HISTORY OF EGONS
The Exploration Group of North Somerset (EGONS) was officially formed in 1966 at the instigation of teacher Jeff Hague, inspired by his trips taking pupils caving, walking and scrambling both locally and further afield in North Wales and the Lake District.
Following the foundation meeting 24 February 1966, the club met on Thursday evenings (in Clevedon, Portishead and then Nailsea) so that members could find out about the following Sunday’s walk, and operated successfully for six years with a varied programme and regular away trips to all parts of the UK and also two continental trips. Membership numbers fluctuated between 30 and 60.
At the seventh AGM in September 1972 the climbers split from the group and formed the Avon Mountaineering Club (AMC).
From 1972 up to the early 1980s membership numbers fluctuated between 20 and 40. The Thursday evening meetings moved to Bristol where the majority of members were living.
Member numbers fluctuated during the mid-1980s and grew again in the 1990s. The club was thriving and there were foreign trips to the Ecrin Alps, Majorca and Eire and it affiliated with the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) on 14 January 1994.
The varied programme has continued into the 21st Century with a mixture of Sunday walks, weekends away (Brecons, Exmoor, Quantocks), an annual trip to Scotland (usually in the Spring) and the very popular Annual Dinner weekend each winter.
Foreign trips planned and programmed by members for members include trekking in the Himalayas (Everest Base Camp), Ethiopia, Vietnam, Cape Verde and Malawi and skiing in Italy.
Although the club is primarily a walking club, our events are all self-organised and the programme can include cycling and other outdoor activities.
The walks are varied and can be challenging at times, depending on the route and location selected by the volunteer organiser. The Thursday evening meeting has been superseded by emails and there is an event (sometimes two) scheduled almost every Sunday with evening walks followed by a pub meal in the longer summer evenings.
In addition to the regular programme, there are often pop-up walks or social events and our trips abroad (generally proposed and organised by individual members) are fully subscribed, often filling up within days of being offered. Weekend or longer camping trips can be anywhere in the UK.
The club continues to thrive with around 80 members spread widely in the Bristol and Bath catchment areas. Like the founders, the present EGONS members meet because of shared interests, and often become firm friends in the process. Join us!