A HIKING club is celebrating 50 years of annual meetings at a Lake District hotel.

Among the original members of Girt Clog Climbing Club, formed by friends from the Birmingham and Solihull area in 1970, was comedian Jasper Carrott and rally driver Russell Brookes, who died in October last year.

And Carrott was among 37 ‘cloggies’ who once again gathered at the Cuckoo Brow Inn, Far Sawrey (formerly the Sawrey Hotel), for the club’s annual general meeting (AGM).

From an initial membership of around 10, Girt Clog’s ranks have swelled to more than 50. Many of the longest-serving members are in their 70s now, and have been joined at the club by their sons.

Meeting up is more difficult than it once was, with members living all over the country, but they still meet like clockwork at the Cuckoo Brow in February for the AGM.

To mark the weekend get-together this year, a number of the younger cloggies walked up Harrison Stickle, which is the first walk the founders did a half century ago.

Treasurer and founding member James Cook said: “My son said it was the hardest he had ever done. It was blowing an absolute gale.”

Chairman John Robinson, also a founding member, said: “This was our fiftieth anniversary so obviously we do not do the tough walks we used to but our sons have introduced mountain biking, jogging and running.”

The men who took part in the club’s initial sojourn to the Lake District in 1970 chose the Sawrey Hotel as it was the only place they could find open in February.

It was on this trip that the group was christened the Girt Clog Climbing Club, after the giant boot on display at The Queen’s Head Inn, Hawkshead, where the men met to discuss future plans over a pint.