Just prior to Christmas several Cornwall Country Linkers put their artistic skills to the test making Christmas wreaths and table rings. We go to a local plant centre where Sarah, the owner, supplies tasty cakes and tea and coffee while we produce amazing creations. It's always a lovely event.
We had a marvellous Christmas party last night at the Pentire Hotel Newquay, the same hotel that we are staying at in May for the Country Link Weekend.
Valda did a fabulous job in organising the event and we had 65 Cornish members attend and the vast majority staying the night.
The hotel did brilliantly well and looked after us splendidly.
After a super breakfast we had a stroll out onto the headland in the most glorious sunshine.
Our members really enjoyed the function and we were also able to raise a nice amount for Cornwall Air Ambulance.
The Big Cowpat Wedding- which several Country Linkers attended in costume - hats and wellies!
We had a marvellous event today. We had organised with the RSPB to have a guided tour of the nature reserve at Hayle. Our guide Jenny was excellent and was able to help us amateurs spot and recognise all the different birds we were privileged to see.
The weather was pristine, a warm November sun and no wind, allowing us to view the birds easily. We then visited the local garden centre and had a good wholesome lunch.
We were also able to welcome some new members to the group.
A very successful event for our Cornwall group
Derbyshire Country linkers attended Emma's bonfire and fireworks at the big build.
The guy on the left was made by Demi who named hers Zeus, Megan made the one on the right and called hers Leopodie.
A successful evening with all the tree brash burnt, the fireworks with the back drop of Tutbury Castle, a lovely evening with family and friends.
The big board game Derby Day made in 1940, was given to me at Cromer at the East midland area weekend. What fun including the Grand National over the jumps and the Derby on the flat but fast as 3 dice used.
Also played connect 4 and pontoon with the banker winning.
Lovely evening, light hearted fun.
All arrangements made for travelling to Cumbria for the National country link weekend where 150 members are gathering to party and visit the area for 3 days, with old and new friends.
Get packing! It's too late for early night!
Like Cornwall we have been busy, and failed with the camera, will try harder when up in Cumbria.
The athletes of the group took part in a team spirit triathlon with Maria swimming 400m, Andy cycling 17 km and Eva running 5km. Emma completed all aspects in her own right, well done to all.
Derbyshire group have had a joint meeting with Staffordshire Country Link at Uttoxeter ten pin bowling where Phil was top score, always keep an eye on the quiet ones.
A select group have been to see the costume from Downton Abbey and a look around the museum of pottery all very interesting on a Sunday.
Bryan Adams tribute band was performing locally; we danced all night limbering up for the Cumbria weekend coming up.
Sunday morning after the rain cleared the sun came out, local circular walk with lunch under a tree and back to Tutbury for tea and cake.
On Wednesday we meet for pub games and a chat to sort out transport up to Cumbria for the autumn weekend.
Masks at the ready, plan for some earlier nights and pack your dancing shoes.
It's been a very busy week for our group!
Valda arranged a theatre night on Monday, then the club met up in Falmouth for the Oyster festival on Saturday and today Sunday we met for breakfast in Truro.
After a hearty breakfast we took a four mile stroll along the river estuary. The weather was fabulous and made the morning walk special.
I forgot we also did a Raclette meal in Truro, that's a posh cheese fondue.
We also had a fungi foray, a Thai meal in Camborne and a concert in Truro Cathedral. All in one week!!! We are very busy!
Best wishes and looking forward to Cumbria weekend.
Valda organised a perfect day to have a beautiful walk alongside the Carrick Roads at St Mawes to St Just in Roseland Church.
We had our traditional Sunday Roast at the Rising Sun pub in St Mawes and tea and cake at a tea room near to the church.
The walk then continued back towards St Mawes with a small diversion down to the Penquil River.
The scenery was stunning and a perfect walk.
Saturday started with putting the wellies on to go to Uttoxeter and District ploughing match where we had an advert in the year book and a banner up in the marquee. While walking around the ploughing I met Richard from Staffordshire competing and his son Martin in a different category, great to see.
The local MP Andrew Griffiths was about also with Mr Jim Davidson, both in wellies giving their support, Mr Davidson addressed us regarding his charity work and a bucket was passed around for donations.
On Sunday after drying out and cleaning the boots it was off to Draycott Show, where the weather was kinder. After wandering around and putting leaflets in the tea tent and the banner on ring side we noticed the dog show, yes let's have a go for a bit of fun. Pat had entered 14 classes in the horticultural tent and had won an array of 1st, 2nd and 3rd, lovely to see and well done.
Maria and Pickles were first off in the egg and spoon race. First 2 to qualify for the final, and were in with Jane and Chutney. After the final 2nd and 3rd place were won
Next was Pat and Kate in the fastest eating sausage race, after a slow start, they were off and over the finish line, but disqualified as sausages not swallowed.
Jo and Shady were in the last class, ‘The dog the judges would like to take home', 20 entries and they were 2nd, great result.
Lovely days out and about with Country Link
We are very fortunate to live in an area where we can do so many different walks.
We were joined by two new members, Roy and Lynette, who both enjoyed the walk and the delicious Sunday lunch we had at the Lemon Arms in Mylor.
The stroll was 5 miles in distance and encompassed Flushing, Penryn and the Eny's Estate with good views of Falmouth. We had two stiff hills to climb and some muddy tracks to get through but they did not spoil our enjoyment.
Sunday weather was very kind to us, light winds and sunshine ideal for messing about on the water at Barrow on Soar in Leicestershire.
After gathering for coffee the hydro bikes looked variety. Once on, with the all important instructions on how they worked we peddled off on our independent travel to the next marina and back, all dry.
The café was very user friendly so we had another coffee and eyed up the Canadian canoe for 3 in a boat, for our next entertainment, this time we split into lads and lasses.
In our canoes we went left on the different river to the lock and returned.
The men do a great impression of Winds in the Willows, "Toad, Moley and Ratty", you can decide who's who.
Back to dry land and tea and toasties all round, and home.
A lovely day out, out of our comfort zone, we can really appreciate our winning Olympians.
Well done to all.
We enjoyed a lovely evening walk along the river followed by a drink at a local hostelry.
Cornwall Country Link held its annual golf tournament with a difference on Saturday afternoon.
Instead of using golf clubs and a small golf ball, we use footballs and kick the ball around the course.
The holes on the greens are large buckets with flags in. The course has the usual bunkers etc to avoid. Each hole has its par and you try and get around using the least number of kicks.
This all took place in howling winds blowing and we battled against the elements to complete a round of football golf at our local golf course.
The winners with scores of 46 and 69 were Janet and Peter.
We try something different here in sunny Cornwall!!!!
This event was opened out to friends and family of country link who wished to gain knowledge on poultry and dairy farming locally.
The group met up at Duke Street car park in Tutbury, then walked via footpaths to Castle Hayes Park Farm, where Rupert Major met us at the poultry sheds. Rupert now farms the land here and spoke about the history of the farm and how his grandfather bought the livestock by train from Shropshire, and then walked them from the station to the farm. The farm of 1000 acres is bordered by Tutbury and Hanbury and is part of the Duchy of Lancaster estate. Over the past 15 years the farm has developed an egg producing site, with 24,000 free range hens alongside a dairy herd of 550 Holstein x Jersey cows.
The poultry sheds were the first stop, as they are just off the farm drive. Rupert spoke about the breed, egg production and the use of the outside scratching boards. Although the tour didn't take in the interior of the sheds, the feeding, the laying boxes, the light and egg collection were all discussed. The hens can wander in and out all day till dusk, when they naturally return to the sheds to roost and the pop holes shut automatically to keep them safe at night. Electric fencing keeps the hens in and foxes out. Periodically, all the sheds are emptied and given a thorough cleaning before being restocked with hens, to reduce the spread of diseases.
As this was an open event the youngsters in the group were encouraged to ask some questions, one of which was how old is the oldest cow? Rupert told us two of them are 14 years old!
We left Rupert and his cows in the fields, after thanking him for a very interesting and enjoyable farm tour.
We wandered back along the footpaths across the fields to the village for chips in the dark, as all the information on farming at Castle Hayes Park had given us quite an appetite!
Martin took a group of our members on a walk through our local countryside and to make a pleasant change we carried a picnic lunch instead of the Sunday roast. Not to break all the habits of walks with Cornwall finished with tea and cake in our garden later in the afternoon.
The reservoirs were built in the last century to supply Sheffield, Nottingham, Derby and Leicester with water. Over 1000 people built the dams, all housed at Birchinlee, a ‘Tin Town' of temporary housing. The dams were used, among others to train the crews of 617 squadron (the Dam Busters) for the raid on the Mohne and Eder dams on the night of May 16th/17th 1943. In the 1954 film of the same name the Derwent dam stood in for the Mohne dam.
For the bike ride the group of 20 met at Fair Holmes visitor centre near Bamford, where tea and coffee was served and words of encouragement were given by Andy. Some of us had being doing a bit of biking and walking training, ready for our 16 mile figure of eight bike ride. One 10 mile circular loop around the Derwent and Howden reservoirs was all on roads, closed to other traffic and bike tracks. (We stopped to look at the dams; this was all great for chatting as we went.) Although we did encounter some rain showers most of the morning was fine and the right temperature for cycling. We met our fellow walking group just in time for lunch.
After lunch back at the visitors' centre, some hung up the bike, and went for a wander, others turned for home and some continued on the 6 mile bike ride around Ladybower reservoir to meet the A57 Glossop Road and the viaduct before turning for home for tea and cake.
Yes, solar panels on their backs, why? Because there are going to Spain walking for a month into the hills, and the needed the power to recharge phones, torches and GPS.
Once the bikes were loaded we all went our separate ways home, a lovely day with country linkers from other groups, thank you to you for making it a special event in the diary.
The group met outside the Hawk and Buckle pub at Etwall, where our leaders Annie and Jane led us off down a lovely leafy lane on to footpath, where the grass had just cut, smelt great in the sun.
The walk took use over styles and through maize, now thinking we are on safari in Derbyshire we soon returned to foot paths and the back at Etwall Church and the pretty Arms houses before visiting the chippy.
Lovely evening, thank you Jane and Annie.
Our village of Carnon Downs holds an annual scarecrow competition which was this weekend. Valda and I made a scarecrow this year and invited our Country linkers to join us during the Sunday to picnic in our garden and to walk around the village visiting the other 53 scarecrows. The theme this year was hobbies and our man Syd was walking through the countryside. We had to make up a three word clue and then jumble the letters up for people to solve the riddle.
The sun shone, our members had a fun day and a charity benefited by £1000. PS that amount was raised by all the other people as well as our members.
Our banner was displayed in a very prominent site.
A lovely day in the local community with friends.
Tutbury has hosted a week of events for the Queen's birthday starting with a 5 mile walk over her estate to the Fauld crater at Hanbury, where Mr James Major gave a talk on the Fauld explosion. Lunch and a pint were taken at the Cock Inn, Hanbury.
After lunch we returned to Tutbury via the Dover River for the cricket at the Mill site.
Now that's how you deal with a style!
A glorious day.
The following Friday after the church service, a tribute band to Queen took to the stage in the Tutbury Club, where 10 members danced and sang until the evening came to a close.
Saturday came a bit quickly and the arts and craft show was next, with birthday cakes, cards, flags and quiches all being judged, all to be incorporated in the next day's street party. The winners were awarded prizes to commemorate the Queen's birthday.
On Sunday the road was closed at 9.30, ready for a trailer coming in as the stage, chairs and tables delivered and arranged on the street.
Gazebos were erected as the weather was British. The day started at midday with a parade from castle, the tables started to fill as the music played and the rain came down briefly.
The afternoon continued with live bands and finished the Uttoxeter band playing prom music and the national anthem with flag waving and dancing on the street.
A wonderful day in honour of our wonderful Queen.
Thank you to all concerned.
Our intrepid quintet took to the sky and flew like a bird over the Eden Project on a 600 meter zip wire. Reaching speeds of 60mph, suspended 150 feet over the biomes. It's Britain's longest and fastest zip wire and it tested our nerves.
A great experience.
Cornwall Country Linkers pushed to the limit!!!!
Members had the most glorious weather for Valda's annual picnic at NT Trelissick on the Carrick Roads. After our picnic lunch all very British, some kite flying and a 4 mile walk, finishing with tea and cake and a sneaky ice cream.
Photographs say it all.
What fun, in the sun all had a lovely day!
Advertising as well, didn't they do well!
The weather on the Essex/Suffolk border was glorious. 25deg, wall-to-wall sunshine. In the evening Paul led Lynda, David & Jane and John through the fields into the woods at West Bergholt to hear the Nightingales. I couldn't get there till after they had set off, so I went on a jaunt later, hoping to find them. The potatoes are just starting to grow and irrigation pipes are set out ready. The Rape is on full flower and the yellow fields roll down through the valley. One of those days when it feels good to be alive. I walked and walked all round the farm tracks. No one in sight and nothing to be heard. Just the beauty of the fields. It started to get dark, so I headed back to the cars. Despite helpful route texts from Paul, I had not found the others. I sat waiting in the car, and then out of the darkness they emerged. They had heard the nightingales in the woods and had come back a different circular route to me. We set off for a quick drink in the pub before heading home.
Perfect ending to a perfect day.
This time starting at the Tutbury mill site, past the fire station along the river to Rolleston and the Spread eagle pub for food and a drink to wet the whistle, then the group split, as some were coming back by car, this is where the hic up arose. The plan was to drive pack to Tutbury using a car left earlier in the car park at Rolleston; the keys were left in the car at Tutbury, oops!
Taxi to the rescue.
The walkers returned back to Tutbury all ok at dusk.
Friday night came and an extra jolly to meet at Calke Abbey, Ticknall,for a twilight walk led by the National Trust rangers at 7.30pm.After a tea or coffee and a flapjack ,the group of 14 country linkers and others,35 in total left through the estate on to the lime kiln paths to the pond where we waited for the evening to finished with the sound of bats, not such luck ,as it had started to rain, we did see a heron.
Lovely evening finished with chip in Melbourne sat under the village butter Cross.
The pictures say it all, a lovely sunny Sunday and a super walk over the cliffs at Chapel Porth.
The walk then ventured inland through secluded woods and valleys full of peace, to a special place, a wishing well. Thank you to Malcolm for organising such a delightful walk.
Sarah who has a Garden Centre held a hanging basket demonstration and a BBQ. 13 members attend and had a good time. Lots of plants were purchased and will bring colour to our gardens in the next few weeks.
Cornwall country link will return to Sarah's garden centre before Christmas to do our annual Christmas wreaths and garlands.
Eight of us have just returned from the National Country Link spring weekend held at Melton Mowbray, wonderful time.
Wednesday night soon came round and off for a 4 mile circular walk from the Cavendish Arms at Doveridge, on a beautiful spring evening.
Our guide took us under the A50 and up to Eaton Woods and looked back down on Uttoxeter before returning to the pub for fish and chips.
During the evening, new programmes were handed out and the paint a pot items were re united with their owners, lovely evening.
Sunday morning and 8 of us met for a circular walk from Tissington bike hire car park, after a coffee from the corporation flask. David led us on the trail and quickly off to avoid the bikes. Once in open fields we enjoyed the views of Thorpe Cloud. Daisy, a new dog recruit for today, thought best get dressed up and put some trousers on only to be removed in the river.
Picnic in the Thorpe church yard, then went off to walk along the river's edge to Mapleton, where the river had become a seaside destination.
Up the hill back to the Tissington Trail, where tea, cake and ice cream were all enjoyed. A lovely week with Derbyshire Country Link.
We enjoyed a lovely evening walk along the river followed by a drink at a local hostelry.
Good to catch up with everyone at Melton Mowbray at the Country link spring weekend enjoyed the trips out and about.
A select group joined Peter on the Sunday to walk through the stunningly beautiful and secluded woods at Luxulyan Valley.
Another Sunday roast was devoured beforehand just to keep up the energy levels.
A great walk with good friends.
Cheshire organiser needs an armed guard after winning the trophy for the most increased membership for 2015, awarded at the AGM at the spring weekend; unfortunately the squirrel got too close, and paid the price.
No animals were harmed during this production!
Had a lovely early morning walk to hear the dawn chorus and spot the bird life and enjoy the peaceful calm morning that we were blessed with.
We then devoured a good breakfast at our local Premier Inn.
Cornwall Country Linkers love a challenge!
On Saturday, 20 of us met at Tutbury grill, to get us in the grove for our night of tartan and rock, with the man himself ‘Rod Stewart'.
Once we were settled in our seats, Rod took to the stage, and the venue became filled with the vibes, of Maggie May, etc, Derbyshire took to the dance floor, all night. Fabulous Night.
Sunday we met at Willington ,with the new pump pot, tea all round, ‘HOT ‘great start to the day.14 of us for the 5 miles circular walk ,coffee at the Stenson bubble café ,at the lock side. Walked on to Findern, past the church and home via the canal. Lovely day blowing the cobwebs away. Wonderful weekend with great company out and about.
Super little walk today after a very nice lunch. Organised by Derek and Jenny down in Helston. We then returned to their home on a dairy farm for a sumptuous cream tea and an assortment of home baked cakes. Delicious!!!!
No supper required!
Ayrshire Country Link recently celebrated their 30th birthday at our AGM.
The first meeting was held at the Chestnuts Hotel in Ayr on 28th January 1986, following an initial advert on the West Sound Radio station. We have maintained since then a healthy membership of over 30 people - lost some and gained some along the way - and have all enjoyed the fellowship of Country Link and our very varied fortnightly visits , talks and fun-filled socialising events over the years.
And we all agree we have a great wee circle of friends, not just in Ayrshire, but also nationally, in all the other clubs we have met up with at the fabulous National Weekends!
At our recent AGM and supper in the Portmann Hotel, Kilmarnock, we marked our milestone birthday with a cake, and presentation to our founder members who are still going strong too!
Jessie Farquhar and Jim Gray cut the cake and were presented with engraved glasses. Matt Steel, another founder member, was unable to attend, but received his glass and share of the cake the following day.
Members of Derbyshire group spent the evening at the Chatterbox Ceramic Café in Tutbury to paint a pot .Once all gathered and given our instruction we were off to find our item to paint - plate, bowl, mug or animal - and the equipment to help, sponges and stamps to decorate it! Then we were off, in true racing style ordering teas /coffee and sandwiches to enjoy while our artistic flare took hold. As the evening progressed so did our designs, once all happy we returned our items to Jessie for firing and glazing to be collected another day.
A great evening for all.
To be continued!
To start the spring walking season we really had a lovely walk very near to Lands End at St Just and Cape Cornwall. Our Sunday lunch was at the Kings Arms in St Just and was very good.
We then had a beautiful walk along the cliff path out to Cape Cornwall and then another footpath up through a mining valley back to St Just.
The weather was stunning but cool with a strong wind blowing.
The group thoroughly enjoyed the day.
Once again a few brave souls joined Valda and I for a 5 mile walk around Trevose Head near Padstow. The weather was beautiful but the wind was biting.
Tea and cake at the end of the walk to warm us up.
On Wednesday Country link attended the local hunt's quiz with 3 teams. After 6 rounds, and pie and chips. Phil, David Graham and Ken were the winners by one point. Obviously the other teams propped them up in fine style. The evening was finished off with a few games of playing your cards right.Thankyou to Glen our host for the evening.
On Friday at the Burton and District Agriculture Society, Pig Racing event, where we sponsored the Country link Stakes.
Once off down the track, Phil was a clear winner with the merry trotter, giving him his second box of chocolates of the week.
A fun night for all but the pig, as we had a hog Roast!
Made their first appearance at the Pig Racing event, to be seen next on Saturday the 19 March, on Cromer pier at the East Midland Area Weekend where 19 members are attending, to have fun by the sea.
Hardy members braved an Atlantic storm today to attempt to fly our kites. A few members joined us but the very strong winds and squally showers proved too much for kite flying so we took shelter in the local pub and had a Sunday lunch.
This year we are going to try many different activities in our programme and we are planning more adrenaline pumping fun like doing the zip wire across the Eden project in the near future.
Watch this space!
During the course 2015 Staffordshire Country Link have had some very interesting visits details of two are found below:
At a trip to Beaudesert Farm on Cannock Chase to look at the pedigree herd of White Park Cattle, we learnt that the Cope family who farm this land, have found a way to supplement their income by opening an education centre to show school children how the land is farmed and where food comes from. One of their main sources of income is the White Park
Cattle, with beef from those that are culled sold at Farmers' markets. We were lucky enough to visit on a warm sunny evening and Mary Cope had put on a buffet supper for us, just like a traditional farm walk! Thank you to George for organising this event.
Another, exceptional visit undertaken by Staffordshire Country Link was a visit to the windmill at Meir Heath organised by Phil. This was very interesting as it is currently being restored and we learnt about the difficulties involving types of paint. This windmill has tunnels allegedly used for smuggling and it was used during WW2 as a Home Guard station, there was much memorabilia associated with the war to be seen.
Those members that attended found the building extremely interesting, however the location of the tunnels and where they surfaced was the main topic of conversation a meal follow in the pub next door, appropriately called ‘The Windmill'.
Many of our visits or meetings involve food!
After meeting for coffee at Doveridge church on Sunday morning. The magnificent 7 plus shady the dog, began our adventure to Rocester on an 8 mile round trip. David our leader armed with the map and the fluorescent jacket lead the way under the A50 and over a hanging bridge, the snow was not helping following the worn footpath! As we walked the bird song changed to echo of gun shot - where were we heading on this footpath? The Doveridge shooting ground, where we had an impromptu coffee stop, now recharged, Rocester we were bound for, home of JCB, we found a pub for lunch with a fire, bonus!
Our return trip in the snow was straight forward as we kept to the roads.
A wonderful day in the Derbyshire snow. Well done to all, especially our leader David.