Saturday, 1 August 2009

Kelmarsh Hall 25-26 July 2009

Welcome to the Fairfax Battallia, the officers in their yellow buff coats, the musket block, the drummers and fifers, and finally the pikemen.

To join in with the Battalia at this event was why I pushed myself to finish on Friday 24 July. We had an excellent turn out with quite a few new members. Was it worth it? You bet it was. Marching onto the battlefield with the sound of drums and fife floating over the top was just magical. The Battallia was professional, smart and just awesome.
After 69 days of walking and this event - wearing period footwear - I still failed to receive any blisters on my feet.

But it wasn't all military battles. Afterwards the Battallia got together for a BBQ. It was time for us to wind down and relax with good food & drink and excellent company.

Everyone was full of support and passed on words of congratulations. It was all very humbling as it began to dawn on me the true level of support that was behind me, not just within the Battalia but throuthout the English Civil War Society (ECWS). For that I am truly grateful.

After the BBQ came the beer tent, and all the joviality that followed is just a true reflection on the character and spirit of re-enactment. This picture is of a gent dressed as Darth Maul, but there were others, Storm troopers, Super Heroes, Cartoon figures and even Santa on his sliegh giving out Christmas presents.

Howard Giles introduced me to the masses where I explained who I was and what I had just achieved. We took a collection in the beer tent afterwards and raised another £305.85. The next day, as ECWS members left, another collection took place by the Essex Regiment which will be added later.

All-in-All everyone had a stonking great time. So if you like history and feel like joining a re-enactment group, get out there and get involved. If you're not sure who to approach then drop me an email at and I'll see if I can get you in touch with someone that might help.
But the best... well for me anyway was yet to come. On the Sunday just before the final grand parade, I was taken by the Battallia CO to meet JT (Lord General of the Kings Army) who presented me with a pair of 17th century shoes in recognition of my efforts. This was humbling enough and yet when formed up with the Battallia the Lord General of the Roundhead Association presented me with the DUNBAR medal, the highest form of award in the Roundhead Asociation. On both accounts I am deeply grateful and offer my most sincere thanks.

Finally, here's a gentleman (and his lady) I'd like you to meet.

No, NOT Shrek, but the man under the paint job.

He's had a Help for Heroes tattoo done on his leg. His name's Andy Robinson (or Champion to his friends). This is the fourth time I'd run into a H4H fundraiser during my journey and I've realised there are a whole lot more of you out there! :-)

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Day 69 - Celebrations at Lands End

Sorry it's been a while since I last blogged but I've been so fatigued it has taken time to pluck up the energy and motivation to get back on the pc; my body has more or less gone into shut down mode.
This is me enjoying a well earned Cornish pastie with my son Thomas and a drop of the bubbly stuff. The total raised for the week 10 leg of the journey is £283.89 moving me over the £12,000 barrier, so thank you very much.
Tonight I intend to add a further blog giving details of Kelmarsh, then over the next fortnight I will add a couple more blogs where I will give out details such as stats for the journey and lessons learned. So please keep coming back and don't forget the justgiving site remains open for donations until October.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Day 69 - Lands End 1.jpg

Well my friends, my walk is finally reached it end. But don't stop viewing because there will still be Kelmarsh photos to come.

Paula found me 2 miles from my destination and Thomas took the opportunity to walk the final stretch just as he did when I set out back on the 17 May.

With Thomas in tow I arrived at Lands End as predicted at 1200 on the dot. I was met by friends and family who applauded me as I reached the recognized start/stop point. I then went to the hotel to hand in my paperwork so that I can be credited with doing the walk. After that I made my way to the signpost for an official photo.

My great aunt Ethel (Who at 92 still drives), is a shining example of how to live life, provided Cornish pasties and Paula provided scones and Cornish cream.
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Day 69 - Penzance Harbour 1.jpg

Day 69 (24 July)(1 day to go - ie LAST DAY)
I arrived at Penzance Harbor just before 0800. Today is the last leg of my great big adventure. I'm a little sad about that but I'm also glad because it has been tough going. I hope Paula can cope with my swings in emotions over the next few days as I come down of a high.

I spoke with BFBS again this morning, probably giving my best interview so far.

So its one final push now... As I write this I'm only 6 miles from finishing.
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Thursday, 23 July 2009

Day 68 - St Michaels Mount.jpg

A well known tourist sight... St Michael's Mount. After the radio interview I continued on to Penzance passing by a spot where I was able to get this photo.

I was also met by a member of the press release office of RNAS Culdrose. He took some notes and some photos... especially when I was handed a donation. He was also amazed at how many people were beeping their horns.

I arrived in Penzance at 1645 which allows me a decent amount of time to rest and prepare for my final walk tomorrow to Lands End (10 miles).
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Day 68 - Shaun & Beverley Emmett (radio Cornwall).jpg

Apparently over the past few days people have been ringing into Radio Cornwall stating that they have seen a 17C soldier walking along the A30. This in turn has led to an interested phone in as to what its all about. Well, today I was passed by Shaun and Beverly Emmett who, on seeing me pulled over, they rang Radio Cornwall and then stopped me so that I could inform all the listeners as to what I'm doing. Well, I thought I was getting a lot of waves and horn beeps before, afterwards nearly every other vehicle said hello. Thank you Shaun and Beverley and thank you Radio Cornwall.
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Day 68 - Redruth Tin Mines.jpg

Day 68 (23 July) (2 days to go)
Today's photo is of a well know type of Cornish landmark, the chimneys of the tin mines.

Having made Redruth last night I'm really starting to buzz at the prospect of finishing in time for Kelmarsh. Colin dropped me off again at 0830 by the main roundabout North of Redruth on the A30. There I was again plodding along, alone on a busy dual carriage-way. It was only a matter of time before the police came and said hello.

Apparently someone had rung the police and informed them that there was a 17C soldier walking along the A30. So out of curiosity a police car dropped by to see what it was all about. He informed me that I was quite alright, as I was walking on the correct into the flow of traffic, and he should a genuine interest in what I am attempting to do. Apparently its not only the police who have been talking about me...(see the next blog)
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