VICE President George Bourne opened our meeting on 12 January with a warm welcome for David Beckley of Pershore, a potential new member.

We were honoured this week to have William Reddaway of Cheltenham as our guest speaker. William and his horse Strider completed a 2,700 mile trek, alone and without backup, round England in 2013. They raised over £80,000 for the Family Holidays Association and the Wormwood Scrubs Pony centre charities.

With warmth, humility and quiet humour, and aided by visual images, William described how he and Strider had set off in May 2013. By December that year they had visited 30 cathedrals, including Gloucester, Carlisle, Durham, St Albans, Canterbury, Salisbury, Exeter and Truro and had stayed at 138 different places.

William could not of course ride Strider for every mile of their trek, but as Strider unfortunately developed a saddle sore en route, this meant that William ended up walking many more miles than he had intended. He explained that the most difficult part of the journey had been managing the logistics of the venture, particularly to ensure that Strider’s every need was catered for. He was full of praise and thanks for the support he received from the many people along the way.

However, they both completed their epic adventure fitter and more relaxed than when they had set off. William is happy to relate his experiences to others.

Following questions, Steve Sanders thanked William and said how very special this talk had been and how much we had all enjoyed it.

We next meet on 19 January with a History of Iron followed by Aircraft Preservation on 26 January.