Geoff Harker Memorial Walk April 2021

Posted by Pat Kassell on 2021-04-30

Geoff Harker Memorial Walk April 2021

The annual walk led by Brian in memory of his brother Geoff has become a highlight of the Spring calendar for the walking section as it combines a pleasant walk followed by a convivial afternoon tea in Low Row village hall.  This walk from Surrender Bridge was a particular favourite of Geoff’s.

Last year the walk had to be cancelled along with the whole SOC programme as the country started the battle against Covid-19.  This year, with the latest lockdown easing, the walk was able to go ahead but we had to forego the refreshments.

In April the walking section was sticking to groups of six so Brian kindly arranged to lead the walk on two dates with two groups on each day so that as many walkers as possible could join in.  Ron and I opted to lead the second group for Brian on 4 April (Easter Sunday) and we were joined by Dave and Carol and Ann.  We were blessed with sunny weather but a cool temperature which made for an ideal day out.  We met at Surrender Bridge and followed the marathon route in reverse to Blades and along Low Row Pasture where we heard and saw Lapwing and Curlew and had lovely views up the dale over Gunnerside.  We stayed high and followed the path above Gunnerside Gill where we rejoined the marathon route and continued over the industrial wasteland to Level House.  We took shelter from the chilly wind behind a wall to enjoy our picnic (and Malteser chocolate bunnies) before returning to Surrender along the track past the Old Gang Mines.

Brian and his group had set off before we did but he waited upon his return to welcome us back from our walk.

Part two of the Geoff Harker walk took place a few days later on 8 April and when I phoned Brian the next day I was surprised to hear that the weather on the second date couldn’t have been more different – no sunshine but a cold day with rain and hail showers!  Brian was so disappointed for everyone who joined him.


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