Holywell Rambling Club 1956 - 2014
On Easter Monday 1956 three Holywell Families - Attwoods, Howitts and Longs - met up for a walk on Moel Fammau.
They then returned to Holywell on the bus. During this journey the idea of forming a Rambling Club based in Holywell was suggested. Fred Long agreed to call a public meeting of interested people in Holywell. This meeting was advertised in the local press and elsewhere and took place on 26th May at Holywell Town Hall.
Also present at this meeting was Ken Wallace of the Liverpool and North Wales Ramblers’ Association. At the end of the meeting it was agreed that a club be formed in Holywell. The meeting also agreed on a programme for the month of June.
The first club walk took place on Saturday June 3rd 1956 to Plymouth Copse.
At the General Meeting to create the Club a programme for the month of June 1956 was formulated. This concentrated on walks in the local area. This was followed by a succession of programmes covering short periods. The first Snowdon walk was to be a Moonlight Ramble on September 22nd and 23rd that year. Arrangements were altered to make it a day walk on the 22nd. The Snowdon Summit photograph was taken on this walk.
When the club was formed only one member had a car. This meant that a mix of public transport and private coach hire was used. Many of the walks started or finished in Holywell.
The programme to begin with was weekly but this was reduced as time went one until a regular 3 weekly pattern of walks was followed. As more and more members purchased cars, then car transport with shared costs, became normal and the club ventured further afield. Snowdonia and the Dee Valley around Llangollen quickly became favourite places.
Car transport also enabled the club to develop weekend breaks. These commenced with several visits to the Ramblers’ Association Chalet at Maeshafn. In 1972 the club’s first Youth Hostel Weekend took place at Ty yn y Cornel Youth Hostel in Cardiganshire. These quickly became very popular with at least two per year. Youth hostel breaks are still popular with the club although Guest Houses and Hotels are also used.
From the beginning two members have been fully active in the Club’s activities. They are Vicente Llinares (who married Jean daughter of Fred Long) and Gwilym Morgan. Vicente served as Chairman for 23 years.. Gwilym was Club Secretary also for 32 years. He is now Club President.
From the beginning of the 1970s the club programme developed in many ways. Walks further afield and weekends of various types began to feature. A fortnightly programme developed with walks in summer evenings. The idea of a “Tavern Talk” became a regular feature of the programme. At these events ideas for Club events were discussed.
It was also during these years that the Daly family became club members. They introduced all kinds of initiatives. The most popular being the 2 day walk with an overnight in a guest house, bunk house or youth hostel.
A visit to Normandy in 1984 led to the formation of a friendship between members of the Club and residents of the village of Ducey near St Hilaire de Harcourt. This has continued to the present day.
In 1992 the club became involved in the Delyn Twinning and this resulted in the first exchanges between walkers from Holywell and Menden in 1993.
As the Club approaches its 60th Birthday it is extremely active. At least one walk per week is organised. The Club Weekends still take place and we still use Youth Hostels. These are much different to those used in the early years.
We cater for all kinds of walkers. After many years of experimenting with providing two walks on the same day – a difficult walk and an easier alternative – we now only organise one walk each weekend. We try and cater for everyone’s needs at least once per month.
1956 Club founded
1956 September 22nd First ascent of Snowdon
1957 Long serving Secretary Gwilym Morgan led his first walk for the Club on January 20th
1959 First of several visits to the Ramblers’ Association Chalet at Maeshafn
1966 Gwilym Morgan became Secretary
1972 First Youth Hostel Weekend (at Ty yn y Cornel)
1984 First Foreign Holiday took place in Normandy.
1993 Visit from Menden Germany Rambling Club
1993 First Club Visit to Menden
1996 Celebrated 40th Anniversary
1997 Gwilym Morgan became Club President
1998 Supported the Snowdon Appeal and raised £1,600
2005 Vicente Llinares became Club President
2006 Club Celebrates 50th Birthday
2014 Gwilym Morgan became Club President