The Well Trodden Path – Chapter 4

Chapter 4 – The History of our first 100 years

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Chapter 4 – The History of our first 100 years

Harry Peach wrote a history of the first 25 years, in it he compared his generation to that of the giants from the early days of the Association. This was written in 1928 when the Leicestershire Footpath Association hosted the first National Conference for the Countryside which resulted in the formation of the Ramblers Association.

A report of the 8th annual meeting in 1895 was reported in the Leicester Daily Mercury and in 1947 the AGM believed that”Parish Councils are not fully conversant with all the public rights appertaining to their respective parishes,…….”

The Association printed posters offering a reward of £5.0.0 “To prevent damage to trees and ferns such as at Easter two years ago (1891) caused the Park (Bradgate) to be closed to the Public.

A booklet of Footpath Rambles with Maps was published in 1910 no doubt based on the detailed research that had gone into the publication in 1904 Footpath Map of Leicestershire.

During the Great War the local press published articles on rambles and after the war the LFA for the first time had a Rambling Section but in 1928 acknowledged that “While rambling is perhaps a lighter and less serious phase of the association’s activities,…….”.

Between the wars members of the Leicestershire Footpath Association were busy in other spheres. The Council for the Preservation of Rural England was the brainchild of H.H. Peach and in 1931 the Ramblers Association was inaugurated in Leicester with the LFA chairman W.H. Rippin it’s first chairman.

Lots of work was created for members by the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act of 1949 which required at long last a Definitive Map of rights of ways to be prepared. Here the 1904 Leicestershire map provided a foundation for the task.

The final section of this long chapter reports on the plans to create a 100 mile walk around the county to celebrate the Association’s centenary The Leicestershire Round. At that time Rutland was a reluctant part of Leicestershire so the route briefly passes through that county which is today proudly independent.


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