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Past Events – Walk 2005
Thursday 26 May 2005
Report by Steve Roberts

The walk to the Waggon + Horses this year started in the same way as previous years with us all meeting
at the chaplaincy centre at 6:15. However this year was seen as a particularly special occasion by some, with Tom
turning up in a shirt and tweed jacket; splendid attire for a nice jaunt through the woods and fields.
We skipped along the Parade (well, some of us) to the cash machines, before striding out towards the
aforementioned public house.

The first controversy happened before we left campus, with Christine and Ed proposing a route through the
fields to Sham Castle and Steve suggesting the woods option. In the end the woods were chosen, but it
was a bad option, as people's arms and legs were shredded by the brambles and nettles (OK, that might be
a bit of an least no-one wore shorts!). Just before we reached Sham Castle, it was
noted that Ed was in possession of a map, so he was chastised appropriately before the travellers continued.

The next stage of the walk was the woods. In previous years we have taken different entrances into the
woods and this year was no deviation from the norm in our endeavour to get lost. We aimed along the path at
the top of the woods, where we found mud and poo galore and a few were tempted to climb the barbed wire
fence into the words. The sense of Alison stopped this foolish effort, and we duly found a gate. The
actual time in the woods was filled with random running, screaming and general hilarity; quite worrying
at times.

It was postulated that to get to the Waggon + Horses for 8, we should leave the wood by 7:20, so we aimed
for the edge, but couldn't find a gate. What followed was an interesting study in getting past a barbed
wire fence. Some (like John) decided to climb in between the two strands, Sam tried to climb a tree over
it, and Steve crawled underneath...but most were sensible and climbed at a fence post. On the way back to
the beaten track, Christine, Ed and Tom found a hollow tree and others found a manhole cover thingy (which
everyone tried to stand on).

Anyway, we soon got to the road, where Christine decided to lie down randomly (not actually IN the road
luckily) and Sam decided he wanted to stop the traffic with his safety vest. Unfortunately there was a
crossing, so Sam's efforts were not necessary. We proceeded down the hill (leaving Katie behind temporarily)
to the canal, where everyone stood by the parapet on the bridge to rest a while. This was the first of
several bridges there were to cross before completing our journey, with the next one being over the
A-road. In keeping with tradition, we waved to the cars and motorbikes and were rewarded for our efforts
by several returned waves and even the odd beeping of a horn!

We finally arrived at the pub at 7:58 (after Laura and Christine making an attempt to remove Ed's coat),
where Claire was waiting patiently and sensibly. The food order had been phoned through earlier for
8 out of the 12 (note for people organising the walk in future years!), so we didn't have to wait for too long
before we tucked into the veritable feast. As ever, the conversations throughout the course of the meal
were extremely random and the mistake was made of letting the 5 mathematicians sit near to each other!

Once the meal was over, and payment had been made, a presentation was made by Steve to the new committee -
a permanent Bang! committee bear (named Steve). It was agreed at that moment that Steve (the bear that is)
should be present at all committee decisions and should not live in the Bang! cupboard, but should be
loved and looked after by committee members. This caused immediate arguments and in the following few
minutes, everyone wanted to cuddle Steve (again, the bear!).

It was decided that we should head back along the canal at this point, so we all set off with John in the
lead with the safety vest, as we were facing oncoming traffic where there was no pavement. (Just put that
in to show we complied with SU health and safety policy!). We ambled alongside the canal, talking a little
too loudly at times, but in general just enjoying the surroundings (oh, and waving at a train until we
realised it was a goods train!).

The tunnels proved to be a little dark for some (especially with Tom keeping up the "Steve" tradition of
previous years and jumping out at people), but technology in the form of mobile phones brought light to the
situation. After the second tunnel, Katie left us (she assures us it was nothing to do with the tunnels -
just that it was closest to her home) and the rest of us splashed our way through several large puddles
to the bottom of Bathwick hill.

Ed decided to lie on the parapet of the bridge here to sleep, but this was discouraged by all, and soon we
departed. Helen, Christine and Alison sensibly got the bus from bottom of Bathwick Hill, whilst everyone else
(apart from the previously departed Katie) walked along the canal a little further. There was a second schism
at a further bridge where a few made their way up to campus and the rest went home along the canal. Well, I
had to get the word schism in there somewhere!

Photos coming soon: watch this spot! Or revise. It's up to you.