2016 was the 21st Anniversary of the formation of York Amblersand their christmas lunch was attended by past and present members.
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Alan Clark a stalwart of the Amblers since day one, provides a potted history of this special group of ramblers.
It was in 1995 that the late Denis Addison founded the York Amblers - yes we are 21 years old this year. Denis was a dedicated, greatly experienced Rambler who recognised that, in his advancing years, a 6-8 mile walk was more in keeping with his capability. Together with other stalwarts of the local rambling fraternity, namely Tom Petfield and Chris Blott, Denis produced the very first Amble programme, which at that time was limited to spring and Summer seasons. As a former work colleague retiring in 1994, Denis invited me to join his band of happy wanderers. Wisely I accepted and as the saying goes, the rest is history.
For the past 21 years, my Wednesdays have been committed to the Amblers, where the fellowship and diverse schedule of walks have brought me inestimable pleasure and an extensive knowledge of the public rights of ways in North Yorkshire and beyond -something money can't buy!
For health reasons Denis retired in 1997, leaving the well-attended and successful Amble venture requiring continuity of the leadership. Bill Hedison and myself ably assisted by Alf Sanderson and later Ken Walker, agreed to take up the reins. I agreed to become the nominated Amblers co-ordinator and encouraged by like-minded members extended the programme to operate throughout the year, instead of seasonal as originally designated.
The revised concept of regular 6-8 mile weekly Wednesday ambles, attracted a much increased following and my records show for the next 10 years there was an average turnout of 39 members. In the interest of ensuring future administrators, in 2007 I handed over to Jackie Glew, who assisted by Margaret Green very efficiently organised future programmes for the next 6 years, benefiting from selecting ambles from the previously established 142 venues from which a 4 year repeat cycle North, South, East and West had developed. In 2014 Judith Tosh kindly stepped into the post of formulating and publishing the Ambles programme, and remains in office today proving to be equal to her efficient committed predecessors.
Socially the Ambler fraternity have always been in accord, and tea rooms throughout North Yorkshire have greatly benefited from their custom. In 1998 the Bay Horse Inn at Terrington was the venue for first Ambler's Christmas Dinner, which has been repeated at other public houses and hotels ever since.
Denis would be overwhelmed to learn that his objective proved to be a definite winner and is still going strong after 21 years - God Bless him.
Alan Clark, York Group