Saturday 9 May 2015
This annual event was first held in 2013 with a ‘Walk and Talk’ Day based at the Lickey Hills Visitor Centre, hosted by the Lickey Hills Geo-Champions. Last year the Loxter Champions took us on a comprehensive exploration of their local sites, based at Wellington Village Hall. Now firmly established on the Champions’ calendar, this year’s ‘Walk and Talk’ Day was ably hosted by Bewdley Champion Ian Williams, and we were treated to a varied and action-packed programme.
Champions representatives from both counties assembled in Bewdley Guildhall for refreshments along with Ian’s assistants and those involved in the day’s activities. This was followed by a fascinating walk around Bewdley town led by local historian Richard Perrin, and after lunch we re-assembled in the Guildhall for an informal Champions discussion. There were representatives from Bewdley, Hadley Quarry, Callow Hill, Lickey Hills, Loxter and Whitman’s Hill, and a very up-beat report of activities at Tank Quarry, sent by Richard Edwards who was unable to attend.
There was a general conclusion that plenty of maintenance work still goes on at Champions sites around the two counties. Several groups host events and visits by request, but only a few have the capacity to promote events – mainly those with several members, and the availability of an indoor ‘base’. A possible solution may be for groups to join forces for occasional events. The discussion gave us some food for thought, but an encouragingly positive feeling that good things are still happening under the ‘Champions’ banner.
The day concluded with a walk around Bewdley’s geological sites, guided by Ian and Peter Oliver. This focussed on the ‘Holding Pens’ Champions site, and a massive quarry on the Sandbourne estate lying beside the SVR railway line a few hundred metres SE of the ‘Holding Pens’. The owner, Julie Copeman, kindly permitted us to visit the quarry and accompanied us through the grounds to the site. Like the Holding Pens, the quarry lies within the Bridgnorth Sandstone Formation, and may have potential in the future as a source of stone for repair work to the infrastructure of the SVR.
This was a resoundingly successful day, with much of interest for all those who attended. We thank Julie Copeman for taking us to her quarry, and Peter and Richard for their expertise. Most of all, our thanks go to Bewdley’s ‘Champion’ Ian for his enthusiasm, hard work, and for making it all happen.
Photos by Andrew Gaster, with thanks.