Forth & Tay Disabled Ramblers - Hooked on Freedom

Rambles - 2005

February

Forth Bridge Walk

Gary and Dael on Forth Bridge
"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.


April

Falkirk Wheel

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 Falkirk Wheel"


May

Sunday Scoot

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.

Boblingen Way
"Boblingen Way"


Ballater Walking Festival

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 Tanar.


Kellogg's Corn Flakes Great Walk 10k

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 funds.


Craigtoun Park

The May ramble was to Craigtoun Park, St Andrews and for once the sun shone.


June

Stenton Pond

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 PondMembers at Stenton Pond
"Members at Stenton Pond"

The Management Committee

The Management Committee met at Fife College, Kirkcaldy with Carol Humbert to work on a long-term strategic plan for the organisation.

Commitee members at Fife College
"Commitee members with Carol Humbert at Fife College "


State Street Caledonian Challenge

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
"F&T volunteers register walkers"


Extra Challenge

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.


Dundee Cyclathon

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.


Falkland Estate

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 FSHA
"Presentation of cheque from Fife Special Housing Association "


Angus Glens Walking Festival

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
"Going round Forfar Loch"




July

Sunday Scoot

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?
"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.



Lomond Hills

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
"West Lomond path"

August

Sunday Scoot

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.

August Sunday Scoot
"Well prepared for the weather"



Glenrothes Ramblers

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.


The Herald - Gannett Foundation grant award

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 link


BP Miller Platform Safety Reps

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.


Callendar Park, Falkirk

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.


Lochore Meadows scooter project

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



September

New path from Kennoway to Leven

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 Fife Council.



Sunday Scoot

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!



East Dunbartonshire Walking Festival

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 hire.

East Dumbartonshire WF4
"Pausing for a chat"



Lady Mary's Walk, Crieff

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.



October

The Enchanted Forest - Faskally Wood, Pitlochry - A Magical Experience

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"


Ravenscraig Park and Dysart Harbour

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.


"Dysart Harbour"



December

East Fife Male Voice Choir

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"