Long Mynd Hike 2020 – longest and toughest yet!Union Matters September 7 2020
With no back-up vehicles, a barbecue ban meaning no burgers or bacon butties, and a ‘new route’ which added an extra four miles for one group, this year’s charity walk in Shropshire was a real test of endurance, reports John Turnbull…
“It was certainly the biggest challenge in the 10 years since we first started this event,” explains John, chair of the CWU Mid-Wales, The Marches & North Staffs Branch, “and so all credit to every one of our volunteers who came along on Saturday to help raise money for our CWUHA charity.”
The various changes and alterations to this now annual hike were of course imposed by the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, which, he comments “has cast its dark shadow even among these lovely Shropshire hills.”
Starting early in the morning, the group of intrepid hikers set off up the picturesque Cardingmill Valley and scrambled past a waterfall to finally reach the summit of Long Mynd (‘Long Mountain’), then crossing miles of rolling moorland to the small town of Church Stretton for the ‘second leg’.
“Morale was kept up with jokes and high spirits among us,” continues John, “and I really want to thank them all, the ‘locals’ – Cathy, Jamie, Sue, Jo, Alex, Gina and Nikki – plus Brian Kenny from Mersey Branch and his partner Helen.
Rested, and with a renewed impetus, they headed back over the hills to complete the second leg, which, unfortunately, proved to be substantially longer – 14 miles this time.
‘Platoon’ member Brian Kenny said that, although all the volunteers had started off with “every faith” in ‘Sergeant’ Turnbull, there “were some trust tissues when he said it was ‘only a short way back’ but standing under a sign that said 4 ½ miles!
“Who were we to believe? Footpath signs and satellite navigation or John’s ‘bits of string’ and ancient map?” He added.
But Turnbull’s Troopers marched on regardless and, despite their aching limbs and blisters, every single one completed the return journey.
Speaking afterwards, John said: “It’s amazing that, despite people limping into Church Stretton at the end, some after walking 24 miles, they still found the energy to walk to the pub!
“Despite the grumbles and the pain, these heroes were always going to finish.”
In donations and pledges so far, it looks like our fearless few are set to raise in excess of £500 for our union’s humanitarian aid work – so please, if you haven’t donated yet, and if you can spare some cash, please consider a donation towards the CWUHA’s fantastic work.
Anything, any sum, large or small, will make a big, big difference to all of those vulnerable and needy individuals whom our CWUHA aspires to help. During this Covid pandemic it will be the poorest children who will suffer most.
And finally, from CWU News to John and every Long Mynd 2020 volunteer…
…a very big Well Done!
- If you want to make a donation for the superb efforts of the Long Mynd Hikers, please
donate to the CWUHA here: https://www.paypal.com/gb/fundraiser/charity/3155980