Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca
Showing posts with label Talks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Talks. Show all posts

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Wednesday 16 October 2019 - 'What I Learnt Cycling Around the World'

I don't often report back on 's Wednesday evening presentations, but this one was exceptional.

Russell Selby graduated then got a Master's degree in Civil Engineering. Then he cycled around the world. It took him five years. He's now back in the North West, working for , an environment friendly company.

He delivered an enthralling talk with passion - basically an overview of his five years of cycling and working his way around the world, the first three of which were with friends, and the last two, from Patagonia to New York, were on his own. Remarkably, he only had to pay for accommodation on 12 of the nights he spent in the last two years; he wild camped or was offered free lodgings for the rest!

Russell's website is .

Now, can I remember what Russell said he had learnt?...
  • people are amazing
  • character is limitless
  • enthusiasm and empathy win the day
  • money isn't everything
  • being positive is a great asset
I'm not sure whether those are right, and I know there was more! Perhaps Russell will either comment or give me the information to enable me to edit the above.*

Anyway his engaging talk could be inspirational to certain youngsters. It's a shame that 'the day job' doesn't give Russell much opportunity to reach the young adults who may benefit most.

* Russell has now commented:
5 things I learnt.

People are awesome
I am very fortunate
The planet is incredible
The future is now
Character is limitless

But what I think most people should take from it...

Money isn't everything
Appreciate and empathise
Be positive and proactive

Friday, 25 March 2011

Wednesday 16 March – Kent to Cape Wrath

Mick, with his and Gayle's 'Kent to Cape Wrath' slide show

Mick and Gayle are in the habit of undertaking long walks in the UK.  They drew a record audience for a slideshow to over thirty folk at last week’s regular Wednesday evening session that Stockport Walking and Outdoors Group holds at Hazel Grove Civic Centre, which is conveniently across the road from The Grapes.

Thanks Mick, and Gayle, for an excellent presentation.

Shortly afterwards they set off on another walk, from the furthest east of the UK to its most westerly point.  Lowestoft to Ardnamurchan.

Gayle is ‘mobile blogging’ – I enjoy following someone’s progress on a long walk in real time as opposed to reading their post trip write-ups, so M&G Go For a Walk will be receiving a daily visit from me (and no doubt many others) for the next few weeks.

[Their previous wanderings, available from the same link above, make a good read as well – recommended.]

They are currently up to ‘Day 5 - Swanton Morley to Pentney’.

Good luck you two.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Tuesday 9 November – South African Memories

A cloud inversion near Franschoek, in the Winelands, with Table Mountain in the distance

On 28 April, Sue and I enjoyed giving a little slide show to the Stockport Walking Group.  It covered trips to the Drakensberg and the Cape regions of South Africa.

Tonight we were booked for a second delivery of the same slide show, with Sue in charge and me as projectionist.  This time the willing victims were Tim and Kate Wood’s local church group in Southport.

A more welcoming group could not be imagined.  We enjoyed giving the approx 45 minute show to about 15 folk, some of whom had been to places that were in the show.  Happy memories all round.

Tim and Kate are TGO Challengers.  Their hospitality is second to none, and we were treated to a superb dinner before the meeting.  Their house is full of cards – Tim’s 75th birthday, 54th wedding anniversary cards, and get well cards for Kate.  We do hope that she can overcome her health problems, and that we’ll be seeing the familiar profiles of ‘Little and Large’ on next year’s TGO Challenge.

The photo (I’ve not really mastered the art of scanning slides, I’m afraid) shows Sue above a cloud inversion in the Winelands, with the flat summit of Table Mountain visible in the far distance.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Walking in South Africa, and Tintwistle

The Drakensberg, South Africa

Whilst I’ve been away enjoying a Caledonian Trail, Sue has been dusting off a few slides for our talk to Stockport Walking Group on Wednesday evening (28 April).  It’s at 8 pm at Hazel Grove Civic Centre, should anyone else care to come along.

On Thursday we have our first ‘daylight’ evening walk – starting at 7.30 pm from the Old Oak in Tintwistle.  All are welcome, as always.

Attended by nearly 30 people – very enjoyable.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Tuesday 23 March 2010 - Alpine Points of View – Comes to Stockport

Some books by Kev Reynolds
Sue and I escaped to the Alps for an hour and a half last night, courtesy of Stockport Walking & Outdoor Group, who had booked Kev Reynolds for the evening.

Kev’s lecture, one of many in his repertoire, was excellent, transporting his seventy strong audience to the playgrounds of the Alps that Sue and I so much enjoy visiting (that may be obvious from sight of the little bundle of books I pulled off our shelves for today’s postcard).

This particular lecture enjoys the following trailer:

“Over a period of more than 30 years Kev Reynolds has walked and climbed in many different parts of the Alps; has lived and worked there, written more than a dozen guidebooks to specific regions, as well as Walking in the Alps - a comprehensive guide to the whole alpine range, from the Alpes Maritime to the Julians of former Yugoslavia. In this talk some of Europe's most dramatic scenery, plus its flowers, animals and villages will be displayed.”

It’s good to know that such enthusiasts as Kev are willing to travel long distances to talk about the things they love, for modest fees within the budget of smalls clubs like this Stockport one.  The landlord of ‘The Grapes’ looked quite pleased as well, with such a huge influx of unexpected customers after the talk had finished.

If you run a small walking group, you could do worse than book this inveterate climber, walker and guide book writer to inject a dose of infective enthusiasm into a cold winter’s evening.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Friday 9 October 2009 – John Beatty’s Wild Vision

I’ve just returned from John Beatty’s excellent 2 hour presentation in Bolton to an audience of around 150.

The promo video is below.  I strongly commend this event.  Wonderful stories and wonderful photography.

John Beatty Tour promo from Speakers from the Edge on Vimeo.

The remaining venues are shown in the extract below:


Please click on the links below to book online where possible.  Please note that booking fees may apply.

Thurs 22        
LONDON    Royal Geographical Society      
0114 250 8048   or click on link to
buy tickets from our website
Fri 23             EASTBOURNE    Congress Hall      01323 412 000
Sat 24           
GUERNSEY    Whittaker Hall        01481 711361
Wed 28         
STIRLING      Albert Halls            01786 473 544
Sat 31           
ISLE of LEWIS       An Lanntair Arts Centre                 01851 708 480

Fri 6             
BARNSTAPLE    Queen’s Theatre       01271 324242
Wed 11        
MALVERN          Malvern Theatres      01684 892 277
Fri 13           
SOUTHEND       Southend Theatres    01702 351135

Thurs 28       
KIRKCALDY        Adam Smith Theatre   01592 583302
Fri 29           
INVERNESS         Eden Court                01463 234234
Sat 30          
PITLOCHRY     Festival Theatre        01796 484626

Mon 1         
BIRMINGHAM       Town Hall Birmingham   0121 7803333
Mon 8         
BUXTON               Buxton Opera House     0845 127 2190
Sat 13         
BRECON               Theatr Brycheiniog        01874 611622

*Please note John will be appearing at the Festival Theatre in Pitlochry as part of their Winter Words festival.  This will therefore be a shorter version of John's Wild Vision lecture with no interval.

There was no need to book in Bolton, where the full price was £13, and posters diaries and calendars were also on sale.

All in all, a most enjoyable evening.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Wednesday 12 November 2008 - A Talk to Stockport Walking Group

blog-08111301ibr Sue looks across Lac della Valla in the Maritime Alps on 4 July 2008

The walking group honoured us last night by turning up in droves for our 'Italian Border Route' talk.  We managed to deliver it without incident to the audience of 30 or so, in the allocated time, before chatting to Richard and then adjourning to the Grapes for a welcome beer. 

Pam introduced herself: 'I'm Gavin's mother-in-law'.  Wow!  Gavin is the son of my oldest (longest standing that is) friend.  It surely is a very small world.  Hello Mike!

Diaries were produced.  They want us back.  It's an honour to be asked.  So Wednesday 25 February is in the diary, for 'Walks and Via Ferrate in the Dolomites'.  That should be fun to compile.  Here's a taster:

Punta Fiames summit in the Dolomites on 15 July 2007

Monday, 10 November 2008

Monday 10 November 2008 - A Trip to Southport

Today we had the pleasure of Tim and Kate's company at their home in Southport for an afternoon of photos from our Italian Border Route trip, and from the TGO Challenge, on which we walked with them this year from Newtonmore to the upper reaches of Glen Feshie. 

They are seasoned backpackers and have done 'The Challenge' ten times, so the slide show took a bit longer than usual as we tried to explain some of the intricacies and incidents of the Italian trip.

We did manage to find time to wander down to Ainsdale Sands (above), which Tim and Kate are lucky enough to have on their doorstep.

The Black-headed Gulls that have taken up residence on our local canal also proliferate in the coastal region of Southport.  Here they are lining up, readying themselves for target practice.


There were lots of Coots and Tufted Ducks on the pond behind the sands, mostly looking very lazy and well nourished.

blog-08111002coot blog-08111003tuftedduck 
Thank you, Tim and Kate, for an excellent lunch and a most enjoyable afternoon.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Wednesday 10 September 2008 - A Pyrenean Adventure in Stockport

1001brecheTonight we trundled over to Stockport for Andy Howell's presentation to the Stockport Walking Group. We had previously supported him on his visit there last year to talk about the TGO Challenge. This time Baz (from London) and Shirley (Peewiglet) from Southport also made the effort to attend, and it was good to see my old workmate, Garry. It's a very friendly group, and the atmosphere in the Grapes afterwards was exceedingly convivial. Mr Sloman would not have been out of place in these surroundings. It was an ideal venue to catch up with Andy, and make new friends. About 30 people attended, despite the competing attraction of World Cup qualifying soccer on TV (not to mention a judo class).

Andy's talk was, as always, relaxed and fluent. He was not fazed at all by the judo class taking place in the room above - he'd had previous experience of having to compete with a 'sexual awareness class', in comparison with which this was a minimal distraction. His travails between Lescun and the Néouvielle Lacs National Park were beautifully illustrated. The Pyrenees is indeed a wonderful place to visit. Thank you, Andy, for sharing your experiences and inspiring others to venture to the area, which has something for everyone.

One of the natural icons of the Pyrenees, the Brèche de Roland, is shown above. I took that picture on 23 June 2006, a lovely sunny day for a stroll up to Pic du Taillon (3144 metres) via the Brèche. This gap in the frontier ridge is about 40 metres across, with walls 100 metres high. Whilst geological fact indicates that it was formed when a heavily eroded ridge collapsed, legend has it that a heroic warrior, Roland, nephew of Charlemagne, attempted to break his sword on the rock in the year 788, rather than let it fall into the hands of the Saracens. But the rock, not the sword, broke - allowing Roland to escape through the gap.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Tuesday 25 March 2008 - The Outdoors Station

It’s high time I provided a link to The Outdoors Station, and you will now find one on the right of the screen under ‘Useful Links’.
This is Bob Cartwright’s ‘hobby’ activity when, together with Rose, he is not busy running – the source of high quality lightweight gear and advice.
Together with ‘blogfather’ Andy Howell, ‘Podcast Bob’ (pictured) is a prolific producer of podcasts relating to the outdoors, including a ‘Podzine’ with excellent weekly competition prizes.
There is a recent podcast – ‘Outdoors Show Special – Bloggers!’ in which (about 22 minutes into the podcast) Sue and I are interviewed by Andy. Not exactly ‘fame’, but still something we are not used to happening whilst we enjoy a drink with a few friends!
The podcasts are easy to listen to or download and cover a plethora of subjects.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Tuesday 16 October 2007 - “A Personal Pilgrimage to K2 with Vince Williams”

Today we saw a chap called Vince give a talk about a trek he made in 1997 to K2 Base Camp, to lay a plaque to his relative, Jeff Lakes, who died whilst descending K2 in 1995, a couple of days after Alison Hargreaves was blown off that mountain. The incident is reported here.
The talk, sponsored by the National Trust, took place in a school hall in Solihull and was attended by about 60 people. It soon became apparent that they had braved the Midlands rain (it had been fine in Timperley) out of habit rather than desire for this particular talk. Sue and I were the only people there (apart from Vince) who had heard of Al Hinkes or any of the people in the 1995 drama on K2, on which Vince spun his own particular version. The slides moved slowly on to Vince’s own trek, which looked like a normal, fully supported, Himalayan walk-in, in fabulous weather with photos of K2 and the other four 8000 metre peaks in that area of northern Pakistan. Excellent holiday snaps, but sadly lacking in any flora or fauna, and a paucity of close-ups and ‘action’ shots.
But Vince is a big man with a booming voice and he had all the accoutrements – pictures for sale, maps of the route, publicity boards, a ‘K2 Trek’ printed shirt, etc.
There was a short question session after the talk. “Would you go again?” Vince was asked. And his answer was emphatic, and in my opinion sad: “No.” His was a one-off trip to lay a plaque (and provide him with an enduring presentation).
It was a pleasant evening out with Sue’s mum, and a chance to make one of those rare visits to her parents.
Today’s photo is of Dhaulagiri (8167m) from the Kaligandaki Gorge in the Annapurna region, taken in 2004. I’ve not been to Pakistan, but may be tempted one day…

Friday, 19 October 2007

Thursday 11 October 2007 - TGO Challenge Memories

Last night, Sue and Nick and I managed a quick turnaround before tripping off to Stockport to renew acquaintance with Andy Howell, who was giving Stockport Walking and Outdoor Group a talk/slide show on the TGO Challenge. About 20 people attended Andy’s well balanced and beautifully illustrated presentation, and it was great to chat to him afterwards and discuss our respective plans for next year’s TGO Challenge and other trips.
I wonder whether this ‘bridge’ that I crossed last year at the Linn of Avon (it’s a bemused workman posing, not me) will have been widened by then?