Tuesday, 4 June 2013

22. Land's End to John O'Groats, why are David and Robbie doing this? Spotted Dick. Insect bites. Huddersfield Railway Station. The homeless and Emmaus.

David  Sansom and Robbie Brough enjoyed their break in Huddersfield, even though they insist on sleeping on the floor when they stay with family or friends, to emulate the homeless. Otherwise of course when on the move they are in a small portable tent.

They are collecting for Emmaus Oxford, who are in David's words: "a charity that doesn't just help homeless people for a night here and there, rather it looks to the future, by providing employment and new qualifications, as well as a place to live". So far the boys have raised £4,750.

They made other resolutions too for the big walk: no alcohol, no forward lifts and no complaining. 

When they were in Huddersfield they were bound to have seen the magnificent railway station, described by John Betjeman as 'the most splendid station fa├žade in England' second only to St Pancras, London". Oddly enough there is no direct service to London. 
Was that because of Dr Beeching's cuts?

Huddersfield was the birthplace of Harold Wilson and perhaps where rugby league was founded. There was a BBC2 programme about the city last night: Town with Nicholas Crane.

Huddersfield 1965 by  L S Lowry
Huddersfield Art Gallery

Huddersfield A
Calder Valley B
Stoodley Pike C
Hebden Bridge D
Blackshaw Head E
Hawes F

Stoodley Pike Monument,  
South Pennines.

The original monument was built to commemorate the defeat of Napoleon in 1814.

"Robbie looking over the whole of the north"

David on the moors

Robbie on the moors

4 June Email from Robbie Brough

"Hi Mary

Sorry I've been out for so long, managed to get water damage to my phone!  But I got a new one delivered to Huddersfield and my gran's house. 

Rob in smart new T-shirt?
Note the growing beard

Spotted Dick:
 a fruit sponge pudding made with suet, citrus zest and currants 
 served in thick slices with hot custard

We were picked up from the A635 by my grandma and taken to Huddersfield where she lives; we were treated to a proper Yorkshire steak and ale pie on Saturday night and spotted dick pudding.  We then spent most of Sunday pottering around the town centre, we needed to pick up some insect repellent and I needed some more hay-fever pills! 

We then were dropped off on Monday morning back at the A365 and walked over the moors to Calder valley past Stoodley Pike and down into Hebden Bridge.  Here we had an evening meal and a few drinks before we headed up to the campsite (a not inconsiderable climb!)  

We are currently at Blackshaw Head at a little campsite called Badger's Lane.  

We are now 545 miles in with a rough 600 to go or somewhere near that number!  Having done 40 miles on the Pennine Way in two walking days.  

We aim to be in Pinhaw area tonight, then Fountains Fell the next day and then Hawes area the next day. 

Please send an email if there is anything else!? 


The idea for the walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats was forged when David Sansom, then 18, finished his schooling at St Edwards School in Oxford, and applied to join Sandhurst..  After finding that he would have to wait a year for his final assessment, he decided to use his time to get fit and prepare mentally for life in the British Army.

When Robbie Brough, also on a gap year before starting a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy at Manchester University found out about David’s proposed ‘long walk’ he jumped at the chance to join his old friend.

Robbie explained: “We are fully aware that our lives have been pretty cushy up until now.  However, this year I lost my father and it really made me think about saying yes to opportunities and to taking more chances in life.

“We are lucky people.  David has his hopeful future at Sandhurst, I have mine at university, but other people aren’t as privileged as we are.  That’s why, although this walk started out as a private journey, we are keen to turn it into a public one, a journey that will help other people instead of just ourselves.”

David added: “Robbie’s mum told us about the work of Emmaus Oxford, the fact that it is a charity that doesn't just help homeless people for a night here and there, rather it looks to the future, by providing employment and new qualifications, as well as a place to live.

“We decided that we wanted to do our long walk for long term solutions.  We are lucky enough to have matched funding for our trek, so anyone who sponsors us will see their money doubled.”

Emmaus is an international charity with 24 communities across the UK, including one in Oxford. The boys hope to link up with companions – the formerly homeless residents of Emmaus communities and other supporters – as they pass through Cornwall, Bristol, Mossley, Burnley, Bradford, Salford, Leeds, and Glasgow.  They will tweet and Facebook their progress as they go along, so that other walkers can come along and join them en route. 

David joked: “Undoubtedly we will need the company, both to take our minds off our blisters and the fact that we have only talked to each other for days on end!”

Donations for Emmaus Oxford please to: 
Twitter: Trading Places @DRtradingplaces