Published: 11:00, 23 April 2014
The weather could almost be mistaken for summer at times recently, and what better way to enjoy it than with a few hours’ guided walk?
That’s why What’s On has teamed up with seasoned expert Geoff Ettridge to offer a series of free-to-enter rambles over the coming months.
Each one has been carefully planned not only to take in some fascinating
locations but also to look back on the part that First World War played on the Kent landscape.
Geoff said: “My series of What’s On walks for 2014 will take us to the places across the county that formed part of our defensive home front, as well as those that felt the devastating impact of the war.
“I will be leading walks, not delivering lectures. I will, though, recount stories of people, places and events linked to the particular places we will pass through.
“My hope is that the walks will bring some connection with historical events that will be covered extensively by documentary makers over the next four years.
“The walks – which take place on Saturdays throughout the year – will be enjoyed by those who just want to walk, those who are curious about local history.
“All the walks are free but there will be a collection at the end for the Royal British Legion.”
Saturday, April 26 departing at 10am
A 5.5-mile circular walk from Gravesend Railway Station
Walk themes: The walk will pass the point where troops marched into Gravesend across the Thames, and will end by following the route of the Zeppelin that dropped bombs on Gravesend on June 4 and 5, 1915, the commander having mistaken Gravesend for Harwich.
Geoff says: “On the walk stories will be recounted about the real-life Voluntary Aid Detachments (VADs), The Roses of No Man’s Land, the hospitals of Gravesend, and a barking forerunner of radar. This is largely an urban walk that demonstrates that interesting walks can be found around towns and do not necessarily involve a lot of travel, wading through mud or encountering curious cows.”
Geoff Rambler’s real name is Geoff Ettridge but as an accomplished and well-known walking leader, the nickname stuck. Geoff has led walks for more than 10 years and is the writer of the books Heroic Yomps and Rambles and Ramblings, which raised money for Combat Stress and Kent Air Ambulance respectively.
This 2014 series of walks, based on the First World War theme, will feature in his upcoming book If Walks Could Talk, due to be published in May. All proceeds will support the Royal British Legion in Kent. Visit www.geofframbler.co.uk
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