Walking group marks 100th community event

Walkers celebrate SWALK's 100th event. Photograph by Sue Martin
Walkers celebrate SWALK's 100th event. Photograph by Sue Martin

A walking group is celebrating its 100th event.

The first monthly Sidlesham Walk and Lunch Club (SWALK) event was held in August 2009, when a group of nine friends walked from Sidlesham Quay to the Lamb at Pagham for lunch and back again. In 2013 the group introduced a summer BBQ and a Boxing Day walk, and then added an evening Advent Calendar Window walk in December 2017.

Between 2009 and 2018 the group has visited 13 different pubs as well as six restaurants/cafes. In the summer months members have had picnics at 10 local destinations.

Amblers rather than ramblers the group has discovered hidden local history with new friendships being forged in more often than not stunning sunshine. More than 120 people have participated in SWALKs, with an average attendance of 17 walkers. Distances vary between five and eight miles with the total mileage covered in the nine years being 675 miles, the equivalent of walking from Sidlesham to The Lake District and back again.

‘Walks around Sidlesham’ has sold 400 copies and is now on its fifth reprint. 500 copies of ‘All Aboard’, exploring railway carriage homes in Selsey, and 600 copies of Sidlesham LSA Heritage Trail have also been sold, raising funds for the Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group. Copies of these publications are available at RSPB Pagham Harbour Visitor Centre & The Novium Museum in Chichester.

The 100th SWALK event was attended by 27 people, who visited the Lamb at Pagham, and, on their return, celebrated with tea and cake at The Crab and Lobster.