Mary Glen of Lincoln Group with Miriam Smith set up and ‘manned’ a Lincoln Ramblers stand at this Open day on 9th August 2009. By displaying Ramblers literature and lots of free walk leaflets it was an excellent way to promote Ramblers and walking generally. Below, Mary has written her account of the day
This would be the second year that the Country Park held an open day but this time it would incorporate planting and wood sculpture for a new sensory garden; funding for which had been obtained from the Big Lottery BBC Breathing Spaces organisation. One of the conditions of the grant (for £3,142) was that the project came to fruition during a community open day. Last year, as treasurer of the park advisory group, I had helped by conducting ‘History of the Park’ walks. As this year was to be a bigger event I felt that I should be promoting the Ramblers by having a table and boards advertising what we are about. I managed to persuade Miriam to help me as I knew she had taken part in this type of event before.
The event was due to start at 11 am so Miriam and I, and then with Colin’s help, set up our table and boards about 10.15am. By 10.30 am Miriam had already sold some of the walks books so was really pleased. We were positioned near the gate and we had a steady flow of people past us; Miriam was exceptionally good at grabbing their attention and I was impressed with her ability to narrow down exactly what type of walk and therefore leaflet they required.
Gradually clouds disappeared and the sun became unrelenting; my shoulders and neck turned dark red, Miriam had to sit in the shade but kept popping up when people stopped to look at our wares. About 1.30 the Deputy Mayor and his wife were introduced to us as they were visiting all the various organisation’s stalls. At the Deputy Mayor’s mild enquiry “ did we have any problem particularly in the area” Miriam immediately launched into the subject of FP36 which has been under water and impassable for over a year. He actually knew the path and he made a written note about it and said he would follow up with the relevant department about the cause of the problem and how it could be resolved. We await something happening!
We were busy talking to people all day with only occasional slack periods; it was interesting the number of families wanting places to walk with young children. Many of them had enjoyed walking before marriage and wished to get into it again and introduce the children to it. Quite a few men and women wanted to get fitter and lose weight, one scout leader wanted more walk ideas, yet others wanted to explore the villages and countryside. All quite diverse reasons for being in the countryside.
By the time we packed up at 4.00pm both Miriam and I were fairly tired at the end of a long day, but were pleased that we had given away plenty of free walks leaflets, sold some of the group’s books and had given the groups’ programme to those interested in joining us. It remains to be seen how many new members may actually join. The purpose of the day had been fulfilled – we had brought the Rambler’s to the attention of the park users and hopefully many more feet on the path network throughout Lincolnshire.
My thanks go to Miriam and Colin for all their help including using some of their equipment. Thanks also to Terry Green for the loan of his large pasting table.
Lincoln Group Ramblers