The Vanguard Way

66 miles from the suburbs to the sea

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HOW IT ALL BEGAN

Inebriation

Beside Berwick station, in a quiet corner of East Sussex, lies a hostelry, now called the Berwick Inn.

The Berwick Inn The Berwick Inn 2008 Simon Carey at www.geograph.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back in the late 1960s it was called the Fullers Arms, then a rough-and-ready establishment with a wooden floor.  This was where members of the London based Vanguards Rambling Club used to gather after a hard day's walking on the nearby South Downs, on one of the ramblers' excursions by train, which were then in their heyday.  The Vanguards were hell-bent on downing as much as possible of the formidable apple wines produced by Messrs. Merrydown and Bob Luck within the half-hour or so between opening time and departure of the homeward train.  How the place reverberated with lusty singing and boots stomping on bare floorboards!  Many a lurid tale is still told of those journeys back to London.

So those who knew the Vanguards were in for a shock when this motley crew managed to establish one of the finest trails in southern England.

Vanguards outside East Croydon station in 1980
2009 Alan Smith

 

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2009 Colin Saunders