The Peachland Trekkers walking club is a much smaller group now than before Covid but thanks to Bill Boos, there still are weekly walks. When deciding on a walk, Bill can look through years of walking history. Many years ago the club was called the Peachland Volksport and was a little more serious in nature. Volksport walking club members keep track of the miles walked on authorised walks. Our members decided on a more casual approach. The club had over a hundred members at one time and about forty turned up for the walks. Since the walks finished with a tea or coffee at a local restaurant or coffee bar, the problem was finding a place big enough. When Coffee Works existed, we used to go there but after they closed, it was a bigger issue. I remember many of the members from twenty years ago; lots of wonderful people. Some are no longer with us and others find walking more difficult. It was always about walking but the social aspect was very important as well.
One walk I remember very well was years ago on Mount Boucherie. We walked to the top but took a wrong turn on the way back. We were a group of about forty and there was discussion about what route to take for our return. Some back tracked to find the right way; others continued confident that there was a good path ahead. I was in the latter group and eventually we could see the car park we were heading for but there were houses and gardens in the way. We decided to ask one of the residents if we could go through his garden and across the back fence. Chris Byrd was also in that group and I remember him saying to me – “don’t mention the walking club, Eric”. Over the fence and we were back where we should have been. A count of members in the pub after the walk indicated that everyone made it back somehow. After that, the club walk leader, Steve Goldsmith, bought walkie-talkies to use on our walks. We started a system of having a walk leader and also someone at the back. We didn’t get lost again.
Growing up in England, I remember walking for pleasure but most of the walking was out of necessity. Shopping for groceries meant that we all carried a bag. Like most families in the 1950s, we had three options – walking, bicycles or wait for the bus. Walking was the most common result. As my mother would have said, “it was only a few miles”. Every road had proper sidewalks and you met lots of other people along the way. The street we lived on was a row of about thirty houses. Walking to the local shops meant walking past about twenty of those. It was a long walk; not in distance but in time. My mother would stop to talk to many of our neighbours. I can still name nearly all of those thirty families that lived on our street. It is not something most people could do today. Back then we had no family car and no TV; we were not short of time. An exciting day was down at my father’s allotment garden picking weeds. The magic of seeing things grow could never be forgotten. And walking there was no problem; it was only a mile.
submitted by Eric Hall