Mary has had a distinguished career in academic nursing. She was brought up in Mansfield but left for London aged 18 to train as a nurse. She subsequently worked as a ward sister, a nurse teacher and a nursing academic in several London teaching hospitals and universities. She also spent some time working in Australia.
In the 1980s she took up a post in the University of Nottingham Medical School where she was involved with nursing and midwifery education and research. She was a founder member of Southwell Ramblers (where she met her husband, Peter). Mary tells us that she is now thoroughly enjoying retirement and living in Southwell.
Why did you join Ramblers?
I saw an advertisement in the local paper advertising a meeting to discuss the establishment of a new Ramblers’ group in Southwell. I went to the meeting out of interest, even though I didn’t own any walking boots and had never been rambling! Attending this meeting was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Not only was I introduced to the joys of walking but it was through the Southwell Ramblers that I met my husband!
How long have you been a member?
Where is your favourite walking destination?
I love walking in the Peak District. I am especially fond of the area around Hartington.
If you could walk anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
Nepal is one of the places where I have always wanted to walk. I am probably a bit too long in the tooth now to take on this challenge. But it is good to dream!
What is your most memorable walk?
Walking in the Cinque Terre in Italy was wonderful. There was a combination of sun and sea, hiking tracks that went through the national parks, amazing views, charming villages, good food and local wine. The walking was especially memorable when we were on footpaths that were off the beaten track as we encountered very few other walkers.
What is your most treasured piece of walking kit?
I broke my ankle a few years ago and since then my walking poles have become my ‘security blanket’. I may not always use them but I like to know that they are there if I need them, especially when walking over uneven ground
Have you ever got lost on a walk?
Many years ago I was on a walking holiday in the Pyrenees with a girlfriend. We came over the top of the mountain and found ourselves in thick fog. We were unable to locate any identifying features. So, we were very unsure where we were. By the time we reached the valley bottom it was dark and the hotelier where we were staying had come out to look for us. We were very relieved to see him
Who would be your ideal walking companion(s)?
Claire Balding would be a fascinating and charming walking companion. I enjoy listening to her Radio programme Ramblings. So I know that she is a keen walker who is interested in the country side and that she has a good sense of humour. Plus, she is bound to have a wealth of fascinating experiences to talk about.
How do you relax?
Gardening and reading a good book.
What is your favourite meal?
Anything that I haven’t cooked myself
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Chocolate and red wine
What music would you like played at your funeral?
I have no idea. I haven’t had time to consider such a thing!
Sum up your personality in three words
Outgoing, friendly and reliable