In late May members of The Chilli Club set out on the short journey from Burnley to Barley, near Pendle Hill, for a picnic. The idea for the picnic had come from a consultation day, as, although members of the club live in close proximity, are of similar age and share many interests, it’s very difficult for them to get together as a big group.
As we found out this was the first time some of the women had ever been to the countryside and even those ladies who had travelled to similar places with family and friends before, this was the first time they had ventured to walk in the countryside.
Some of the older members had a number of serious health conditions but took part in the walk anyway, even though it was up a steep hill. They paced themselves and supported each other to take rest breaks when necessary. One member fashioned walking sticks from pieces of branches she had found to help them.
During the walk some of the ladies found plants growing wild that she had eaten back in Bangladesh, so all the women got involved in a little wild foraging.
There was time too for members to swap stories as they walked. One shared a story about the Pendle Witches, as part of the route we walked was the same that the Pendle Witches had taken on the way to their trial in Lancaster in the 17th Century.
We all returned to the park and laid out a picnic of home-made food as prepared by all the different members. Some of the ladies got up especially early to cook the food for their friends. The feast included: lentil pakoras, fried chickpeas, biryani, chicken kebab, nooror bora, veg, chicken pakora, fruit, cake, biscuits, tea and coffee.
Everybody talked about how much they had enjoyed their day and would like to do a similar outing again. Everyone had a relaxed enjoyable time in the sunshine, some even had a nap before going home on the coach.