On Monday 8th May a trio of members from the Rotary Club of Bradford Blaize set off from Ripon Cathedral to walk to Bradford Cathedral to raise money for The Bradford Metropolitan Food Bank. Blaize have made frequent donations to this charity but having read about the flood at the food bank in Christmas week President Robert Allan decided that something more substantial was needed this year.
78-year-old Robert persuaded fellow members 77-year-old John Waterhouse and 74-year-old Barry Smith to undertake another of their long-distance walks for charity. Previous walks have included The Dales Way, Hadrian’s Wall, The Cleveland Way and Offa’s Dyke and have raised more than £40,000 for charities such as Bradford Marie Curie Hospice, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Catholic Housing Aid Society and Meningitis UK.
Monday 8th of May was chosen as the start to tie in with the King’s “The Big Help Out”. Barry Smith reports on the walk: -
"We finished the walk on Thursday evening at Bradford Cathedral. We all made it in one piece, but it was a bit of a slog.
The walk started at Ripon Cathedral and we finished the day at Brimham Rocks, via Fountains Abbey. If you want to walk through the grounds at the Abbey, make sure you are either a member of the National Trust, which I aren't, or you have £18 entrance fee to pay.
We had planned to walk further, but we were slowed down by lack of signposts for the walk, underfoot conditions and cows who thought it was quite amusing to chase us. Also, me losing my boot on the deep mud was not ideal.
We were picked up from Brimham Rocks by Roy Tate and taken to Pateley Bridge and stayed overnight at the Talbot Inn. ( If you ever need to stay at the Talbot, avoid room 5. Slightly small and I got stuck in the shower).
Roy took us back to Brimham Rocks and the intention was to walk to a point as near as possible to the Timble Inn. In the end we got to within 4 miles and were once again picked up by Roy. The walking conditions had improved overhead, but underfoot was still a problem and there were some hills to negotiate.
We had a regular pattern to the walk. John and Robert in front and me catching up when they checked if we were on the right route....or not!
We were all getting tired, but standing in the wonderful walk-in showers which we had at the Inn, rejuvenated us.
Roy took us back to our starting point, via Mackenzies Farm Shop to purchase sandwiches. If you are hungry, buy a sandwich from Mackenzies. Bit expensive but nearly a meal in its self.
The first part of Wednesday was walking back the 4 miles to Timble and then we walked out of the Washburn Valley into Wharfedale. Once again, some hills to negotiate, although coming down from the top into Askwith was particularly hard. My boots basically gave up the ghost.
We were picked up from Burley in Wharfedale and we all spent the night at home
We were taken back to Burley (me with replacement boots) and we set off in the rain. I kept my waterproofs on all day, but Robert and John were constantly changing as the rain stopped and then restarted. A long pull up from Burley, via the Hermit to the top of Ilkley Moor took most of the morning. We then skirted Baildon Moor and onto Shipley Glen. Where to have lunch in the persistent rain then became the important question. Robert's enquiring mind then came to our rescue. The Bracken Hall Countryside Centre on Shipley Glen said closed, but Robert didn't accept that and knocked on the door. Richard White, the centre Manager, took pity and invited us in. Made us a cup of tea, brought us a table to eat our sandwiches at and then gave us a tour of the centre. He also gives talks so I have his details to invite him to the Club at some stage.
The rest of the walk was in the built-up area, via Saltaire, the Canal and then into Shipley. The route into Bradford is basically the route of the cycle path and was quite uneventful except for an altercation that John and Robert had with a dog walker. The final stretch was on Canal Road and the fresh air of the first three and a half days was replaced with car fumes.
We reached Bradford Cathedral at 5.00pm after 42/43 miles walking over 4 days.
Not a well signposted walk and underfoot was not very good, especially on the first two days. Also, the overhead conditions were very mixed. There's also a lot of hills!
All these problems were outweighed by the great time you have walking with Robert and John and the wonderful countryside walking through Nidderdale, the Washburn Valley, Wharfedale and finally Airedale.
Our grateful thanks to Roy Tate for collecting us and dropping us off and to Judith, Hilary, Alan and Patrick for providing transport at various times.
Thank you to everyone who has sponsored the walk. Robert hoped to be able to raise over £1,000. With the support we have received so far, the total now exceeds £1,800 and I am hopeful with further sponsorship we can reach £2,000."