Peak & Northern Footpaths Society (est.1894)

Our Thanks to Hilda Bowler

David Gosling (Footpath Inspection Co-ordinator)

This article is from Signpost 53, February 2017

Hilda Bowler and her husband Peter were long-standing volunteers at Taylor House. Hilda was already a key team member when David Bratt became Chair in 2004. He remembers her support when he began the PNFS walks programme. Since then she has been in charge of recording footpath faults until her retirement just before Christmas.

Receiving and responding to fault reports is not easy, but Hilda dealt systematically and conscientiously with everything, from long rambling letters in spidery handwriting needing the skills of a Bletchley Park code-breaker to decipher, to finding missing path numbers and grid references, before passing the report to the faults team. And she did this with good humour and immense patience. When a broken wrist prevented her from being at Taylor House, the backlog size bore testament to the volume of work she normally got through on a Monday.

Many volunteers, especially inspectors, saw Hilda as their first point of contact with the Society. David Hurrell remembers her asking ‘Can you a read a map?'. Answering 'yes' was enough for him to become an inspector. Hilda liked to meet new inspectors, kept meticulous records about each one and was always available to assist them. She has asked that we pass on her thanks to all those that she has worked with over the years and says that she has appreciated their support.

Sue Clarke, who worked with her says: 'Hilda was endlessly patient and helpful - it was a privilege to work with her over the years'. Terry Norris added: ‘She always made time for a pleasant informative chat’ and David Bratt says, ‘Hilda is one lovely lady and TH without her (and Peter) is the poorer’.

We will certainly miss Hilda, and we appreciate the huge contribution she has made to the functioning of the Society for more than a decade. Thank you, Hilda.


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