BST Walking Group

British Summertime is drawing to a close, and that can only mean one thing: we are having our final walk of the year on Saturday September 28th.

We shall see the summer walks out in style with a nice long walk around the old gravel pits in Rickmansworth which are surrounded by water and some lovely walking. We have tested this walk and it is glorious , lovely views, lots of water birds and Dragonflies.

This is a circular walk with a pub stop at the beginning if we need a cuppa and a comfort break after a long tube ride, and at the end those that want to can stop in the pub before heading home. We shall be travelling by tube to Rickmansorth. The walk is nice and flat with mostly good paths but the rain this week might make it a bit muddy in places. Well behaved dogs on leads welcome.

If you have signed up for the walking group you will have already received an email as a reminder and so you have the phone numbers of the organisers (just in case).

If you haven’t already signed up but would like to come along please email us at the usual address and we will get back to you.

For our July walk we took one of our favourite walks around Abney Park Cemetery, then on to Springfield Park to admire the view over east London – roughly three miles. It was a glorious evening and we were blessed with sunshine.

June 2019 We had a trip to Greenwich Park to watch the sunset and found a nice spot to enjoy a convivial drink. We met at Dalston and travelled by bus to The Isle of Dogs, walking under The Greenwich Foot Tunnel and onwards to Greenwich. We enjoyed some beautiful views as the sun went down.

May 2019 We walked along a section of The Regents Canal and spotted the work of the Living Waterway and the nesting sites that they have created for the birds. We veered off into Victoria Park for a nice amble and enjoyed some liquid refreshments as the sun went down.


April 2019 We dusted off our walking boots and had our first stroll of the year.the We had intended to walk part 3A of the Thames Path, but the website neglected to mention that that part of the Path is almost completely closed due the building of the Thames Mega Sewer, and that you have to walk quite a way inland before you can get back onto the path. During the dry run we found a couple of really nice pubs, but the walk itself was too long due to the diversions , so we had a change of plan and walked along The New River Path via Clissold Park to the Woodberry Wetlands. It was an enjoyable walk and we finished in time before Storm Hannah blew in.



Our story about the reunion between Emma our retired midwife and our guest Denese was picked up by a journalist from The Hackney Post who is following our Facebook Page. She loved the story and has written an article that was published today. This is a real feel good story and shows the bonds that can be made amongst women and demonstrates that our inclusive policy of allowing guests to join us is a brilliant idea. Here is the article:

Mother and midwife reunited after 31 years

Mother and midwife together for the first time since 1987. Credits: De Beauvoir Women’s Institute

A mother has been reunited with her midwife from 1987 after a chance encounter on a walk with the De Beauvoir Women’s Institute.

Denise Mechell thought she recognized one of the WI members at the event but it was only when her friend Debby Lawrence said that the member used to be a midwife that she realized why.

“I went running up to her” Denise said, “it was fantastic.”

Denise describes Emma as an “old-school midwife.” “She came around on her bike and was very down to earth, very straight-talking. I always used to look forward to her visits.” Denise has told all her friends about reuniting with Emma and rang her son, who now lives in Spain, to tell him the news.

Ms Mechell, 59, attended the De Beauvoir Women’s Institute annual Big Walk on Saturday 29 September with her school friend Ms  Lawrence.

The De Beauvoir WI was launched in April 2014 and meet the first Thursday of every month at The Crypt in St Peter’s Church. Ms Lawrence and Nichola Schild set up the British Summertime walking group last year to walk in and around Hackney. This year’s Big Walk, which takes members outside of London for the last event of the year, welcomed 14 women and three dogs on a walk from Leigh-on-Sea to Benfleet.

The DeBeauvoir WI BST Walking Group – a day out in Essex

For the final walk of the year 14 of us and three dogs went on the Long Walk on 29th September. (Unfortunately one of our members had to abort the trip due to a family emergency )This was by far our biggest and longest walk yet. We walked from Leigh-on-Sea to Benfleet along the coast, and then back to Leigh on the other side of the railway line so we could admire the views, which are grand out there. We were very lucky with the weather, we enjoyed glorious sunshine.

The original plan had been to walk there and back, and then have lunch in Leigh but, by the time we got to Benfleet, lunch seemed like a good idea so we stopped there instead. They have a rather nice pub in a boat ” The Gladys Barge” moored up there and we ate all of their rolls. One of the locals offered to take our picture, so here we are ….



Rather brilliantly one of our guests realised that she knew our Most Loyal Walking Group Member because she had been her midwife – 31 years ago! Just shows what a brilliant midwife she must be, if her patients can remember her after all that time. The baby is now 31 years old, 6’6” and lives in Spain.


This was the last walk of the year for the De Beauvoir WI BST Walking Group, but we will be back next year . We walk once a month from April to September enjoying a gentle mid-week evening stroll, usually in the borough. We will build on our tradition of a long walk at the end of the season, taking a train and leaving London for the day. All WI members and adult female guests are welcome, as are well mannered dogs on leads.


And please do email us if you would like to know more. Or come along to one of our meetings on the first Thursday in the month at the Crypt in St Peters DeBeauvoir at 7.30pm.