Tuesday 17 June 2014

Walking the Cotswold Way

Tina Sutton & Ray O'Hara from the Loco Department are walking all 102 miles of the Cotswold Way, from Bath to Chipping Camden, with a few extra miles thrown in for good measure back to Broadway and Laverton. The proceeds will go towards the rebuilding of  Broadway Station. Ray raised a superb amount of money for Broadway on his Coast to Coast walk last year. Please support this great initiative this year.

The following is an extract from the Loco Department Blog by Ray O'Hara....

And finally, last year, as you may remember, I did a sponsored walk in aid of the Broadway Station appeal, across the country from St Bees Head in Cumbria to Robin Hoods Bay in Yorkshire. You may also recollect that Tina, being a bit of a keen walker joined me for a couple of extra miles bolted on at the end, from Laverton to Broadway. Since then, she has somehow managed to twist my arm into doing something similar this year, only this time it would be a team event, open to all comers in the steam loco dept and this time it would be along the Cotswold Way instead of the Coast to Coast. The Cotswold Way is 102 miles of the best scenery that the Cotswolds has to offer, starting at Chipping Camden and ending at Bath Abbey.

A map of the route can be found here:

The Cotswold Way route

Once again, I have modified it slightly. Being a fan of the late and much lamented Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway, my plan is to start at Bath Green Park station (now a supermarket, so handy for getting in supplies), walk to Bath Abbey and then follow the Cotswold Way in reverse to Chipping Camden. Chipping Camden is of course not too far from Broadway, so to finish, we'd return to Broadway and then walk down the track bed as far as possible (given that the 5 bridges are now under repair) to Laverton, hopefully in time to catch a train back to Toddington.

The walk will start on Saturday July 26th and finish on Sunday August 3rd. That is a choice of dates that I now regret, as it will clash with the Diesel gala which will feature a Hymek, D7017 which will be visiting us form the West Somerset Railway. I have fond memories of diesel hydraulics from my dim and distant youth and will be sorry to miss it. 

GWSR Diesel Gala

Being intended as a team effort, an appeal was made to the members of the steam loco dept to join us. The usual list of pathetic excuses have been trotted out, to listen to them, you'd think that most of them are at death's door. A few have turned out to be quite keen though and we're expecting a number of people to join us for odd days here and there, but nobody else could manage to join us for the whole thing. 

A few practice walks have revealed that I am not as fit as I was last year, and that Tina doesn't like going up hills. Tina only has little legs, so that is understandable really. She does have a liking for Licorice Allsorts and a encyclopedic knowledge of plants and local history which she is more than keen to impart. I have decided that in addition to stout walking boots, my essentials for the journey will have to include ear plugs and a cattle prod a wizzy new app for my not so smart phone that can identify any variety of flora from just a photo and a week's year's supply of Licorice Allsorts. 

I imagine that you're wondering where you fit into all of this. As usual, the answer is that anybody who wishes to sponsor us in aid of the Broadway Station buildings appeal is more than welcome to do so. As last time, you can send a cheque to Steve Sperring:

Please send cheques to:
Steve Sperring (Fund Raising Director)
Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Railway
Toddington Railway Station
GL54 5DT 

Please make cheques payable to GWRT with ‘Tina Sutton and Ray O’Hara’ written on the back. 

There is something reassuringly antiquated as befits a heritage railway about posting off a cheque, however for those of you who are au fait with this new fangled interweb mularkey, you will find that you can now sponsor us online. Simply point your web browser at the following address and have your credit card details ready. If you are not up to speed with the interweb, but would like to use it anyway, simply locate a child under the age of 13 who will be only too pleased to assist, given an appropriate financial inducement.
Click here to donate online

NB, all proceeds go to the Broadway Station appeal, BTMydonate do not cream off a percentage

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