The Best Thing I ever did

The only major thing I have missed during this pandemic has been the Railway Ramblers.

I joined this group along with my friend, Stephen Robinson, in December 2016, after watching a programme on TV where it was mentioned. This opened up a whole new world.

It’s not just about engines and trains; it’s the history of the railways and towns lost in time. The artwork which was produced in the form of posters, maps and those wonderful pictures under the luggage racks. The architecture – not only stations and crossing houses but the bridges, viaducts, tunnels and of course signal boxes – my favourite. The surroundings also can be fascinating; old dormant factories like the Iron Foundry at Butterley, houses built for railway workers and amazing redundant water towers like the one in Melton Constable.

The walks are healthy and full of cheer with interesting like minded people to talk to and discuss things with. The camaraderie is super. Friendly, interesting, kind and generous with their knowledge. I have learnt so much from each and every member I have met.

Old track beds can be great wildlife corridors and for me being a butterfly enthusiast this can be an added bonus. Also some lovely flora amongst the brambles. One walk I did was through bluebell woods and it was stunning.

Living alone I do not get to pubs very much so it is a real treat for me to dine with people and enjoy a pint whenever we have the occasion to do this, and we have been in some interesting hostelries. The Recorders House in Docklands springs to mind.

Now we come to the sad bit and that is there are so few walks in my area and although I am happy to travel to walks in other areas, sometimes this is not possible. I would welcome some local walks with members from my area. Lincolnshire is full of old track beds and railway stations. I do feel as though I am out on a limb with the group. It’s as though Lincolnshire is some far flung out post on the other side of the planet. It’s a great county, with some places lost in time which I would have thought be an attraction for RR members.

I just can’t get enough of this club!!! When I reach home my spirits have been revived and I am ready to deal with the world! So please could we have some sort of reorganisation and maybe form local groups to do informal walks. I am sure I am not the only single person in the group who would welcome some company when walking.

Rachel Roffe

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