The 11th August walk has been cancelled due to the extreme heat warning and will now take place on the 25th August all other details of the walk remain the same.

Andy on the Sea wall at Aberthaw 2005

It is always sad when we lose one of our big rambling family and to hear of the sudden passing of our well known friend and walking companion Andy Noble on 25 June was a shock.

Andy joined Ramblers on 13 January 2004 and from that time on he was a regular on walks and although he didn’t much care for having his picture taken, he somehow appears in hundreds of group photographs!

He was a man of few words, but really enjoyed going on a recce and better still he never forgot a route. I used to pick him up in Gladstone Road and off we would go far and wide on an adventure and on one occasion up in the Beacons I took a wrong turn and in order to get back to the start point we had to climb fences and hedges and wriggle under barbed wire, but he didn’t moan and sure as eggs when we did the actual walk, he made really sure I went the right way!

Andy at Coppett Hill 2007

He was always immaculately dressed and in the summer wore his shorts and hat and could always be spotted tramping around the town or sitting on a seat in one of his favourite places like Kings Square or the seat on Park Avenue watching the world go by. Or very often at Morrisons where he used to carry his rucksack and call in for the shopping and we used to stop for a quick chat.

He didn’t much care for dogs but my Jack Russell Bronte absolutely loved him and if was at Barry Island and she spotted him she would run the entire length of the beach to jump all over him.

No smiles in this one as the dog had eaten the cake!

Talking of dogs, Andy used to love coming out path clearing and on one occasion we were coming back from clearing at East Aberthaw and stopped at Fontygary to enjoy a refreshment break. Our superb cake baker Josie had made a fantastic sponge and handed pieces around. Andy took one bite of his and someone spoke to him and as he turned around to answer, Biddy who had been biding her time with her eye firmly fixed on that piece of cake, lunged forward and stole the cake much to his dismay. We never heard the end of that tale, for he reminded us time and time again about the cake that disappeared!

His claim to fame within Penarth and District Ramblers was that he became our Stick Monitor in April 2005 and his name went on the back of our printed programme along with the committee members.

Lopping trip 2018

Now the one thing that often gets lost or left behind are people’s walking poles, so he was appointed to remind people to pick up their sticks and if he was on a walk whenever we stopped, at the end of the break you would hear him shout ‘Sticks’ and everyone would comply. That may seem a little absurd but it saved an awful lot of having to walk back to find a lost stick and he was really proud of the honour. In fact for some reason after 2013 his name was left off the programme and although it was just an oversight, he was more than a little hurt by that.

Enjoying a pint at the Blue Anchor 2017

The one thing Andy liked was to call at the pub for a cool pint at the end of a walk and although because of bad health he hasn’t walked with us for the last few years, we as a group are very proud of all our members, no one is ever forgotten and he will be missed. Our deepest sympathy is sent to his family and William has organised a Memorial Walk in Andy’s honour leaving Barry Railway Station at 10am on Saturday 23 July which will take in most of his local haunts, when we can share memories and laughter with his daughter Fiona who has agreed to come along.

Joy Strangward 6 July 2022

We have an additional walk on Saturday 2nd July The Greenway & Tidenham Tunnel led by Terri. The new Wye Valley Greenway which follows the dismantled Wye Valley Railway between Chepstow and Tintern. Our journey takes in the newly re-opened Tidenham Tunnel before emerging at Snipehill Bridge.

Sunday 3rd July walk from Monmouth has been moved to 17th July, Joy sends her apologies and hopes to see you on the new date. Details of the walk stay the same.

April 4th walk will now be:
The Llanfair Walk

Start:  St Mary Church, GR 002716 – Go through St Athan village, past the MoD camp, continue on the sometimes narrow road, ignore signs to Flemingston – go right at the brown road sign to St Mary Church & park around the Church and adjacent road.
Post Code:  CF71 7LU
Length:  7.5 miles
Moderate (Circular)
Start time:  10.00

Additional walk on Wednesday 27th April:

A walk of approx 8 miles starting at 10am from Llanvair-Discoed (NP16 6LW, ST 447923).

There is parking at the Old Bus Stop but it is limited.

This is an interesting walk through history, starting with the Bronze Age and finishing in the 20th Century. It will open your eyes to places of interest you may not have known existed – including a Tudor Farm, a Winter Solstice alignment, a magnificent Silurian hill fort and much more, plus plenty of stunning views. This walk will be led by Terry & Marion

Hayden at Penhow

I am still reeling from speaking to Barrie this morning and hearing the sad news that his brother Haydn has sadly passed away.

Haydn who was a Rhoose boy at heart would have been 88 years old this coming April and before and during the pandemic had been suffering from kidney problems and diabetes.

He was a staunch walker with Penarth and District Ramblers in previous years and although he hasn’t walked with the group for some time, he always kept up with current adventures.

The Mortimer brothers - Cadair Fawr

He wasn’t one to be a leader but he loved to go recceing, if ever you wanted company he was always the first to volunteer and has probably walked every mountain top in South Wales with Barrie and a handful of friends.

He loved gazing at maps and working out possible routes and has on many occasions accompanied me on a recce in the Wye Valley, Gower and the Beacons. There was one particular route in Monmouthshire that we both tried to plan separately, then with our heads together and every time we tried to recce it, we would come up against obstacles. I think he gave up in the end but it took me five times to get it right.

Once he had been on a recce, he never forgot the route and even when he had stopped walking with the group, if you mentioned a walk you were doing or one you had been on recently he could trot out the whole route from his sharp memory.

Hayden at St Lythans

Haydn was affable, kind hearted, good company and a trusted and well liked friend and companion and the one thing that will give his family some comfort is that he slipped peacefully away in his bed at home.

The memories will linger on even when someone is no longer with us and as always every single member of the big family that is Penarth and District Ramblers is precious and never ever forgotten.

Our deepest respect and sympathy goes not only to Barrie but to Haydn’s family.

Joy Strangward


9 January 2022

Ramblers has changed its guidance on how we need to manage our walks and removed most of the restrictions which related to Covid.

In response to this we will be carrying out our future walks as follows:

  • Notification of Walks: It is too late for us to produce a conventional published walk programme for the coming winter period, so we will continue notifying you of planned walks by email and website. So long as restrictions are not reimposed we will plan on producing our summer programme as normal starting April 1st 2022
  • Car Sharing: The restriction on car sharing has been removed but we will not for the present be reverting to meeting at Cogan or Barry Waterfront. This is because we understand that, for the moment at least, people would be potentially uncomfortable being put in a position where they were in close contact sharing a car with people they didn’t know. We will therefore continue meeting at the place where we are going to start the walk. However we would now encourage car sharing with those you know well to reduce the need for parking spaces and waste of resources. (Car sharers may wish to wear a mask with a window slightly open).
  • Walk Numbers: The mandated restriction on maximum numbers of people attending a walk no longer exists, but this is still at the discretion of the walk leader and will be influenced by things like the difficulty of keeping track of people on the walk, parking availability, etc.
  • Booking a Walk: You will still need to contact the walk leader to get the start point and time and give a means of contact. This will enable the leader to contact you if the walk has to be cancelled or changed at the last minute, and is standard practice when meeting at the walk start (rather than Cogan etc). The same information will be used for Track & Trace if requested.
  • Other Covid Restrictions: Other Covid restrictions like social distancing etc, are no longer required. But you are still encouraged to carry your own first aid kit.

The summer programme as published back in March is cancelled in its entirety as the walks may no longer be appropriate under the current restrictions. Instead leaders will notify you of upcoming walks using our email system.

The numbers on each walk are restricted to 15 (or a lesser number at the discretion of the leader). Places need to be booked beforehand by email or telephone (as the leader indicates) and will be allocated on a “first come first served” basis. The leader will keep a record of who has been on their walk and this information will be provided to “Track and Trace” should someone on the walk later come down with Covid 19.

  1. Each person must find their own way to the start of the walk (no car sharing except people from the same household).
  2. Social distancing must be maintained at all times – please keep an eye on fellow walkers and remind them if necessary.
  3. Each person is recommended to take hand sanitiser to use after eg touching gates/stiles.
  4. Each person should have a basic first aid kit to take care of minor problems without asking for help from others.

William Milne
Group Walks Coordinator.

Tribute to Bronte

BronteToday marks the end of an era because three weeks before her 16th birthday my beautiful Bronte lost her battle and passed away after a short illness. She was the only female in a litter of six and became the exact replica of her father Bud in appearance and mannerisms and soon settled in after being schooled by Tuffi who mothered her.

Initially bred as hunting dogs to go fox hunting, she had all the attributes of a Jack Russell Terrier. She was feisty, fearless, athletic, agile, outgoing, intelligent, courageous, affectionate (except to fluffy white dogs and sheep) completely fearless, totally independent and made a fine, if not hard to control companion.

She was typical of her breed, would chase anything that moved which was down to her hunting instinct and if commanded to do something, would add it to the long list of other things and do it when she felt like it.

BronteShe was socialised by coming on walks with the group and her nickname of ‘Little sod’ fitted her. Ask anyone who knew her and they will always tell you a story about how naughty she had been – in all honesty I could write a book!!

Like the time – on a walk at Vaynor, opposite the church there used to be a tavern and somehow Bronte found a huge catering kitchen roll at the top of the hill and did her Andrex puppy impression by rolling it downhill and scattering it everywhere. Whilst everyone was falling about laughing, it took me 15 minutes to gather together all the bits……….
Or the time – at the end of a recce at Mitchel Troy, with Ann and Nick, when she suddenly disappeared underneath a huge tree in the car park by the church. Making no noise at all I was becoming very concerned and after about 20 minutes of trying to coax her out I was just about to go and knock a door and request a shovel, when Ann spotted her nose. Luckily I had my secateurs and made a hole big enough under the tree to put my arm in and yank her out and the best thing … she would have run straight back and disappeared again if I had let her.

She very much disliked sheep and was as her breed commands very vociferous in her hatred yelping and howling her displeasure when they were spotted. I had to be about 3 miles ahead of her when we were out walking so I could put her on the lead at the appropriate time, which sometimes did backfire.

On a walk in the Taff Fechan valley she managed to find the only sheep on our side of the river, which ran straight into the river before scrambling out onto the opposite bank. Bronte however did not come out of it so lucky; the river was in full flood, moving fast on its journey down the valley and she was swept along for a huge distance bouncing off the rocks until she came to land on a narrow piece of rock which lay underneath a big overhanging shelf, which made it impossible to get to her. So I had to hang over the edge of a rock a little further downstream with someone hanging onto my feet so I didn’t fall in, whilst attempting to cajole her into jumping back into the water so I could catch her. It took patience and time but in the end she trusted me enough to jump in and I managed to successfully grab her like a trapeze artiste and haul her to safety, glad she was safe but at the same time wishing I could murder her!

She would disappear into woods, under bushes and into rabbit holes when the hunting instinct became too much and all I could do was sit and wait until she appeared, totally unabashed and with no sense of remorse.

BRONTE 13.5.2004- 22.4.2020There are so many more stories to be told of my little hero who wasn’t afraid of anything or anyone but was so loyal. She was simply my guiding light, faithfully by my side through thick and thin, laughter and tears and when I was ill she went into full ‘nursie’ mode, giving me a lot of attention and support until she felt I was better.

There is now a gaping hole for Bracken and I because she is missing forever and it hurts. But her energy, vitality and spirit is forging its way through the big blue yonder and that is my comfort.

Fly free my warrior but please know you will be sorely missed xxxxxx

Joy Strangward, Publicity Officer

Unfortunately due to the weather warning for this weekend, this Saturday’s walk at Clytha has been cancelled and has been rescheduled to Sunday 23rd of February.

First the cancellations – Sunday 9th and Saturday 29th February walks have been cancelled.

Tuesday 11th February walk will start from Wenvoe Church at 10am and not St Nicholas as previously advertised.