"Gary and Dael "
Forth & Tay member, Gary Innes from
Kirkcaldy, completed a fund-raising walk in freezing conditions over the Forth
Road Bridge and back on Sunday 20 February to raise money for Disability Sport
Fife. Gary was accompanied by Dael Wilson, a team coach with Disability Sport
Fife and a volunteer with Forth & Tay. The money raised will help with
costs for the Special Olympics in Glasgow this summer. Gary has walked to raise
funds for a number of charities, including Badaguish Outdoor Centre.
The first ramble of the season took place on Thursday 21st to the Falkirk Wheel. Members rambled more than a couple of miles along the Forth & Clyde canal towpath past Bonnybridge, where they enjoyed lunch in the sunshine. Half of the group returned early to take a trip along the Union Canal in the Govan Seagull.
"The Falkirk Wheel"
The first 'Sunday Scoot' took place at the end of May, starting from A2B Van Hire. Six members, three volunteers and five friends and family had a most enjoyable ramble along Boblingen Way to the viaduct at Leslie. The next scoot will take place on the last Sunday in June.
Four members of F&T travelled up to
Royal Deeside to take part in the Ballater Walking Week. There were three walks
over the week - to Ballochbuie Woods, Glen Muick and Glen
A team of 10 'Hell's Grannies' entered the
Kellogg's 10k at Balbirnie Park, Markinch. Karen Churches is walking from John
O'Groats to Land's End in an effort to get the nation on its feet and walking
for health. Garry Innes, a member of F & T was nominated as local hero and
carried the baton. The team raised around £500 for club
The May ramble was to Craigtoun Park, St
Andrews and for once the sun shone.
Members rambled to Stenton Pond for the June monthly Sunday Scoot (held on the last Sunday of every month till November). The weather was exceptionally fine. The ponds have a selection of wildlife - swans, ducks etc and are particularly attractive at this time of year.
"Members at Stenton Pond"
The Management Committee met at Fife College, Kirkcaldy with Carol Humbert to work on a long-term strategic plan for the organisation.
"Commitee members with Carol Humbert at Fife College "
Eight volunteers travelled to Ft William to act as marshals for the Caledonian Challenge, a 24-hour, 54-mile walk along the West Highland Way. Funds raised support the core activities of the Scottish Community Foundation, helping a unique charity to provide an accessible grant-making service for community groups and small local charities. Each marshal receives £150 for their own charity, raising a total of £1200 for Forth & Tay. The money will go towards volunteer costs for the coming year.
"F&T volunteers register walkers"
Several Forth & Tay members took part
in the Extra Challenge, which is open to participants with a medical condition
or disability that prevents them from taking part in the longer event. This
event, in its second year, involved a one-mile or an eight-mile ramble along
the West Highland Way, linking up with the Caledonian Challenge walkers at
Bridge of Orchy.
Lesley McDonald, one of our volunteers took
part in the 26 miles Dundee Cyclathon to raise funds for the group. Lesley did
all of her preparation at the gym 'spin' classes and did well to be the second
woman to finish. Well done and thanks, Lesley.
The venue for the June ramble was changed due to anticipated parking difficulties at Linlithgow. The September venue to Falkland Estate was moved forward. In spite of all the recent bad weather, it was a pleasant day. Fife Special Housing Association presented Press Officer, Robert Ness with a cheque for £250 to help with volunteer costs and the volunteers' Christmas meal.
"Presentation of cheque from Fife Special Housing Association "
Four members took part in the Angus Glens Walking Festival. There was a ceilidh on the Saturday evening in the Jubilee Arms, Dykehead followed by a ranger-led walk round Forfar Loch the following day.
"Going round Forfar Loch"
The monthly Sunday Scoots are becoming increasingly popular. Nine members and five volunteers rambled along Lady's Walk to Coaltown of Balgonie. They then proceeded through the village, up Millburn Avenue, onto farm roads and enjoyed some excellent views across to other villages in the area. A pit stop at the Balgonie Arms for refreshments made it an enjoyable outing. Dinner at the Fettykil Fox rounded off a most pleasant afternoon.
"Where have all the ramblers gone?"
The Hugh Fraser Foundation has awarded the
group £1000 towards the Lochore Meadows Scooter Project. The group is
currently fundraising to buy 2 scooters, which will be based permanently at
Lochore Meadowes to enable any visitors with mobility difficulties to access
the path network there. It will also allow them to take part in the regular
Bums off Seats walks.
The group has also recently received £10,500 from the Gannett Foundation to purchase some heavy-duty machines for their own ramble programme.
The Caledonian Challenge cheque for £1200 arrived this week so thanks again to all the volunteers who marshalled at the event and helped raise money for our volunteer budget.
In blazing sunshine, members spent a most enjoyable day on the West Lomond path, which starts from Craigmead car park. The path is approximately 2 miles long, and reaches the bottom of the hill itself. Members then had spectacular views across Fife and beyond in all directions. The Pentland Hills were visible in the distance. Norman's Law, Largo Law and Tinto Hill near Lanark could also be seen. A few volunteers made it to the very summit and could see T in the Park at Balado near Kinross as well as hear the boom of the bass; such was the volume of the music.
"West Lomond path"
Six brave souls ventured out on a cold, wet
Sunday morning for the August 'Sunday Scoot'. The group, accompanied by
volunteers Arthur Winn, Sheena Croal and Lauren McDonald, followed the cycle
path from Woodside to the Town Park. The ramble was shorter than usual due to
the rain and finished up with a stop at the Al Fresco café in the
Kingdom Centre, Glenrothes.
"Well prepared for the weather"
Glenrothes Ramblers organised a walk in
Tentsmuir Forest on Saturday 27th August. The route was entirely accessible and
members from various Ramblers groups took part. The walk was led by Morven
Duncan and took members to Morton Lochs then followed several forest tracks.
The group is keen to advertise which of their future walks are scooter/
wheelchair friendly. This info will hopefully eventually be published on our
website 'Programme' page.
Several members took part in a photo-shoot
at Stenton Pond. The photographer was Sandy Young, from Oakley. An article,
written by journalist, James Morgan, then appeared in the Herald on Monday 26th
August. To read the article, follow the
Jeff Brunton, husband of Lesley, one of our
volunteers, nominated the group to receive an award under the Safety at Work
Scheme at his work place. BP Miller Platform Safety reps have awarded us
£1000 towards the group's general funds. Our grateful thanks go to Jeff,
Lesley and all staff at BP Miller Platform.
Members travelled to Falkirk for a visit
to Callendar Park in August. From Callendar House, the route follows an easy
tarmac avenue with views across a small loch. At the far side of the loch,
members stopped for a picnic lunch - shared with the local wildlife. The trail
then enters Callendar Wood for a short distance before returning to the House,
some of which is accessible.
Forth & Tay Disabled Ramblers has just
secured funding for the Lochore Meadows scooter project from Paths to Health.
The project involves purchasing 2 mobility scooters and siting them permanently
at Lochore Meadows Outdoor Centre. This will enable disabled and older people
with mobility difficulties to access the path network at Lochore and to take
part in the regular "Bums off Seats" health walks at the park.
Other funding for the project has come from The Russell Trust, The Hugh Fraser Foundation, Fife Charities Trust, Age Concern and ExxonMobil/ Shell UK
The new path, which runs from the Burn's
Tavern, Kennoway, and comes out behind the Diageo complex in Leven was opened
on Friday 30th. A group of children from the local primary school in Kennoway
were there to hold the ribbon, which was cut by the local councillor. Christine
May, MSP also attended, along with local landowners and a number of staff from
The September Sunday Scoot started well.
The sun was shining and members decided to repeat the run to Riverside Park,
which had turned into a washout last month. On stopping for a picnic by the
pond, the heavens opened and cover was sought under the bridge down by the
River Leven. Third time lucky perhaps or maybe will should just give the park a
wide body-swerve in future!
Jan, Kitty and Jenny travelled to
Lennoxtown to take part in the Railway Walk, led by the local ranger service.
It was the second of two scooter and wheelchair accessible walks in the East
Dunbartonshire Walking Festival. Nine people took part. The first walk was
around Mugdock Park, near Milngavie where there mobility equipment for
"Pausing for a chat"
The penultimate ramble of the season was
Lady Mary's Walk, Crieff. The high winds of the previous day had brought down a
tree across the path. However, due to the prompt service of Perth & Kinross
Ranger, Daniele Muir, the ramble continued. Daniele arrived with a saw and cut
and removed the tree, enabling members to complete the route.
Jan, Kitty and Jenny chose the warmest
October day in living memory to visit the event. We booked a couple of scooters
from Highland Perthshire Shopmobility in Pitlochry, left the car there and
travelled out to the show on scooters during daylight hours. It was warm enough
to enjoy a picnic tea by the loch and watch the sun gradually fade and the
lights come on. An illuminated pathway lead us down to a lochside viewing area.
Screens floating on the loch gave an account of the water cycle, entitled 'The
Water of Life'. Burning cans lit up the water and jets shot up from the loch.
Narrative and music accompanied the light show and described the water cycle,
depicting clouds, streams, rivers, sea and back to clouds. Afterwards the
audience was free to walk along the loch side path and enjoy a number of light
and sound vignettes around the loch. The paths, although muddy from the heavy
rain earlier in the week, proved no trouble for the scooters. A number of
manual wheelchair users were also present. There are numerous stewards on hand
to assist and the organisation is excellent. The trip back into Pitlochry in
the pitch dark added to the excitement of the evening!
NB Buses transport members of the public from Pitlochry Theatre and back there afterwards. However, these are not wheelchair-accessible. Disabled parking at Faskally Wood is possible by arrangement with the organisers. Tickets are available from Pitlochry Festival Theatre on 01796 484626. For more information see www.perthshire.co.uk/enchantedforest
"Loch Faskally, Pitlochry"
"The Enchanted Forest, Faskally Wood, Pitlochry"
Twenty disabled ramblers and 8 volunteers
met at Ravenscraig Park for Forth & Tay's last ramble of the season. The
group followed the path through the park and out via the tunnel to Dysart
Harbour. Beyond the Harbour towards West Wemyss there is a new section of the
Fife Coastal Path, which has just been upgraded with a tarmac surface and is
now accessible to all. This contrasted sharply with the bumpy cobbled surface
on the old harbour. Most of the members had been unaware of the existence of
such a scenic route right on their doorstep. Afterwards the group finished off
the season with soup and sandwiches at the Strathearn Hotel.
East Fife Male Voice Choir held a
fundraising concert in Lyon Square in the Kingdom Centre, Glenrothes and raised
a magnificent £456 towards our transport costs for next season. Our
thanks go to all the choir members and their wives who assisted on the day, and
in particular to George Connolly, one of our trusty volunteers who suggested
that they might be able to help us.
"East Fife Male Voice Choir in full voice"