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Mina Fairfax joined Penarth and District Ramblers following the death of her beloved husband Arthur after she was somewhat cajoled into it by her two nieces, Lesley and Sue and soon became one of the gang.

She was in her mid 70’s when she joined proving you are never too old to try something new and fit as a flea and despite her age climbed a great many mountains and really enjoyed her walking.

She was very knowledgeable about the countryside, flowers, plants, folklore, herbs, cooking and just a joy to be with.

I certainly have many happy memories of Mina, she accompanied me on many a recce and when you got home from a day’s walking your tummy would be aching from laughing so much.

On an early walk of mine in Llangattock, there was a steep hill in front of us and despite the fact that she tried to climb up it, her rucksack seemed to be dragging her back down. When I asked her to take it off so I could carry it for her, I understood why… it weighed a ton, inside she had enough food to feed an army, sandwiches, biscuits and cakes that she had baked and all to give away. She always made sure we were fed.

For those of you who walk in the Vale, you will know there is a stile known to us as ‘Aunties’ stile which is situated on the Highlight walk, a dedication to the fact that she and her then young man Arthur, did most of their courting on the bridge over the River Waycock and it is a fitting memorial.

'Auntie' Mina in 2010The last time she took an active part in the group’s activities was when she attended the 75th anniversary of Ramblers on 26 June 2010 when the group put on a short walk followed by an afternoon tea party in Wenvoe.

Sadly Mina peacefully passed away on Saturday 9 March 2019 aged 100 years.

Some of the older members of the group will remember her fondly and humorous stories do abound about her from time to time which means she will never be forgotten and will remain as part of the group’s history.

Her funeral will take place at the Chapel of Rest at A.G. Adams at 1pm on Monday 25 March should anyone wish to pay their respects to this wonderful lady who was truly admired and loved for her infectious personality.

Group at Michaelston 19.9.1993The photograph shows the group on their first stile building outing on 19 September, 1993 when the newly formed group was 6 months old and the line-up is comprised of …

Back row….Nic, Midge, Derek, John, Lesley, Dermot, Tony
Front row… Auntie holding the teapot, Joy, Sue and Ann

Such happy days and Auntie Mina was a big part of that and will be truly missed by all who knew her.

Joy Strangward
(Publicity Officer)

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Tribute To Jodie

As a dog friendly walking group ‘man’s best friend’ as they say has always been just as important in the group’s history as their human companions.

JodieSo the news of Jodie’s passing on Friday 25 January is met with great sadness and our thoughts a very much with Sue and her family.

I recall the first time I met Jodie when I was on school crossing patrol at Romilly School and across the road came Sue’s mum who very proudly said ‘ This is my new dog and her name is Jodie’. On the end of the lead was this beautiful, smooth, slim brindle Staffordshire bull terrier and we held up the traffic long enough for me to say hello…..

Then of course Jodie became a shared dog and Sue would often bring her along on walks.

Staffie’s of course were originally bred to be small, fast fighting dogs whilst remaining people friendly but soon became firm, loyal family pets.

Jodie at first was a little shy when meeting people, but she soon warmed to the crowd and her qualities of intelligence, energy and friendliness soon shone through. She loved her walks and as she got to know everyone enjoyed the fuss she received almost right up until the end, especially if Sue brought her to Cogan to greet everyone at the start of a walk and she would have fun chasing her ball before everyone left.

So the duo of Sue and Jodie will be no more and we will all have our own memories as we say a very fond farewell to another faithful companion.

Joy Strangward
(Publicity Officer)

The walk at Bryngarw has been cancelled due to the Met Office Amber Warning for heavy rain and high winds.

The Narth – Trellech
Meet Barry Dock Railway Station car park at Vale Council Dock Offices (CF63 4RT) off Ffordd Y Mileniwm to car share for a 10.5 mile moderate walk in the rolling Countryside and Woods around Trellech
For more information contact walk leader Nick 01446 420 540

Tribute to Patch

Anyone who knows Penarth and District Ramblers footpath officer Geraint will also know his faithful companion Patch and it is with sadness we hear that they have taken their last walk together.

They say man’s best friend is his dog and many walkers will certainly agree with that sentiment.

From pup at Craig yr AlltGeraint often led walks with his young son Cai until the duo became a trio when Patch arrived on the scene and began to accompany them in March 2006.

This tri-coloured Border Collie became a firm favourite and wherever Geraint went, so did Patch and they were the best of buddies. Patch was handsome, loveable and obedient with eyes only for his master.

Following problems with arthritis in his legs Geraint retired him from active walking with the group and unfortunately more recently he developed kidney problems and lost his fight on Saturday 11 August.

To handsome adult dogSo we say a fond farewell to a much loved Patch, who was just as important to the group as his human companions and he will be sorely missed.

Joy Strangward
(Publicity Officer)

Thursday 2 August, meet 6.30pm at Cosmeston Country Park (Outside the visitor Centre) for a 4-mile easy/mod walk taking in Swanbridge and Lavernock beach: contact Joy on 01446 737131 (Grid Ref ST179690)

Thursday 9 August, meet 6.30pm at Wenvoe Church (Grid Ref ST121726) for a 4-mile easy/mod walk taking in St Lythans; contact Joy on 01446 737131.

John has had to move his Carmarthen Fans walk to the 25th July. Start time from Penarth Leisure Centre is now 07:00 due to the hot weather.

Join Joy on walk to the Knap and Barry Island from the Gorsedd Stones at the rear of Romilly Park, Barry. Start at 6:30pm for 4 mile Easy/Moderate walk.
Contact: Joy on 01446 737131 if you need further details.

All this years BBQ places have now gone.

Penarth and District Ramblers have lost another of their stalwart members as sadly on 31 May 2018 Val slipped away in hospital after a short illness.

Val HartreyVal was a founder member of the group and soon became a walk leader as well as organising social functions.

In May 1977 she became its Rambles officer, and then in April 2001 turned her talents to leading the group as its Chairman, taking over the reins from Des Nellins which was a task she ably carried out for fourteen years.

After stepping down and handing the chair over to Robin, in October 2015 she became the group secretary, a position she has remained in until now.

She was a very active member of Plaid Cymru, a Vale Councillor and served as a Dinas Powys Community Councillor and juggled the duties of Ramblers whilst carrying out a more important role within the community.

The group are always sad when one of their own is taken, but Val’s legacy will live on and she will be remembered for the contribution she made to the group, not only in its formation but in the years that have followed.

Her funeral will be held at St Peter’s Church, Dinas Powys at 12 noon on Thursday 14 June, when there will be a chance for those who knew her to say a fond farewell.

Our thoughts are with Mike her husband and the rest of her family to whom we send our condolences.

Joy Strangward (Publicity Officer)