with a walk at 10am from the Newman Collard playing field led by Tony, and this walking group arrived at Liss Pavilion for the 12 noon AGM. Meantime, a team of us were in the Pavilion making preparations; setting up tables and chairs, placing paperwork and photos, a lap-top presentation, drinks, the cake, and our ‘catering team’ consisting of Jean and Anne, assisted by many others, got to work preparing and setting out the food. 

Gordon, our chairman, opened the AGM with a welcome and we got through the agenda in double-quick time so we could start the celebration fun. Very few questions came up and at 12.30, spot on, we were ready to party! 

The chairman kicks off the AGM

Our walking friends and colleagues didn’t hold back and they quickly helped themselves to drinks and settled in for a good natter. Table by table, members grabbed a plate and a near-professional team of ladies served an array of food, buffet-style – what a spread!  Rice, pasta, potato, tuna salads were on offer, eggs, cheese, pork pies, bread and butter etc. I never reached the end of the table, my plate was too full!

Catering assistants

The volume of chatter and laughter never wavered as old friends caught up with each other – some of whom hadn’t seen each other for years and years, and current walkers who had been restricted to walking alone or with one friend sometimes during this past year, at last found each other again. 

Steve Parsons, a past member who served as a long time chairman of the club, addresses those present

The celebration cake was cut by Christine Tully whose father, Jack, started the Petersfield Ramblers in 1970, and Christine had been on that first walk which was on April 2nd that year that was along the South Downs to Cocking. From the records: “On Thursday 2nd April. First ramble. No 61 bus to S Harting, walk along the downs to Cocking, return via Midhurst (teas available at Midhurst). 8 miles. 10 ramblers. Fine and sunny. Led by Jack Tully”.

Christine Tully prepares to cut the cake
Photo from the archives (but not from the inaugural walk)

Amazing to think that 50 years on we are still doing the same thing – huge oak trees grow from little acorns!

Thank you to Jean and Anne, the main catering team

Inevitably there has to be a big clear-up of the hall at the end and this went quickly and smoothly due to the members getting stuck in and helping.

A special event, a fabulous day commemorating 50 years of what was, and still is, a wonderful group of people.

Sheila Gadd

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