26 January 2013
Wilmot Wander Details
In the early 1970’s I took part in a circular walk around Nottingham that started and finished at Bramcote Hills School, crossing the River Trent at Sawley and Gunthorpe giving a total mileage of about 55 miles. Having taken part, from then on I felt a walk of a similar type around Derby would result in a very interesting walk.
In 1991 I concocted a route that was basically the same as the recently publicised ‘Derby Nomad Way’ but due to the high mileage plus excessive road walking I modified the route to the following :- Starting at the 27th Derby (Chaddesden) Scout Group headquarters in Meadow Lane cross Chaddesden Park to Locko Park, Spondon; The White Hart, Stanley; Morley; Bell & Harp, Little Eaton; The Bridge Inn, Duffield; Quarndon; Allestree; Mackworth; Radbourne; Mickleover; Burnaston; Toyota; Findern; Stenson; Swarkestone; Shelton Lock; Alvaston; Pride Park; finishing back at the 27th Scout headquarters in Meadow Lane, a distance of 32 miles.
The route was devised to provide a training opportunity for what were then Venture Scouts (16 – 21 age range) who were interested in taking part in some of the more arduous walks such as The Four Inns Walk and The Masters Hike.
Having settled on the route we (myself and Les Gaskin, a leader with the 27th, who unfortunately died in 2000) decided to introduce six checkpoints which we later reduced to five situated at ;- White Hart, Stanley; Bridge Inn, Duffield; Radbourne; rear of Toyota factory and Swarkestone. The next decision, a name, we decided on The ’Wilmot Wander’ as the 27th Derby Scout Group were started when Miss Constance Wilmot of Chaddesden Hall, whose family had lived in Chaddesden since the days of Edward the Confessor became so encouraged by Baden Powell’s ideas she persuaded the Vicar of St Mary’s Church to become the first Scoutmaster of the Group on 8th September 1912.
The first Wilmot Wander took place on 26th January 1992 and 82 members of the Scout Movement making up 20 teams most of which were from the Derby area but we did attract teams from the north of the county and neighbouring Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire. The fastest time on the day was 4 Hrs 32 Mins with six other teams completing the course in less than 10 Hrs.
The event has been run every year since, unfortunately the number of scouting teams taking part has declined but we decided to open the event to non scout walkers/runners and we have drawn in members from a variety of Fell Running Clubs, Running Clubs, Long Distance Walkers Association Groups and have now started accepting individual walkers/runners and now attract people from all over England with last year’s event attracting 140 individuals with a fairly even split between runners and walkers.
It was co-incidental that the first event took place in the Scout Group’s 80th year and therefore this year’s event takes place on Sunday 27th January, being the 21st event and follows the centenary year of The 27th Derby (Chaddesden) Scout Group.
It was always the intention of Les Gaskin and I to compile a guide to the route containing sketches of some of the more interesting locations on the route, of which there are several and sell to raise funds for the Group but with Les’s passing it was never attempted.
I would like to emphasise that although the success of the walk appears to be the competitive element there are several of the people that take part only do it to have a good walk and meet many like minded people and in some case return year after year to meet up with new found friends.
Like the Derby Nomad Walk , ‘The Wilmot’ is a walk that can be walked at any time of the year with easy access to a variety of starting/finishing points to enable shorter walks to be achieved.
Anyone interested in walking or running the 2014 Wilmot Wander can obtain information and entry form by email from firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would very much like to attract more teams from the Scout and maybe Guide Associations and possibly whet their appetites for the more challenging walks mentioned, if it is felt that a shorter route for scouts would be more attractive please feel free to put forward locations of feasible finish points, we are always open to suggestions on ways to improve the event.
Yours in scouting,
Bob Rogerson, Group Scout Leader, 27th Derby (Chaddesden) Scout Group.