Many of our members will be very saddened to hear that Alan Wales died on Saturday. Alan, together with his wife, Margaret, was a founder member of East Surrey Ramblers, when it was formed in 1983 as an offshoot of Croydon Ramblers, where they had both been members since 1979.
For many of our group's early years Alan was the Rambles Organiser (now the two roles of Walks Coordinator and Walks Administrator) and his wife Margaret was the Membership Secretary. Although we had a simpler walks programme in the early years, of just one long weekend walk and the fortnightly linear walks, this was in the days before the introduction of our first website and email distribution in the "noughties". As a result, it still involved a fair amount of manual work, chasing leaders for walks and getting out our Quarterly Walks Programme on Margaret's home typewriter. Alan also used to arrange club walking holidays and was one of the two members who for many years organised the routes and logistics for the Wednesday linear walks.
Alan was always a regular walker but, due to age and infirmity, he has probably not walked with us now for over 5 years, so may not be known to newer members. However, until recently he and Margaret still came to some of the social events, and both came to all the Walking Wounded tea parties to meet up with old friends. Alan will be fondly remembered as a gentle and friendly person who would make every effort to welcome new members on their first walk. He was certainly one of the enthusiastic pioneers who helped to get our club up and running successfully and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Alan's funeral will take place at Croydon Crematorium at 12 noon on Thursday 22nd March. Margaret has asked for family flowers only, but said that donations to Alan’s preferred charity RNLI would be very welcome. Margaret would prefer friends attending Alan’s funeral not to wear black, but to wear colours to celebrate Alan's life.
Our deepest condolences go to Margaret and the family.
Alan walking the Dalesway in 2004.