Polegate is a village located on the edge of the South Downs just north of Eastbourne, East Sussex.
Polegate Rambling Club was founded in 1969 under the title of Polegate Field Paths Preservation Society, with the aim of protecting local rights of way for walking. The annual subscription was then 2/6d – “half a crown” (12.5p). The first of the short, fortnightly rambles was a woodland walk and leaders were known rather formally by initials and surnames.
The membership now remains fairly constant at around 150 – 160. Many members are retired but anyone free to walk from time to time on a Thursday is welcome to come along and try a few walks before deciding to become a member.
Normally two rambles are arranged for every Thursday with an additional Leisurely walk on alternate weeks. The weekly rambles are a morning ‘short’ walk of 4-6 miles and an all-day ‘long’ walk of 8-11 miles. We try to keep a fairly brisk pace – though stiles inevitably slow things down. The Leisurely walks are better suited to those whose priorities lie more with fresh air and gentle exercise than moderate physical challenge and usually cover a distance of 2 – 3 miles.
Those on the Long and Short walks normally meet at 09:15 – 09:20 in the public car park adjacent to Wannock Road recreation ground, Polegate from where we drive to the start of the walk. The leader departs from the car park at 09:30 – arrive after this and you’ll be too late! Numbers vary with the weather but are often in the region of 25-30 on the ‘short’ walks and 10-15 on the ‘long’ walks. We encourage ‘car sharing’ so as to minimise our environmental impact. For each ramble, a ‘suggested voluntary payment’ or SVP is indicated as the amount which a passenger should offer the driver. The SVP is based on the road distance to the start of the walk and is considered to be the amount which reasonably covers the costs incurred by the driver. Any additional parking charges are shared between all the car occupants.
For the Leisurely walks, members usually go direct to the nominated starting point and meet there.
A Programme of Walks is published three times each year giving details of walks and leaders. The Programme also specifies whether those on the Long walks need to take a packed lunch should the lunchtime stop not be at an inn or hostelry where refreshment can be purchased. Those on the Short walks usually take a snack and a drink, hot or cold, for a mid-morning break. The Short walks finish between 12:00 and 13:00 when some walkers go home and others may stay out to buy a ‘pub’ lunch.
Additionally, some social events are organised by the club during the year. These include an annual lunch at a hotel in Eastbourne, a Christmas get-together and occasional days out. A recent innovation was a walking holiday organised by one of the members.
The Club is managed by a small Committee whose members are elected each year at the AGM.
You can contact the Club by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can contact one of the current Committee members –
Chairman: Richard Munro 01323 722654
Club Secretary: John Riley 01323 724972
Membership Secretary and Treasurer: Hilary Orrom 01323 472174
Rambles Secretary and All Day(Long) Walks : Mick Kemp 01323 486756
Half-day(Short) Walks : Roger Lee 01323 723268
Leisurely Walks Co-ordinators: Sue Taylor 01323 482441
Social Secretaries: Sheila Markham 01323 500877, Carol Mulcahy 01323 484152