Ramblers Association Doncaster Group
Minutes of committee meeting held on 19th September 2016 at Wheatley Hotel
Committee Members Present; Wendy Atkinson, David Gadd, David Horne, Marion Thompson, Jim Elvidge, Tony Marsh, Dennis Neal and Martin Wyman. Also attended ...Cynthia Elvidge.
Apologies received from Peter Gravestock, Kerry Forman, Dave Binnington, Bob Carlisle, Owen Evans and Tony Liversidge.
2. Minutes of previous meeting 18th July.
Minutes confirmed as accurate TM/WA.
3. Matters arising from those minutes.
Ref 8. DG asked if there had been any developments concerning the path at Adwick School. MW replied that no further contact had been received.
DG had not sent an article on maintenance to the Free Press because he had no good photographs. Perhaps next time.
4. SYNED bequest.
DG said a substantial bequest had been received by SYED and asked for suggestions on using the money. He had also sent an email to Julie Guest at DMBC RoW saying money was available.
WA mentioned a bridge across the M18 in dire need of repair. TM suggested that galvanised kissing gates might be purchased, these cost a lot more than wooden ones but lasted far longer. Also two wheelbarrows would be useful.
DG added that Area had purchased a laptop, projector and screen for Group use.
5. Tuesday longer walks/Thursday shorter walks.
TM thought the trial of Thursday shorter walks following longer walks on Tuesday had been successful, certainly his own walk at Langsett had been well received. MW added that he had attended three, all well attended bar one which was part of a recent Tuesday walk.
DG proposed that we continue with the trial in the next Summer Programme. TM added that the distance to some of the longer walks needed to be watched, but DG thought people were prepared to travel further to do a long walk.
DH said he was preparing for the AGM, knee deep in spreadsheets, reports and bank statements. DG thanked him for all his efforts.
7. Rights of Way Report - WA.
We now have 258 paths walked and reported, and 8 squares completed. Many other squares are nearly finished and it would be helpful if they could be finished. Footpaths need to be reported soon after walking especially if there are problems to report. The sooner problems get onto the list at DMBC the better they can be linked in with work parties.
Since the last report there has only been one path alteration notified. The path diversion for Bentley with Arksey 25 has been confirmed
As reported at the last meeting, it was decided to not wait for a volunteer to take over the last square 61NW, although we still hope that a volunteer will emerge for next year. We have instead decided to divide the whole square into manageable segments and ask for volunteers for one morning. Tony has separated the whole into small segments so that each group or couple could walk several paths, be finished by lunchtime and ready for a pub lunch. This way the whole square would be finished, and any problems identified.
We need to know when we would have the most volunteers, dates will be either October 12th or October 19th, and whichever is the more popular is the date we would walk.
Please speak with anyone of the four of us if you can support one of these mornings, or if you would find it easier then please use my home phone where there is an answerphone 01302 533761
There have been two Maintenance sessions since the last committee meeting in July
Wed. August 3rd
9 volunteers worked on 3 locations in the Bawtry area.
Austerfield 6.. off Bawtry Road by Kings Wood. - Stile treads replaced and strengthened, damaged steps on the 'road' side replaced. Bushes and overhanging branches cut back.
Austerfield 7 .. By the Mayfield Animal Sanctuary. The intention was to replace damaged treads and add additional treads and a handrail. This was amended after intervention by an initially irate farmer who was concerned that the treads would be a hazard to his horses. Plan re-thought and agreed to provide a kissing gate instead! Two quality holes refilled!
Austerfield 8 .. Meanwhile a short distance away, two further holes were being dug - and then filled-in as a result of the farmer's intervention! After over an hour we had achieved absolutely nothing. However, Alan had managed to install a replacement way-mark post which the farmer was happy with!..... To be continued on September 7th.
Wed. September 7th
6 volunteers this time to install the two kissing gates on the same site in Austerfield.
Farmer on site and extremely co-operative, so much so that we asked if he would be available to help every month!
Two kissing gates successfully installed, one of a very high quality, the other not quite of the same standard! Session finished later than usual around 1.30pm.
We have plenty of work in the pipeline. Next session is on October 5th, location yet to be arranged.
8. Lost Ways Report - DG.
We are still waiting for the Government guidance initially promised for April. DG asked MW if the DMBC ‘List of Streets’ (routes managed by the Highways Department) was available on the DMBC website. MW replied that he had not seen it.
DG is attending a National Conference on Lost Ways on October 5th, and has submitted a question on obtaining evidence. He has also been informed that someone is prepared to perform to do research at the National Archives in Kew for a charge.
There is a short lane in Tickhill that connects two rights of way but is not itself a right of way. Through his involvement with the Tickhill Advisory Group DG has support to draft a letter to the landowner requesting a right of way.
9. Social Report.
AGM arrangements. The AGM is on Saturday 22nd October at 7:00pm in Finningley Village Hall, and will be followed by entertainment provided by the Gastrick Band. Refreshments are provided.
DG asked if anyone present was standing down, all were prepared to stand again.
DN said that the Xmas walks were organised and a Day Trip was being planned for 2017.
The NUR Indian restaurant in Edlington has advertised in our Programme for several years but do we visit it any more? DN/DG will raise the subject on Tuesday to gather support for an informal visit in November, on a weekday Thursday for example. (Thursday is a Feast Night so may not be suitable – Martin).
- As the Membership Secretary does not attend Committee Meetings MW asked DG if he was fully informed of our membership numbers. DG replied that as Area Membership Secretary he knew all the Group numbers and there was a general decline. Nationally membership had dropped below 106,000 for the first time.
- JE provided attendance figures for his Wednesday evening walks, ranging from 2 (in torrential rain) to 19, with the majority in the 8-12 range. This will be discussed next year, as will support for Get Doncaster Walking.
- DG distributed new membership forms.
- DG had been told by a member that they no longer attended Saturday walks as they were too fast, and asked for comments. DH walks on Saturdays, and was not aware of anyone being left behind.
The meeting closed at 20:33.