Portsmouth Ramblers

website live since 23rd October 2015

2017 AGM - Tuesday 21st November






7.45PM FOR 8.00PM






Please come along and give your support -

bring this Agenda to the meeting – plus something

for the “American Supper”



21st November, 2017

As with previous years, we will hold an “American Supper”, rather than invite a speaker, for our 2017 AGM. After the formal business, there will be a food and drink break, during which members can discuss matters of relevance to the Group. Please bring along some food - tea and coffee will be provided. You can also bring along alcoholic drinks if you wish.


  1. Apologies for absence

  2. Minutes of AGM held on 15th November, 2016

  3. Matters arising from the Minutes

  4. Adoption of Annual Reports

  5. Adoption of Annual Accounts

  6. Election of Officers:


Vice Chair



Programme Co-ordinator

Programme Distribution Secretary

Footpaths/Walking Environment/Access Secretary

Membership and Publicity Secretary

Social Secretary

Area Representative

Committee Members

Hon. Auditor

7. Any Other Business

American Supper” – and open discussion



Held on Tuesday, 15h November 2016

at The City Scout Hut, 70 The Ridings, Gatcombe Park, Portsmouth

The AGM commenced at 8.00 pm with 25 members present.

Apologies for absence were received from Malcolm Hagan, Lesley Bement, Marion Hayley, Suzanne and Euan Thomas and Roy and Ann O’Neil

Minutes of the AGM held on 18th November, 2015 were agreed to be an accurate record.

Proposed: Mark.Page Seconded: Bernie Tulk. Carried.

Matters Arising: Dave Nichols informed us that the offer of high viz jackets had not been taken up.


Officers’ Annual Reports were circulated in advance with the Agenda. Additional information was provided by the Membership Secretary, who informed the meeting that the Portsmouth Group currently has 261 members, which is small increase and 45 people are booked for the Christmas meal. The Annual Reports were adopted.


Members were presented with a copy of the Annual Accounts, which show that the status of the main fund has decreased from £964.59 to 873.67 over the year. This is a decrease of £90.92. The decrease was mainly due to only taking a grant of £100 from The Ramblers rather the usual grant of £200 taken in previous years. This was done as the main fund needs to be reduced.as we are only allowed to have 48% reserves in our main fund and it is currently running at 155%. It is still far too high but it is down from 177% last year and for the coming year we will not ask for any funding at all from Ramblers On the self-funded side there is a slight increase of £9.87 Overall our balance for the funds is £1159.70 a decrease of £81.05.from last year.


Paul Harvey, Vice Chair, proposed that David Nichols be re-elected as Chair of the Portsmouth Group. This was carried unanimously. All other Committee members agreed to continue to serve in their posts and were re-elected en-block.

Details of elected Officers are:


David Nichols

Vice Chair

Paul Harvey


Susan Chilton


David Farrow

Footpaths\Access & Walking Environment Officer

Mark Page

Programme Co-ordinator

Chris MacArthur

Programme Distribution Secretary

Ann O’Neil

Membership & Publicity Secretary

David Nichols

Area Representative

David Nichols

Social Secretary

Post vacant

Web Master

Malcolm Hagan

Committee Members

Les Bailey

Roy O’Neil


The Hon Auditor, Richard Moakes was willing to continue.


Area AGM and General Council.: The Area AGM will be held by Eastleigh Group on 11th February 2016 and all details are in programme.

Next year’s General Council Meeting will be held in Southampton on 1st and 2nd April 2017. Head office will organise this but they will require members from Hampshire Rambler groups to do running jobs. Meals will be provided and expenses paid. Anyone interested in helping should contact Dave Nichols

Hampshire Rambler Magazine: Alan Mather was unable to produce the magazine on this occasion as there were not enough articles from members. Information is required from groups on whether or not they feel the magazine should continue. The general consensus was that although the magazine was read it would not be greatly missed.

Memorial for Joe Noon: Dave will suggest a joint memorial walk for Joe Noon next year with South East Hants. It was also suggested that a bench or kissing gate should be purchased from our funds as a memorial which will also publicise our group. Money from the social fund as well as the main fund could be used and it was agreed this would be a good way to utilise funds gifted to the group from members taking Ramblers and HF holidays. Linda Prior will find out from Ramblers directly how to go about organising this and how much it will cost. This will be discussed further by the committee.

Map Reading Courses: It was suggested that these might be useful. As there are no leaders within the Portsmouth Group confident to organise such a class. David Nichols will discuss with David Nixon in South East Hants to see if they might be able to put a class on for us. David is happy to help walkers on Saturdays with map reading during the walks and where possible leaders could perhaps bring some print outs of their walk to help members getting used to following a map.

Radios and first aid kits: David will check that no items in the group first aid kits are out of date. The radios purchased for the groups have not been much used but could be of use when large numbers are walking. David will charge them up and ensure they are available if required on Saturday walks.

Working Parties: Mark Page discussed with QE Country Park rangers what work members could volunteer for to maintain footpaths. They suggested members could inspect paths, way-mark or be involved in vegetation clearance. Anyone interested in volunteering may be able to join together with South East Hants. The foot path secretary Peter Sollars is involved in way marking. Vegetation clearance is undertaken by South East Hants under direction from the Council who informs them where to clear and covers workers with their insurance and Health and Safety. Anyone wanting to be involved could contact Val Vardon in S E Hants as a starting point.

Paper Programme: At present the paper programme continues to be produced in addition to distribution electronically although Dave Nichols has a list of people who would be happy to receive the programme electronically only. The production of the programme is so cheap that David feels there is little financial gain to sending programmes electronically only. Chris MacArthur pointed out however that the paper programme is out of date nearly as soon as it is printed and it is important that people check the Portsmouth Rambler website before walks rather than relying on the printed programme. Walks frequently have to altered due to problems with public transport, and car parks and the web site also enables walk leaders to pre-warn walkers of any particular problems or requirements after a last reccy of their walk

There being no further business the meeting closed at 9 pm.

Susan Chilton

November 2016



Chair’s report for the Portsmouth Group

Year ending 30th September 2017

Once again the many varied walks put on by our walks leaders have provided interest from our regular members with especial interest in the “Five and under” walks put on by Roy. Always well researched and well led and my thanks to the leaders for their contribution, There have been many changes required where train walks are concerned over the past months. Mainly due to Strikes etc on Southern rail but including engineering work at Waterloo station have resulted in amendments to our plans. They have emphasised the need to check the web site and or Walksfinder on the national one as these changes, can be last minute. Of course weather problems can also mean a walk is substantially amended so please do check. The London walks have been very well supported, The Summer one being especially memorable because of the heat. A stroll along the Thames from Putney to Richmond was enjoyed and thankfully the shade from the trees provided relief. The Autumn one was a walk through the Royal Parks so the feeling of London was much felt. The three social events, through the year, The Christmas Dinner, The Annual Meal and the Skittles were all well supported and again thank you for attending enjoyable events. Again my thanks are in particular due to the hard working committee, who have a vital role to play in the organisation with their different tasks, and once again my special thanks are due to Chris MacArthur. The printer at the university provides an excellent product and is extremely reasonable by way of cost. Also my thanks go to Malcolm Hagan who has been maintaining the new website and do have a look to check walks if necessary should the weather or transport turn against us. It is possible that as time goes on and we all increase our years that leaders are always needed and if ANYONE can volunteer in this regard any of the committee would be most pleased to hear from you. Training is always available from any existing leader on the walks. Finally my thanks to all of you for your support of both walks and social events.

David Nichols

Programme Co-ordinator’s Report 2016-2017

This has been another successful year with a broad range of walks both on Saturdays and Sundays. Many Saturdays had both a short (5 to 6 miles) and long (8 to 9 miles) walk thus giving participants a choice of walk suited to their abilities. The Sunday Group, whose walks are normally between 12 and 14 miles, made a number visits to the Isle of Wight, Wiltshire, Dorset, Surrey and East Sussex as well as the more usual local locations.

Although the majority of members of the Sunday Group lead walks the number of leaders has been reduced of late mainly due to family and work commitments. This has resulted in the dedicated stalwarts of the group leading more walks than is ideal in order to cover the gaps. If this situation continues, serious problems could arise if one of these dedicated leaders has an injury or a sudden family commitment. This is a problem replicated on Saturdays. To find a replacement for one or two walks might be possible but not for five or six. The shortage of leaders affects both Saturday and Sunday Groups and the only answer is for more leaders to come forward.

As in other years lifts from Cosham Station have been problematical at times. This has been a particular problem on Sundays as many regular walkers no longer live in Portsmouth. One solution has been to start walks from places that can be reached by public transport and to alter start times slightly to meet trains and buses. In the case of bus travel those with senior citizen bus passes pay absolutely nothing.

Again as in other years a number of alterations have had to be made to the programme after it has been printed. Reasons for changes and cancellations have been car park closures (as happened at Chalton), changes of leaders, route and length alterations caused by blocked footpaths and of course engineering works. Another cause of concern is the growing number of events taking place which can affect a walk. Particular problems this year were caused by the Wickham Festival and the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The latter was particularly problematic as the date of the event was changed after the programme went to press in order not to clash with the European Grand Prix. When submitting walks, often six months in advance, it is very difficult to predict such problems. Unfortunately these events are increasing every year and can cause major disruption especially in the summer months. It is therefore essential that people check the Portsmouth Ramblers website or contact the leader before setting out on a walk.

Another change that is happening, probably brought about by the ease of adding walks to Walks Finder and the general availability of internet access, is adding extra walks after the programme is printed. Reasons for this are many but can result from a request to a leader to repeat a walk which some missed or filling a gap when a leader can confirm his/her availability. On a more general note the gradual reduction in Ramblers Association membership nationwide can also be linked to the large number of Meet-up Groups now offering walks. These are not only mainly free but are also organised on a short-term basis so fitting the lifestyle of people on zero hours contracts/ shift work where they may only know their availability to lead a walk a few days ahead. Indeed a number of former and current Portsmouth Group leaders are known to lead such walks as it fits in with their lifestyle. I think over the coming years serious questions need to be asked about how we deal with this threat and whether we should be more flexible in how we create our walking programme.

The number of leaders adding their walks directly onto Walks Finder has again grown over the last year. This also means they can amend their own walk if they need to make changes or add more detail once a recce has been done near the walk date, for example wearing long trousers because of an abundance of nettles on some of the paths. An updated walk will show as new on the Portsmouth Ramblers website. To help people add walks I have created a number of videos, available on the Portsmouth Ramblers website, showing how to log on, add a walk, copy an earlier walk and some more advanced options which can make adding a walk even easier. The big advantage of adding walks to Walks Finder is that it can automatically produce the walks section in the printed programme. In addition other Ramblers members can view our walks and this has certainly attracted a number of walkers on Sundays.

Chris MacArthur

Membership and Publicity Secretary’s report (1st September 2017)

The members in the group as at the above date of 246 reflects that whilst some members have resigned or not renewed, others have joined who in the most part walk regularly with us. Walksfinder is now an important tool in attracting new members with maps and full details available to any member of the public enquiring about our walks. Often they refer to our own Portsmouth website which has now nearly finished being revamped, and should prove an attraction for any potential new members.

David Nichols

Social Secretary’s Report

(As there is no official officer the Chair’s reflections on Social events over the year)

The Christmas dinner was once again held at the Royal Albert Yacht Club and was well attended. We have decided to continue with that venue again this year as set out in my chair’s report and I hope that many of you will support the location once more. A further skittles evening was organised by Nigel and Bernie Tulk at the Croften at Stubbington and attracted a good attendance once again my thanks to them for as always organising a good event. Once again the Annual meal was held at the Half Moon at Sheet attracting good numbers of walkers and friends and other halves, and good food at reasonable cost was enjoyed.

David Nichols

Programme Distribution Secretary’s Report

With the ever increasing cost of postage our post people are more important than ever. Thank you one and all. 

Ann O’Neil

Footpath Secretary’s Report 2017

This year a route for our section of the coastal path between Old Portsmouth and Havant has been decided. New sign posts and information will be installed along the way. Eastney to Milton Locks will be kept the same as English Nature are keen to keep the natural features. As far as path changes are concerned hardly any came to me this year for Portsmouth City. Some large developments are now where a footpath was changed last year near the town station. If any one wishes to do work on rights of way, be it path clearance, surveys or putting up kissing gates let me know as I can contact the team or group and pass on your details. 

Mark Page


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Monday, October 16, 2017