EVESHAM Rambling Club is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year.

The club started in 1947 when Dudley Hughes and Leon Butler decided to establish a rambling club in Evesham.

Shortly after the Second World War and with rationing still a fact of life, they soon attracted a number of similar minded people to walk the countryside around the town and surrounding counties.

Cars were a luxury and many walks relied on public transport to carry ramblers to the start point and then home again from the end of the walks.

On some occasions walks were split into three parts with breaks for lunch and tea, and completion in the dark.

Moonlight walks and treasure hunts were also arranged.

It was not long before the club ventured further afield with weekends away in Wales, the Peak District, on Dartmoor and Exmoor - a tradition the club still carries on today.

Photographs taken at the time show men with collars, ties and jackets whilst the ladies frequently wore skirts.

Over the years, fashions have changed but the ethos on which the club was founded remains.

Today the club has an active walking contingent with almost 90% of its members enjoying the rambles organised three times a month and led by club members.

The walks are varied in length to cater for all tastes and abilities. In addition, the club organises trips away, both in the UK and abroad.

Recent trips include Germany, the Dolomites and the Lake District. In June, the club is off to Jersey.

The club has always been involved in the Evesham community, whether through working parties replacing damaged stiles and footbridges or taking part in the Evesham Carnival.

The club holds several cups awarded for the best display in its class at past carnivals.

To commemorate its 70th year, the club has decided to establish a circular walk around Evesham and has recently heard that it has been awarded funding to allow completion.

Working parties have already been out preparing parts of the route.

Once established, it is hoped to publish further walks in the immediate area, with the aim to obtain 'Walkers are Welcome' accreditation for the town.

To celebrate the founding of the club, members are gathering on Sunday May 7 for a variety of activities including a long walk, a shorter walk, a boat trip and finally, a celebration tea.

Members, past and present, will have an opportunity to recall memories of rambles undertaken and talk about the characters that have provided such a rich history for the club.