It was a pleasure last week to be contacted by a UMIST contemporary who I hadn't seen for many years. John Clark studied Chemical Engineering between 1968 and 1971, which perhaps overqualifies him for his current occupation.
Those who remember the shy young lad from days past may be surprised to learn that he now runs a massage parlour in Glasgow.
He was in Manchester for a reunion of Chem Eng students. A sort of 50th anniversary party. Time flies.
He called round to see me in Timperley and we enjoyed a good natter, recalling old times when, having left university in 1971, he and Roger Freeman and I arranged regular meet up activities that were the precursor to the programme that I produced every year before transferring it to a rolling programme on topwalks.com nearly twenty years ago.
That programme continues to this day. I'll shortly be organising some short mid week walks.
We agreed that we should make the effort to see Roger in Yorkshire, sooner rather than later.
I’ve dragged a few photos from the archives. The top picture shows John in the Lake District during a trip that he and I had to Wasdale in July 1972. Is that Kirk Fell in the background?
Below, he and Roger look out from a vantage point on the island of Mull, in May 1972.
As some readers may know, I walked the University Rag Walk – Bogle Stroll – a 55 mile saunter, on numerous occasions.
By 1973 I had joined Thornton Baker. I named our team the ‘TB&Co Mad Ones’ and enlisted various ultra fit colleagues who mostly dropped out. To make up the numbers, Anna and Jacqui, my flatmates, were coerced into joining up. In those days I finished around breakfast time (we started at midnight, in February) and went out to walk in with others and generally help out with the Tech Domski Hiking Club’s many participants. Here, my two flatmates, who finished in 18 hours 40 minutes (Anna, Jacqui was ten minutes behind) are pictured together with John, who doesn’t appear on the list of finishers. Perhaps he got arm strain from carrying that bag? A and J would never have lived it down had they failed to finish. They feature quite regularly on these pages, and it’s good that John has now joined them.
Finally, for the time being, here’s a photo that I’m having trouble dating – perhaps the mid 1970s. From L to R: Beryl, Roger, John, Roger’s friend who drove a Morris 1000 Traveller with a corrugated iron roof, Gary (who I’ll be seeing next week) and me. I still have that anorak! It did many Bogle Strolls and many Lyke Wake Walks.