Ealing Outdoor Club celebrates its 80th anniversary with a walk and a picnic

The Ealing Outdoor Club at Cader Idris at Easter in 1984. Image: Ealing Outdoor Club

Submitted by Ealing Outdoor Club

On July 24, Ealing Outdoor Club will celebrate its 80th anniversary with a walk and picnic in Gunnersbury Park in London’s Hounslow district.

The club was formed in 1941 by a group of men who worked at HMV Gramophone Co. (later to become EMI). They decided to form a walking and cycling club, affiliated with the Association of Youth Hostels.

Originally called the Ealing and District YHA Group and meeting at the Southall Youth Center, the club has since changed its name and no longer has a permanent meeting place.

Over the years the club has used Dormers Wells School, Labor Hall in Southall High Street and St Matthew’s Church Hall, Ealing Common.

In the beginning, the club had many enthusiastic members who gathered on a weekday evening for a “social”. Part of that evening would include planning the program, as they would go on a residential trip to a hostel every fortnight and organize walking and cycling trips in between weekends.

Public transport was plentiful and inexpensive, so it was the preferred way to get to your destination. When the trips were more distant, coaches were hired. Over the years transport – especially on Sundays – has become scarce and more and more members have started to have their own cars.

Today, carpooling is the norm for a Sunday stroll in the countryside. Before the pandemic, the club organized four or five residential stays each year, typically staying several nights in a hostel.

Recent locations have been: Lake District, South Downs, Cornwall, Pembrokeshire, Swaledale and the Peak District. There is a walk every Sunday, either fairly close to Ealing, or more often in the area to northwest London, usually within an hour’s drive.

New members are always welcome and the club can be contacted here.


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John McTaggart

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