Staff Association
Sports &
Rambling Club
BMB Rambling Club - 1967
Articles from CONTACT Magazine



 It is easy to decide the venue for a ramble. But it is not so easy in trying to make transport arrangements and catering facilities fit in with one's plans. It is also a great advantage to reconnoitre the route along which one intends to go; here the time factor creeps in.


If all goes well it is possible to send out a circular of the Club's intentions for the coming month but as one was not forthcoming during the months of January and February, it was due to such obstacles as outlined above.


Nevertheless, the Club made up for lost time on 12th March even though a last minute hitch presented us with a bit of a problem. This was due to the number of persons in attendance exceeding all expectations, and alternative catering arrangements had to be made. By devious methods we made our way to Droitwich from where we started our ramble.


Fortunately, the expansion of the town to cope with Birmingham's overspill had not encroached too much on the countryside in the general direction we were walking and we soon left the town for the beautiful open country and the lane to Salwarpe.


We made our way through the village churchyard, (no one wishing to stay!) and descended the 48 steps down to the old mill race, by which we had our lunch. It was necessary to ascend these steps again before setting out on the next stage of our walk. This posed no problem amongst the girls, but the cows in the meadow a bit further on certainly did!! It was only with some trepidation that some of them decided to run the gauntlet.


An ice cream at the village shop in Ladywood (near Droitwich) provided a welcome refreshment for those who were alert enough to find it open. The less observant sauntered on and waited by the old neglected Droitwich canal and had time to reflect awhile.


We called in at Porters Mill before making our way to Hadley for our evening meal, and a good meal it was, eaten wholeheartedly in good surroundings. Even the waiter thought more of the men than the girls in giving them his attentions first.


After the meal we still had another two miles to walk before catching the 'bus at Martin Hussingtree, but this did not deter us. We all had a pleasant day and the weather was perfect.







When a decision is taken to venture farther afield for a ramble, public transport is most unreliable. The Club, therefore, jumped at the opportunity of accompanying another party keen on another form of transport, for a journey into Derbyshire on a cold blustery April day. It was just before mid-day that we stepped off a Birmingham Corporation bus at Crick in Derbyshire to spend a couple of leisurely hours wandering round the tramway museum situated in an old quarry at the edge of the village. It would have been difficult to distinguish the ramblers from the tram enthusiasts as we surveyed with avid interest what to us in Birmingham were the relics of a bygone age. This day brought back many nostalgic memories I'm sure.


After lunch we went in pursuit of our main interest. This we followed all the way into Matlock Bath, walking alongside the picturesque old Cromford canal from Whatstandwell. Having dealt with April, there is little I can say about May, but June .... well that is another month.


Four club members helped us out with their own transport for our journey to Goodrich Castle on 2nd June. It was from here that fifteen of us started our walk to Symonds Yat and the Wyre Forest. We stopped for lunch at Symonds Yat itself at a delightful spot overlooking the river, yet overlooked by the big Yat Rock. After lunch we gently strolled down the side of the River Wye leading to the forest. On an inviting grassy bank we paused for a while to rest our weary limbs and then set off through the forest. Unfortunately, the forest paths we intended to travel did not appear to be the same as those which three of our number had walked along previously and as a result the going, for a few of us, was tougher than anticipated. Nevertheless, we all arrived safely back at Goodrich by devious means and travelled back to Ross-on-Wye where high tea was served.





Attendances on the Bank rambles continue to improve as is evidenced by the fact that twenty-one of us set out from Birmingham on the 10th September for a ramble across the Malvern Hills. It is a good journey from Birmingham to Malvern and, although we all started from the city in various forms of transport at a reasonably early hour, the actual trek over the hills did not begin until just after mid-day. The weather was once again kind to us and we all set forth with vigour for the hills.


.A good climb out of Malvern brought us to the top of the hills overlooking the town and as we made our way across to the Worcestershire Beacon the morning mist was gradually lifting from the Worcestershire plain, and in the distance Bredon Hill which shortly before was covered by the mist, was now clearly visible. A panoramic view of the countryside stretching across to the Cotswolds was unfolding before our eyes.


We ate our picnic lunch overlooking the undulating Herefordshire countryside from the highest point on the hills, braving a westerly wind. After lunch we made our way up and then down to the Wyche Cutting above Colwall, where we all sought a welcome rest in a wayside shelter.


Two miles beyond the Cutting, but over the hills, we reached the point of return at a cafe appropriately named "The Kettle Sings". It did not sing for some of us, however, as without financial backing they were unable to sample its wares. This was most unwise as the hills were beckoning us, a call some of us answered with enthusiasm. Strength was sapping in some quarters, however, by the time we reached West Malvern and then crossed the hills to St. Ann's Road, where a feast fit for a. king was awaiting us.


Even with our tremendous appetites, after such a strenuous walk it was impossible for us to do justice to the spread that was laid before us. This was one of those rare occasions when we left the table not wanting any more. A satisfying end to a perfect day. us hope that there will be more feasts in store for those who venture with us.





November was a sad month for the Club. The intended ramble had to be cancelled because of the Foot and Mouth disease which is gradually creeping through the country and, until there is a great improvement in the epidemic, it is not likely that the Club will hold any more rambles in the near future. It is hoped, however, that it will be possible to celebrate Christmas in the traditional way with a Christmas lunch and afternoon walk through Sutton Park.


To continue on a more cheerful note, the October ramble was a great success. The weather was dull and overcast when nineteen of us set forth on our ramble from Bartley Green to Blackwell. We started rather late in the morning as Corporation buses seem to be more reliable than the Midland "Red" in the frequency of its services on a Sunday morning. But with the whole day in front of us we were not unduly worried. After edging our way around Bartley Green Reservoir we headed for Frankley Church and a steady climb across the fields to Frankley Beeches. We had hoped to pause here a while and admire the breathtaking view across Birmingham from these heights, but the low cloud prevented this. From here we made our way along many a lane and footpath to Chadwick Manor. It was at this stage of the journey that the heavy rains of the previous fortnight made the going very heavy. There was mud and pools of water everywhere, but we were not deterred and with extra weight on our boots we set forth for the Lickey Hills!! In a glade amidst the pine trees we settled down to eat lunch. It was during this time that the only rain of the day descended from the heavens in a short, sharp shower. By the time we were on our feet again the sun was shining and it remained our constant companion for the rest of the afternoon.


We made our own paths in Cofton Woods and had great fun in making our way through the dense undergrowth, leaping across many a brook. It was difficult to imagine we were on the edge of a great city as we walked through the woods and out into the country lanes in Barnt Green. The lanes were bereft of motorists and the autumn tints on the various trees were ablaze with glory in the afternoon sun. We spent rather a long time over our evening meal at the Cafe in Blackwell and darkness had descended when we set foot in the open again. We had also missed our bus. Not wishing to kick our heels for the next three-quarters of an hour we all decided to walk back to Rednal through Cofton Woods, in the DARK! As I am a keen walker, I am not likely to let my imagination run away with me here. Instead I will let yours work overtime, and before I tread on more dangerous ground I will sign off!