Thursday, 30 May 2013

19. Land's End to John O'Groats. Sweet Peas, Tower Clocks and Massage offer. Walk from Shrewsbury to Wem, Whitlock and Union Canal to Pennines. Duchess of Cornwall.

 David and Rob's route to John'O'Groats

The royal patron of Emmaus UK, the Duchess of Cornwall, has just visited Emmaus Paris, where the movement was founded in 1949 by Abbé Pierre. Her visit was well received by the media, which gave the UK public more awareness of the great work Emmaus does throughout the world for the homeless.

Robbie Brough and David Sansom aim to raise £25,000 for Emmaus Oxford by walking 1,200 miles to John O'Groats. The total so far is £4,518.75.

The boys must be enjoying their walk on the flat beside the Union Canal after climbing up and down Cornish, Devon and Somerset cliffs, moors, the Brecon Beacons and Offas's Dyke.  They still have to contend with the weather though.

They have gone through historic ancient market towns recently, including Shrewsbury. 

Wem has been  the home of the sweet pea since 1888, thanks to Henry Eckford who cultivated many varieties. 

Whitchurch is famous for the JB Joyce tower clocks company, established in 1690, the oldest clock tower making company in the world: it was of course instrumental in the building of Big Ben.

25 May. @DR TradingPlaces Tweet by David and Robbie.

"Leaving Wales for the last time # never again."

Shrewsbury to Wem and Whitchurch.
Crewe and Macclesfield are next, then the Pennines, 
 (green area above).

26 May email from Rob

"Hi Mary, 

Projections for the next few days are to follow the Shropshire Way from Shrewsbury to Wem and Whitchurch.

I have a few friends coming to join us walking tomorrow and the next day. 

We are camping on David's aunt's floor tonight and last night.  On our day off we cleaned our boots which are now nice and shiny (will send picture tomorrow) dried the tent out, cooked a HUGE roast dinner and spent a couple of hours at the driving range. 

After Whitchurch we are going to follow a series of canals including the Shropshire Union Canal to take us up to Macclesfield where we are very near Edale - the start of the Pennine Way.

We had a rather miserable few days in Wales towards the end of the Offa's Dyke path where it was hailing and torrential rain almost constantly and some very steep unforgiving hills!  (Nothing against the Welsh as a people!) 

Dave will send you pictures of up to Shrewsbury!



Robbie on the canal

David: "The trumpet I bought ( and have now ditched...dead weight)."

28 May. Facebook.

We're in Wrenbury, about 60 miles north of Birmingham, so we're officially in The North! 500 mile mark is here tomorrow and then we'll be singing proclaimers all the way till Glasgow.

29 May Email from David.

"Bad signal the past few days. 

On Monday we left my auntie's house and walked into Shrewsbury town centre to meet Robbie’s close friends; Jo, Jamie and Hussein.  They had come from Birmingham and Leeds to walk a day with us which was very kind of them.  We walked along the river Severn for a while, where we then met up with Robbie’s old rowing coach and his family who walked with us for a short while.  We headed across open fields all day, with one stop for lunch.  

I think that took its toll on the boys but they all had smiles on their faces the whole way.  We ended the day at Wem, where the boys got the train to Crewe and then onto their end destination.  Robbie and I walked to a local campsite who let us stay for free and had free showers!  

The next morning we woke up to rain, and that was the tone for the WHOLE day. We walked along a B road to Whitchurch.  Along the way we saw a minor road collision (which acted in our favour as it blocked all oncoming traffic for an hour or so). 

In Whitchurch we stopped for a cup of tea and a pause to dry.  The very nice, blonde, eastern European waitress gave us the tea for free and offered us free feet massages on completion of the walk!  

We finished the day at The Cotton Inn campsite, where the owner gave us half price accommodation and half-price burgers.  Robbie’s mum then arrived as she has been desperate to see us for days.  We gave her the updates, did some equipment sorting and got some home-made flapjacks.  Unfortunately she could only be with us for an hour, as it is a fair drive there and back.  Everything was soaked but luckily the inside of Sebastian was dry and warm for us.  Today we are walking towards Crewe along the canals, so by the laws of nature it has to be flat!

Robbie and I also cut each other’s hair at my aunt's...a real trust exercise.  All the best


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