After a decade of leading weekly walks across destinations in Ripon and beyond, 80-year-old Peter Liddle still takes it all in his stride.
The Dudley Walk resident was “dragged in” to ressurect the Age UK weekly walking club for over 50s in 2003 – and has never looked back.
“I organise lots of walks with the blind and I was known as a keen walker so I was dragged in to it,” laughs Peter, who has not missed more than six walks since he co-founded the healthy walks club ten years ago.
The group – which meets every Monday outside Ripon library at 10am – complete a variety of low, medium and high intensity walks, tailored to different abilities.
The Ripon walks are graded by a heart system, with one heart signalling an easy pace walk of 45-60 minutes on flat ground, and three hearts showing a steady walk of up to two hours with some inclines.
“It a great way to maintain good health,” Peter tells the Gazette.
Describing the hardy group of walkers he leads every week, Peter says, “We always meet at the same place every Monday morning, whether there is hail, rain, wind or snow.
“Everyone just puts on their strong shoes and gets out there.”
Peter says not even the recent bout of heavy snowfall could dissuade his eager walkers from pounding the district’s streets.
“The snow has been one of the biggest challenges,” he admits.
“But we know how to deal it now.”
And for Peter the biggest perk of strolling around Ripon for a decade with a group of up to 35 fellow walking enthusiasts is the friendly company.
“It all about social integration,” says Peter, who used to run a carpet shop in Ripon before retiring 19 years ago.
“We always finish up with a cup of tea at the end,” he says.
“A lot of the walkers are retired and it gives them some structure to the week.”
l If you would like to join Age UK healthy walks, contact Peter on 01765 602256. Routes include town and around, Valley Gardens, North Bridge, Masham, South Stainley, Pateley Bridge, Ripley and Ripon canal.