Way back in 1953…
The All Year Ramblers Club was founded in 1953 by William Hume, who also organised walks in the Pentland Hills and elsewhere through the pages of the Edinburgh Evening News. It received its name because at that time it was unusual for rambling clubs to operate during the winter months, with the inclement weather and reduced daylight.
From the outset an extensive programme of Sunday walks was produced, together with weekend meets, camping trips, evening walks and social events. Members came from all walks of life, and few at that time owned a car. However, the extensive public transport network of the 1950s and 1960s allowed the club to develop a programme of linear walks based on Sunday public bus services and gave the club a ‘bus ethos’ that it has never lost.
The Lothians, Pentlands and Borders were within easy reach of Edinburgh, so these areas quickly became the heartland of our activities. As members became more ambitious and Sunday bus services declined, buses were hired from Hunter of Loanhead which allowed us to plan walks further afield. In particular, the road improvements of the 1970s and 1980s enabled us to penetrate further north, and Highland destinations gained in popularity. A number of founder members remained active in the club during this period, in particular Isobel Grubb (secretary) and her husband Wilfrid; and Stuart Wilson who had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Borders countryside.
Membership expanded during this time, and now approaches two hundred. Latterly the progressive withdrawal of Sunday morning bus services in rural areas has led to much greater reliance on contract buses, which allow us to offer walks of various grades of difficulty, as well as contributing to the social aspect of Sunday walks. Today, the mainstay of the Club remains the Sunday bus, but we also arrange midweek walks, social events, weekend meets (especially over the Edinburgh holiday), and even the occasional foreign holiday.