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Arthur's obituary notes

posted 25 Jan 2018, 07:12 by Ralph Burtonshaw   [ updated 25 Jan 2018, 07:13 ]

As requested here is Arthur's obituary to Mike Berry published elsewhere.

In memory of Mike Berry


I first met Mike 25 years ago when he was charged, with others from the Southend (S.E.Essex) Ramblers, to form a new group, which became the Rochford and Castle Point Ramblers. I became its first joining member and part of its founding committee. Mike already had 20 years of experience with the Ramblers and he led the formation of the group in the same way that he led his walks, well prepared and high standards, and where he was fully in control. He and I introduced a new style of walks programme including the Tuesday walk which has remained so popular. From the outset he was determined not to rival S.E. Essex, but to complement it, and he remained an active member of that group.

He held several positions, including chairman for 21 years, then unable to carry on because of illness. But in every position it was Mike fully in charge! Throughout those years Mike was also an active member of Essex Area and it was fitting that he should lead the first leg, Hadleigh to Hockley, of the new Essex Area Walk, H 2 S to mark the Olympic Games 2012. He attended numerous public enquiries about the status of footpaths. Mike not only encouraged others to lead walks he also participated in them and would take over from any leader unable to do their walk. Notably, following the successful Peddars Way, led by Chris Lewis, taking on the North Norfolk Path when Chris became ill! And assisting the late Christine Parr, then terminally ill, on her last walk.

Under his leadership the Group organised many other long distance (by stages) walks including the Grand Union Canal, London to Birmingham with all of its arms; The Thames Walk, The Kennett and Avon Canal, The London Loop; and The Capital Ring, all in addition to the weekly walks throughout Essex and beyond. Mike participated in almost every one of them and, as always, with his loving wife Barbara by his side!

Mike had many qualities including being thoroughly professional and responsible with a keen eye to detail. Perhaps his greatest strength, which served him and our Group well, was his support of others when he knew they were doing a good job, and his uncanny knack in persuading others to take office and lead walks.

Our Group was all the better for having Mike and we were privileged to have him as our friend and walking companion. God Bless you Mike.


Arthur Cooke