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Paths champion Gordon steps down

Gordon Sencicle is presented with his framed print of Kent by White Cliffs Ramblers chairman Margaret Lubbock
Gordon Sencicle is presented with his framed print of Kent by White Cliffs Ramblers chairman Margaret Lubbock

Twenty-five years of campaigning to keep footpaths open and maintained has come to an end for Gordon Sencicle, of Alfred Square, Deal.

Now 79, Gordon has decided the time has come for him to step down as east Kent footpaths officer for The Ramblers.

Gordon’s area takes in 17 parishes in the Dover-Deal area, stretching from Dover to Worth, Tilmanstone and Whitfield.

A former chemist who spent eight years working for Pfizer at Sandwich, he is founder member and former president of the East Kent Rambling Club (started in 1958) and a founder member of the White Cliffs Ramblers (started in 1989). To thank him for his dedicated work, Gordon was presented with a framed print of a map of Kent at the White Cliffs Ramblers’ annual general meeting, held at St Margaret’s Hall.

The presentation was made by group chairman Margaret Lubbuck, who said: “Gordon has done more than any other rambler in east Kent to keep footpaths open.”

Over the 25 years Gordon, who was also a Deal town councillor for three years, has campaigned relentlessly to keep footpaths open and properly maintained. This has meant him continually walking the paths, reporting obstructions and contacting the county council to make sure work has been carried out.

He has looked into scores of path diversion proposals, agreeing to those he has considered reasonable and objecting to those he feels are not acceptable.

He has attended 15 public inquiries, representing The Ramblers and giving evidence at six of them and giving expertise at the other nine. One of the highlights of his 25 years was giving evidence, with other members of The Ramblers, at a three-day court hearing to keep open a footpath at Capel which the county council wanted to close. Gordon said: “The judge ruled that the path should stay, so we saved it.”

Gordon is not completely giving up his campaigning. He remains Thanet correspondent for the Open Spaces Society, and he is not totally quitting footpath work.

He said: “I’ll still try to keep an eye on paths in the areas where I know there are problems.”

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