KLRT Fundraising Weekend 14th - 15th July 2012
On Saturday 14th July a group of hardy, determined walkers and cyclists gathered outside the Rose Inn pub at Wickhambreaux ready to face the notorious British weather as they took part in the KLRT family bike ride and dog walk. All prepared in winter jumpers, coats and wellies, accompanied by dogs big and small, the walkers welcomed the cyclists as they emerged through the misty rain in the distance. After various greetings and introductions including handshaking and sniffing (mainly between the dogs rather than the people) the group retreated inside the Rose Inn where a small section of the pub was commandeered by walkers, cyclists, excited dogs and of course, a large pile of wet coats. Soon, drinks were flowing and plates of glorious food were served and consumed eagerly in anticipation of the energy reserves required for the walk ahead. As two thirty approached and only empty plates remained on the table, the group peered ominously out of the window to find (not to their surprise) that it was still raining. Rather sensibly, the bike riders decided to abandon the second leg of their journey back to Bekesbourne Station and instead opted to join the rest of the group on the dog walk.
Through fields, across streams, over stiles and down winding country lanes through the misty rain the hardy group of walkers could be seen, taking every obstacle in their stride including a lot of mud... literally. Leading the group was Daisy, the German Pointer shortly followed by the two Labradors, Carbon and Bear, who decided that the litres of water falling from the sky were not enough for them as they ran happily in and out of the river. Then last but not least was Pippa the Jack Russell, who as not a great fan of any form of water and certainly not the rain, seemed unimpressed with the Labrador’s river dipping antics. No matter how hard the rain fell or how grey the sky was, the village of Wickhambreaux still managed to look incredibly beautiful with narrow winding pathways lined with chocolate box houses, traditional red telephone boxes and typical English county pubs. The fields surrounding the village, although not quite as inviting, with trenches of mud where the footpaths should have been and puddles that could have easily passed as small lakes, still added to the natural beauty of the walk.
After just over an hour the group returned to the Rose Inn pub where it all started, grateful that the rain had managed to contain itself to a respectable drizzle throughout the entire walk. Although slightly soggier than when they left, the main consensus from the walkers was that of enjoyment and a slight sense of smugness that once again the great British weather had not got the better of them. This was further reinforced when a count up of the donations made revealed a respectable £225 that was raised for KLRT as a result of the dog walk and all of a sudden the torrential, unseasonal July weather experienced didn’t seem that bad after all... bring on next year’s walk!
On Sunday 15 July, Sophia (aged 17) and her twin sisters Cally and Liana (aged 14) abseiled off the Leas Cliff Hall (approximately 100ft drop). Between them they managed to raise an impressive £226 in sponsorship money. They were the youngest participants of the day, having been given special dispensation to participate as normally no one under the date of 16 would be permitted to partake because of insurance purposes.
On asked how they were feeling before the abseil, their emotions were mixed and ranged from excited to nervous.
Their mother was also very anxious as she waited patiently with her loyal black Labrador, Carbon, who had joined the dog walk the day before. In keeping with the typical English weather the sky kept changing from bright blue to grey so the anxiety wasn’t only about the actual abseil but about how wet everyone was going to get again. The allocated time slot for the descent was between 12-1pm and finally at 12.50pm the girls appeared on the ledge and one by one began their descent.
After the event there was nothing but pure exhilaration and a real sense of achievement with big smiles all round.