Archive for October, 2009

Chairman’s Report 2009

Well 2009 is almost finished. We are holding only one AGM this year and I hope to see most of you keen supporters attending at the Western Pub in Western Road. Some folks will be going early to enjoy the catering at 7.00 p.m. prior to the business proper which commences at 8.00 p.m. There is no need to book a place just turn up, as it is a pub that does regular catering.

I note that last year I made comments about there being only a few day walks but there have been some this year the most noticeable being a training walk in readiness for the weeklong series of day walks along St Cuthbert’s Way. This epic was enjoyed by all those who could get time off from work starting from Melrose SYHA Hostel and finishing in a B & B next to the A1 back in England. This was the second time this year that the group had walked to or from Scotland. The first time was from a small self-catering bunkhouse in Northumbria. The Ministry of Defence was spending the taxpayers money training our troops for combat next to Barrowburn hostel when we stayed there. Getting to the place was daunting for some as a bridge was under repair, which caused long diversions. Each vehicle took a different route or so it seemed when the drivers compared notes. I as a driver was thwarted in crossing the ranges from the A68 by one hour as the army was shooting at any moving thing and had been doing so for an hour before I arrived and rang for permission to go along the normally open road. The manoeuvres were to last for several days.

The St Cuthbert’s Walk was an excellent piece of organised logistics four drivers ferrying cars and members from the finish or to the start of each day’s trek. The last day was across the sands, far safer than the tarmac road, to Holy Island itself, some managing to do so in boots whilst the majority chose to subject their toes to the custard consistency ooze on parts of the crossing. Dave Self and I left before the completion celebrations to travel to York YHA for the AGM. Local YHA Groups still have a right to send five delegates to the YHA AGM from the local groups conference. Next year this conference will be held at Milton Keynes hostel in late March, probably the 20th, but the date has to be confirmed. Your Chairman is writing a constitution for this occasion now that the changes to the YHA constitution are settled to member’s satisfaction.

I cannot comment on other weekends as I did not attend but there were the usual trips to Tanner’s Hatch. It remains to be seen what changes will take place now that Sarah the previous long-term manager has left. It was a sad occasion following our last visit as an extra day added to the Puttenham barn weekend. Dave Self and I did have the opportunity to thank Sarah for making our group visits enjoyable and also to wish her well in the future. If you have not been before then I recommend you take the earliest opportunity to join Dave on one the next few planned visits.

There will be a return trip to Puttenham camping barn next year during the late May bank holiday to visit the beer festival at the local pub, called the “Good Intent”, a former16th century coaching inn.

Well now to the more immediate future. I again am organizing the Christmas weekend to Kington in response to the members who last year wanted a repeat visit. Things are slightly different in as much as the Olde Tavern has changed hands and no longer does food on a regular basis so I have booked the meal in the nearest pub towards the town centre from the hostel known as the Angel Inn. The food quality and the beer quality are excellent.

I hope to see you at the AGM to express your views and air your grievances this being the only time of the year for ordinary members to so do.

St Cuthbert’s Way

Twelve worthy pilgrims of St Cuthbert gathered one September evening at Melrose Youth Hostel. Their avowed intent was to follow the 62 mile St Cuthbert’s Way¬†from Melrose, where the seventh century saint began his monastic career, to his final resting place on Lindisfarne. Would we be on our knees by the end of the trip? Only time would tell.
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New Look for Slideshows

The Slideshows section of this website, used to show pictures of past group events, has been given a radical new look.

The initial “choose a show” pages list the available shows in a more attractive manner, including a small version of one of the pictures. Once you’ve chosen a show, the pictures are presented in a manner more like, well, a slide show. Just sit back and enjoy, and click on any picture to find out more about it.

All this is made possible by moving the picture storage off-site, to one of the web’s biggest photo sharing sites: Flickr. This has the benefit of taking the strain off’s disk space, as well as presenting new ways of showing the images.

But neither of those is the main reason for making the change. The main reason is you.

If you’re in the habit of taking and using a camera on group events, the new system is intended to make it as easy as possible to share your best images on the website. Here’s what you need to do:

Now you’re all ready to start contributing photographs to the group web site. Here’s how to do it:

  • If you have some photos that you think would make a good slide show, contact the webmaster to get a unique “tag” that identifies that event. If you want to add some images to an existing show, the tag is the last bit of the show’s web address (e.g. the tag for the “London” slideshow is “london06”).
  • Upload your pictures to Flickr, making sure you tag them with the chosen word. Feel free to add other tags, geo locate your image and do other Flickrish things to it too if the fancy takes you.
  • Send your pictures to the Leicester YHA Flickr group.

That’s it! Various clever (and not-so-clever) bits of scripting will automatically incorporate your works of art into our website!

I hope the group’s photographers will take up this opportunity. Like many aspects of the group, success depends on the work being shared between many hands rather than falling on one person. Let’s show the world some of our great events!