Welcome to the Havering and East London Ramblers
Havering & East London Ramblers are a friendly group of people who enjoy walking and, some say, talking. We are based in the Romford, Hornchurch, Upminster Harold wood,Rainham areas as well as Barking and Dagenham and East London, and are part of 'Ramblers'.
Our walks take place on Tuesday, Saturday, which are usually graded 'leisurely' so most people can join in, with longer walks on Sunday. In the summer there are also evening walks. After each walk there is opportunity to relax in a local public house and have a meal and a drink in the company of friends. You will find details of our walks on the 'Our walks' page. There is no need to book, just come along to the start point and introduce yourself to the walk leader. You will be most welcome. If you want to have a chat before you come along just phone 07583 532 309 and find out more, or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Lest We Forget
Sunday the 8th of November was Remembrance Sunday. Our Sunday walk, led by Joan, took us round many of the key memorials to the fallen of the World Wars and recent conflicts, and to be within earshot of Whitehall at 11 o’clock.
Although familiar with the TV coverage of the laying of wreaths and the parade I had never been to London for this day.
We gathered at 10 o’clock in time to see bands marching and playing to take up there positions. We went through St James park, saw the Royal cars heading towards Whitehall, and by 10.50 were at the Garden of Remembrance, an area set aside for individuals to who had taken part in conflict to be honoured with a simple wooden cross, with a poppy and there name and a message written on it. The leaves of autumn lay strewn amongst them. A small service was being held but many people were looking at the crosses. The larger regiments had sections for various campaigns. I looked for, and found, ‘The Royal Engineers’, the regiment one of my grandfathers had served.
In the distance could be heard the bands playing the familiar traditional music in Whitehall and at 11 o’clock Big Ben chimed, and the canon fired.
Silence and stillness descended. Visitors to our shores unaware of the moment walked briefly, then they too stood still. Then the second canon. And the trumpets played. And when they finished we gathered our thoughts together and continued our walk.
Just a few of the memorials we visited included The Canadian memorial, the New Zealand memorial, the Holocaust memorial, Royal Artillery, one of the newer memorials, Bomber Command, remembering not just the 55,573 RAF aircrew lost, but all those who were lost through bombing. I was once told that in one night more bomber crew could be lost than pilots in the Battle of Britain.
One cannot imagine the courage it would take to fly the missions. As it was said to me by the upper gunner on a Lancaster. ‘All I could see was searchlights and anti aircraft fire. And we were flying towards it.’
By the Thames, another of the new memorials, the Battle of Britain memorial, in memory of ‘the few’.
Battle of Britain Memorial
Towards the end of the walk we came to the Cenotaph, the Royal wreaths, now raised, wreaths of the Commonwealth, Politicians and other groups forming a sea of Red.
Throughout the day we saw many people of all ages proudly wearing their medals. Most too young to be in the second World War. Many clearly younger than those on our walk. Perhaps they were the most important part of the day. Because its not just remembering the past, but remembering the present.
Lest we forget
Regularly we enjoy an evening meal together at a local pub, and of course a 'Christmas Lunch'.. Have a look in 'Forthcoming events' for more details.
We look forward to seeing you.