Saturday, 11 July 2009

Re: Phil Webb's enquiry 'When am I near Dorset?'

This week I continue southwards to Old Chipping Sodbury, then start to curve round south-west towards Crediton (well on the way towards Cornwall - the 'land of my fathers').

Day 55/56 - Tewkesbury Medieval Festival 11/12 July

I've had a number of enquiries this week about whether I'll be in Tewkesbury for this event. Unfortunately I've passed through already.

When I started re-enacting some 20 odd years ago I was a member of the Lion Rampant - see us posing above - ( We've stayed in touch ever since and a number of friends will therefore be there.

"Tewkesbury Medieval Festival is Europe's largest free annual medieval battle re-enactment and fayre." And is well worth a visit. Go to for more details.

Day 54 - The New Inn - Gloucester 2.jpg

The New Inn - Gloucester, my stay here is being funded by Lucy and her fellow SK reenactors Thank you, it is a lovely venue.

My sore throat has got to the point where after I booked in at The New Inn I went to a walk-in doctors clinic to see if they could give me something to help shift it. Apparently its not reached my chest yet so I can't get any antibiotics, instead I've been advised plenty of rest and Ibuprofen. The Ibuprofen I can do, the rest... well we'll see.

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Day 54 - Lucy Jefferies, Kat Atkins (SK SMG James Carr's Rgt of Foote).jpg

On my travels today I passed a gypsy camp of 6 good old fashioned gypsy wagons. They must have had a dozen horses or so. I spent a little time talking with some of them and they were truly nice people, just happy traveling along minding their own business and very friendly.

I arrived in Gloucester at 1400 and was met by Lucy and Kat of James Carr's Rgt of Foot: (Sealed Knot). As you can see, both were dressed in period clothing. We got some strange looks as we walked through the city to the docks but Hey its been a long time since I worried about that.

At the docks we posed for the photo then went for a coffee where we sat outside and talked awhile.

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Thursday, 9 July 2009

Day 54 - Jane Baalam (Throckmorton).jpg

Last night Jane and Nick took me to the Nottingham Arms for a meal where I met other members of a medieval group known as 'Throckmorton', who are very friendly and full of life. Thanks for great night folks.

Jane and Nick Baalam have been very supportive and have made me very welcome into their home. Thank you.

Yet again I am humbled at the way people have taken me in, dried my kit, mended my kit, fed me, watered me, and provided a bed for the night.

Today I walk to Gloucester where I will meet up with Lucy Jefferies of the Sealed Knot.

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Day 53 - Tewkesbury Abbey.jpg

Day 53 (08 July)

I'm really quite glad I've moved my route to the A38 because -you guessed it - it's raining! If I was on the river front I may well have been in trouble.

Anyway, Jane dropped me off in Kempsey and I had a fairly uneventful walk into Tewkesbury. Unless of course you count the utter downpour. There is a trend here isn't there: me, walking, rain. Top Tip: don't walk with me. ;-) Mind you I did get to hide from the rain for a short while when I passed a roadside cafe. They invited me into the van during a burst of rain, thanks folks.

I arrived at Tewkesbury at 1415 and had a quick drink in Ye Olde Black Bear. I then walked down to the Abbey and had a look around. It is beautiful and just makes you feel humble. I took a few photos and hopefully Paula will put them on Flicker for you. Really you need to visit for yourself. I took the opportunity to light a candle for my mum and Paula's... emotional.

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Day 52 - Graham Evans.jpg

As I left Worcester along the Severn Way I met Lock Keeper Graham Evans. It only turns out that he is the brother-in-law of Julia Timmins, who I stopped with last weekend. Coincidence or what?

As I continued down the Severn the rain came down again. Unfortunately I lost my footing due to the wet and went crashing down. Part of the pathway is closed due to subsidence. "Err should I really be trying this? If I fall in I won't be getting out.... I know the answer: I'm playing it safe and heading for the A38," where Jane Baalam will pick me up at Kempsey.

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Day 52 - BFBS - Mark Hearn, Rosie Laydon, Karim Kronfli.jpg

Today was a wonderful boost for my morale. I was met by an old friend Karim and BFBS (British Forces Broadcasting Service) with a wooden goblet and a bottle of champagne to celebrate reaching the £10,000 mark.

We did a bit of filming, an interview and lunch. It was quite relaxed and good humored. Let's hope it will generate more interest. I was at least able to say how much support there is out there for the armed services.

Now here's the thing. Last night I discovered my mileage mistake. I was going from one map to another and hadn't noticed my start point today was on both maps. So instead of 13 miles today my route is now just 8 miles, so I intend to push on and drive down a little of tomorrows walk.

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Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Day 52 - Cindy Holton - Holt Fleet.jpg

I arrived at Holt Fleet last night at 1900. I was tired and a little miserable because of the constant raining. Not paying too much attention to my map I began to pass by the bridge where Cindy Holton (Fairfax - ECWS was due to meet me. In fact if it wasn't for her daughter Lil shouting down to me I would have continued along the wrong path, because the path I should have been taking transfers to the other side of the river.

Anyway no harm done and I was so relieved to see Cindy because it marked the fact that the days walking was finally over.

Cindy was lovely and managed to dry out all my clothes. She even managed to get the boots fairly dry - tough going since they were swimming in water yesterday. Thank you Cindy for looking after me.

Today however is another day. Yes it is raining but only drizzle... at the moment. I need to get to Worcester by 1200 because I am meeting a BFBS film crew (

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Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Day 51 - Bewdley - Stourport (Severn Way).jpg

Not all pathways provide clear and easy walking as you can see. After leaving Bewdley we headed down the Seven Way only to be confronted with an overgrown path and a fallen down tree. Still we fought on and despite the heavy shower finally made Stourport by 1600.

What was also problematic was the fact that whilst walking through some of the woodland trails some of the markers had been removed. When you add rain its easy to take the wrong path. Which we did on one occasion but to no major loss in the planned route as it came out on the same road just a little further away.

Washy and I parted ways at Stourport, as Angel (Winchesters ECWS had arrived to give him a lift. So I then forged on the last 6 miles to Holt Heath. The weather was now clearing but the path was still much overgrown.

My boots have been totally water logged today so it will be interesting to see if that causes me any blisters.

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Day 51 - Meet Washy.jpg

Meet Washy. I'm trying to think which one of us is best dressed for todays walk as the weather forecast is for heavy showers.

Mind you it is proving a great moral boost having someone else to walk with. I'm finding my physical fitness has already peaked and that, with every passing day, I'm starting to get more and more tired.

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Day 51 - Kinver - setting out.jpg

Day 51 (06 July)
After 3 days with David and Julia it was finally time to say goodbye. So it was back to Kinver where I will meet Washy of the ECWS who will be walking with me today.

Thanks again to David and Julia who were fantastic.
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Monday, 6 July 2009

Day 50 - A Wonderful Suprise.jpg

At 10:40 I sent Emma a text noting my location and the time. Not 5 minutes later a car pulls up alongside me and a voice shouts out "hello daddy". How sneaky!

It was a wonderful surprise and what made it better was that they walked with me for 5 or so miles before we stopped for lunch. Hard to accept that I last saw my family over 47 days ago. Ah well only 19 more days after today. I'm hoping I can finish now on the 24 July.

Later in the day Paula, Thomas and Zoe walked with me again however, as usual, it rained. Maybe one day I'll get perfect walking weather.

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Day 50 - M54 @ Big Wood.jpg

Marker: Passing M54 on my way to Kinver and hopefully Matthew, Emma and Zoe of the Lion Rampant ( will catch up with me today.

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Day 50 - Boscobel House 1.jpg

Day 50 (05 July)

"Come on lads I've found the 'would be king' let's have at him!"

Joking aside, I've had my rest day and the 7th money pot came to £356.10 taking the total up to approx £9840 so please keep up the good work and donate and tell everyone you know to donate.

My hosts for this weekend are David and Julia Timmins and they have treated me like one of the family, I've had my tummy rubbed, my head scratched and I've been allowed to curl up on the sofa. After all the fussing they gave me I didn't want to tell them that I wasn't one of their cats.

David and Julia (Sealed Knot and others) were stars. They gave over their weekend to ensure that everything I needed to get done was achieved, for that I thank them. Cheers and please do keep in touch, ECWS could always do with some more quality people.

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Sunday, 5 July 2009

Day 48 - The Kings Head - Bishops Wood.jpg

It's 1900 and I've arrived in Bishops Wood. As you can see I've turned coat. This is for my own safety and, "Maybe I can learn where Charles (the kings son) is hiding".

I had an unexpected encounter with PC Neil Massey again today. This time about 3 miles north of Gnosall, and he was also of duty. He offered me lunch and the opportunity to off-load a bit of the weight I was carrying. Needless to say I accepted. It just goes to show how nice some people can be.

Tomorrow is my rest day and I'm stopping with David and Julia Timmins for the next 3 nights. That should give me a little bit of recuperation time.

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Day 48 - Crossing the M6 between J14 & J15.jpg

Yet again I set out in rain but regardless I am more cheerful today having made up the lost ground yesterday.

As you can see, I've now crossed the M6 between J14 & J15. My route today takes me through Eccleshall and Gnosall Heath before arriving in Bishops Wood... Another strong Royalist area.

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