A WALKING club is stepping out to celebrate its centenary this month.

Bolton Holiday Fellowship Club is holding a special luncheon to mark its 100th anniversary, during which it look back at its rich history.

Club President Hazel Markland and other members will give speeches – and a raffle will be held in aid of the Samaritans.

Club secretary and publicist, Elizabeth Burns, has been a member for seven years.

She said that one of the reasons the club has been so successful is because it “bands people together, and there is something for everybody”.

Elizabeth said: “I think the thing that keeps me going on the clubs rambles is the fact that it combines physical and mental wellbeing, through fresh air, social interaction, and physical exertion.

“I am sure these three things have sustained the club over the years.”

The history of the club can be traced back to 1891, when Thomas Arthur Leonard founded two open air organisations, with the first being country-wide Holidays Association in 1891, and its subsequent offshoot, the Holiday Fellowship in 1913.

The Bolton Holiday Fellowship initially started in 1922, which was part of a movement breaking away from the church aspect of the group, and to help mine and mill workers in polluted areas, get out and enjoy the countryside.

The club- which is ran by volunteers - continues to organise holidays for the group, along with lunches, dinners and other social activities.

Elizabeth said: “It’s a great way for people to make friends and get out in the fresh air and have a chat.

“I have also learned a lot about the history as a member, that I didn’t know before.

“If you asked me prior to joining if I could walk eight miles, I would have said no.

“But you end up talking throughout the walk, and before you know it, you’ve completed it.”

In addition, to commemorate the 100 years, a further charitable donation will be given to support rambling for young disabled people in Bolton.

There will also be a commemorative walk on May 22, which will be led by the volunteers, with breaks for sandwiches and chance for a chat.

The special lunch - for members only - will take place on Sunday, January 30 at 1pm at Ridgmont House in Horwich.