For me one of the joys of walking is scrutinising a map for a new walk. As walkers we tend to take maps for granted. In Britain we are fortunate to have the finest maps in the world with our handy Ordnance Survey Explorer or Landranger maps. The history of map making can be traced back as far as 5000 BC. In the British Museum there is a Babylonian clay map made about 500 BC. Greeks and Romans made maps and the most famous Roman mapmaker was Ptolemy in about 150 AD. If you have been in Hereford Cathedral you will have seen the famous medieval map, the Mappa Mundi with Jerusalem as the centre of the world. The Ordnance Survey origins began with the mapping of Scotland after the Jacobite rebellion in 1745 and the threatened French invasion during the Napoleonic wars. It was on the 21st June 1791 the Ordnance Survey was officially recognised. After the first the First World we see the big growth in leisure use for maps. The one inch maps with covers designed by Ellis Martin attracted huge sales, while walking and cycling became popular pastimes. Paper maps are now declining in sales in favour of GPS. But what could be better on a cold winter evening, in the warmth of your home, than plotting a walk for the spring or the summer.
On the theme of maps RA Bedfordshire Area will be organising map reading courses next year.
Since the last LB Ramblers AGM it has been a very busy year. All three of our programmes have been full to bursting with walks and social events. I would thank all the walk leaders who have led walks this year. Without you we would not have a programme. A special thanks to Tracey our Social Secretary for the many social events we have had this year. And thank you to the members who have been involved in the organisation of those events.
By the end of this programme we will have had our 2017 AGM and a new committee. This group needs new committee members if we are to continue as LB Ramblers. If you are willing to stand as committee member at the AGM please let me or any committee member know.
As you know I am standing down as Chairman at the AGM. Although reluctant to be Chairman at the beginning I have really enjoyed the three years I have served as Chairman. I would like to thank you all for your support.
Here is to the future success of LB Ramblers.
Have a fabulous Christmas and the best prospects for the new year.