. City of Birmingham Ramblers - Annual Tom Clark Walk

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Our activities > Walking > Special walks > Annual Tom Clark Walk

Tom Clark was a valued member of the Group for many years until his death in the late 1990's. Long standing members will remember the slightly built but wiry figure, short in stature but of a generous and stout hearted nature. He was out on nearly all rambles, and enjoyed collecting the coach fares every Sunday. He led many rambles, starting in the 1970's, and was a valued committee member for many years until illness got the better of him. He always made new members welcome on the coach and was instrumental in including long distance walks in our programme, running the YHA weekends, and introducing the Group to our friend in the Forest of Dean, John Foley.

Tom was a great friend of John's, and was a regular member of his industrial archaeology and transport group, which is still going strong. For many years, John has organised and led walks covering the Birmingham canal navigations, including full descriptions of the associated industrial history, of which he is an acknowledged expert. Tom Clark thought that John's style of leadership would be welcomed by our Ramblers' Group, and consequently arranged a series of rambles led by John, both in the Forest of Dean, where he is also well versed, and around the Black Country and surrounds.

Tom was taken seriously ill on a Group holiday to Ireland in 1996 and died some months later from prostate cancer.

John Foley has continued to lead us in the Forest of Dean every year, and to continue his exploration of the canal system in and around Birmingham. These walks have been dedicated in memory of Tom since his death. They allow those that knew him to drink a toast to absent friends. Tom, like many of us, enjoyed the occasional pint of real ale, and was always at the pub first on a Sunday to buy the first round. John Foley's canal-based walks recognise this by usually including two or three Black Country pubs where we can enjoy a pint. Long may the tradition continue!

Please see also a short account of the 2013 walk.

This page was up to date on 01/04/2017.