I did it!
Well I always wanted to do this challenge and every time the opportunity came in the past I was unable to take it, so this time I made it happen! All the relies and dogs from next door came and a couple of cousins/nephews. Millie came too. Boo did not pass the leg length test so she stayed at home with a big Boneo for good company. We all packed into one car and left it at the finish, Kent’s Bank, to catch a train to Arnside where we milled about for almost 2 hours before the walk began as the outgoing tide was still in the estuary. This was possibly the most rewarding part for me. Before and at the beginning of the war my uncle was Methodist Minister there and I spent many holidays and days out at Arnside. It was such joy at my age to go somewhere after over 70 years and see a place, this place, almost completely unchanged on the sea front and beyond. It was amazing! Small concessions had been made like a ramp down to the beach, but it was negligible. Arnside was the same for me and very very evocative of the past.
Regrettably I did not venture up the hill to the Manse and the Chapel, I felt it wise to conserve my energy before the big walk, but I told everyone that would listen that Arnside remained unspoilt for over 70 years. The fairy steps were still there down to the beach from Mr Poppelwell’s large garden. Some of the trees had come down and ownership had inevitably changed. So the story was related by me to two more generations.
The walk was more of a plod. 4 hours of it! We walked in socks or bare feet. We saw very few birds, just a few gulls right out in the bay. There was no litter at all. We never saw a cockle. There was very little seaweed, but at the Kent’s Bank end we saw quite a bit of samphire, sea grasses and star grass close to the beach, such as it was. The crossing of the River Kent was great fun. With the very strong wind in our faces which had been with us all the way, we waded up to our thighs and I found it very wobbly! Wind coming from ahead and the tide going out right to left I had a good giggle as my favourite son tried to balance us both!! We had been divided into two parties to cross the river and Cedric Robinson, the Queen’ appointed Official Guide across the bay, sent the slow ones from the back over first. It is interesting that when the fast group crossed about 10 to 15 minutes later the level of water had fallen by 4 inches. Millie tried to swim but with the wind blowing waves over her face she was carried for a few yards! We had meandered in curves around the quicksands whilst all of the time our destination did not look far away we did not appear to be heading there as we walked in good faith. After we crossed the River Kent we were interested to see that there was a running race across the bay taking a far longer route, further out to sea. I admired them, but was wholly satisfied with our smaller achievement.
Thank you to everyone for your very kind sponsorship. I raised £100.00 The Charity was not quite the RNIB who I thought it was. It is older than that. It is Galloway’s Society for the Blind that benefits local part sighted and blind. A public meeting in Preston’s Corn Exchange in 1867 established organised welfare work for the Blind in Preston and marked the beginning of our Society. A guy called Galloway made a bequest that was large enough to establish this Charity.
Renewed thanks for your support!