Owch Walk 2010

FIVE GOOD-HUMOURED WOMEN AND A PINK ONE (By Sheila)

It was a lovely sunny/cloudy day on Saturday, October 2nd when I set out, in short sleeves and pink hoodie, to join the walk on The Heath, organised by Barbara Go, believing the weather forecast that said: rain late in the day. So why did all the others arrive dressed in impressive rain gear?

Barbara had devised a route to show us some lovely parts of The Heath, walking from the bandstand at Gospel Oak to Kenwood via the Pergola on West Heath and Golders Hill Park. Rachel told me that the 791 acres of The Heath are today managed by the Corporation of the City of London. The Hampstead Heath Act of 1871 gave responsibility to previous bodies, and this one, for keeping the area ‘unenclosed and unbuilt on’.

Despite some walks on The Heath, and some climbs here and there, in the total of 26 years that I have lived in London, I mostly pound pavements. ‘Ooooh’ I whined ‘is it all going to be uphill?’ Alternative routes were graciously found. ‘Ooooh, it is muddy and slippery!’ Jayne made sure I walked slowly and with sure feet. Honorary OWCH member Bertie (though male and under 50) was great company. His energy burst pulled me up some steep inclines - true. ‘Ooooh, it’s raining!’ Barbara kindly produced an umbrella.

Anna was pleased to see parts of The Heath she didn’t know. Thanks to Maria’s ever-ready camera, we have photos of our good ramblers. I couldn’t believe that we actually had a cup of tea outdoors, sitting on a bench in the rain!

You have all heard about those hardy Canadians, but I have never been one. Maybe it’s not too late? At any rate, we all hope Barbara will organise more walks.