Below if the cross-stich that is displayed in St. Mary's Church, Purley-on-Thames



With my children off to school I found I had time to explore more of the local area on foot, but the safety issue stood in my way. A small advert in the local Parish Magazine, asking for any ladies who would like to walk now and then for company and safety, resulted in 40 replies in 2 weeks, and 100 replies in a few months!

I wrote a poem about the experience.

The bluebells beckoned from the wood,
The sun, it shone so bright.
I headed up to Sulham,
But there I stood in fright.

How dark the woods to enter.
Was someone lurking there?
I wanted so much to carry on,
But felt I didn’t dare.

How cruel society it seemed,
To rob me of my pleasure.
I slowly headed back to home,
My fears to put asunder.

You see, an idea had come to mind
I’ll not be beaten yet!
There must be ladies just like me,
Who, alone, won’t walk, I bet!

So an article for the Parish News,
Was sent to print in May.
Then the ‘phone began to ring….
And ring….and ring….I say!

There are others out there just like me,
Who fear to walk alone.
So Purley Pathfinders was born,
And from strength to strength has grown.

Our first walk was on May 11th,
As a group, found nought to fear,
As we made our way through Sulham Wood,
Admired the bluebells, met a deer.

So as we enter the new millennium,
Members, one hundred, we will be!
And all because I saw a ‘stranger’,
Silly me!!………It was just a tree!!

Nicki Woodward