Settle firefighters step up to the challenge in Yorkshire Dales Walking Festival (From Craven Herald)
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Settle firefighters step up to the challenge in Yorkshire Dales Walking Festival
11:00am Friday 17th August 2012 in News
The mother-in-law of charity fundraiser Jane Tomlinson will be cheering on Settle firefighters when they take part in the second Yorkshire Dales Walking Festival on Sunday.
The event, which starts and finishes in Settle, is part of the Jane Tomlinson Appeal’s Walks for All calendar.
Jane, whose husband Mike was born in the town, raised more than £1.75 million for charity after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.
She died in 2007 after a seven-year battle against the disease and, since then, her family has continued her fundraising work.
The walking festival is a particular favourite with them because of the links with Settle, where Mike’s mother, Alice, still lives.
A further connection this year is that participants include 10 men from Settle Fire Station, where Mike’s late father, Jack, was a firefighter for more than 25 years. He was also a station commander.
“Alice, Jack’s widow, is friends with many of the firefighters and is supporting us in the walk,” said watch manager Robert Fox.
The firefighters plan to complete the 26-mile challenge carrying a standard brigade issue 10.5-metre ladder.
“This is one of the hardest and most gruelling events that many of the firefighters have ever undertaken,” said Robert.
“The challenge of walking 26 miles is hard enough, but to be carrying a 46.5kg ladder on the route will be punishing.”
Mr Fox has a particularly good reason to hope the challenge is completed without mishaps – he is due to marry fiancée Beccy Parker two days later.
“It’s a joke at the station at the moment that ‘hopefully his little legs will be well enough to still walk Beccy down the aisle’,” said Robert.
The team – which also comprises crew managers Stephen Richardson and Peter Allen and firefighters Darren Lynn, Jason Bentley, Jason Croft, Michael Crisp, David Grace, Drew Jennings and Michael Scaife – is hoping to raise £4,000.
“We are looking at splitting the money between the Jane Tomlinson charity and the Firefighters Charity,” said Robert.
About 2,500 walkers are expected to take part in this year’s festival and participants can choose from 26, 14 or five-mile routes, which have been chosen to showcase the area. Northern Rail has agreed to lay on additional trains to get walkers to the starting point.
For more information, visit forallevents.co.uk/ walk-for-all/ or to donate to the firefighters’ efforts, log onto uk.virginmoneygiving.
com (use settle firefighters as the friends’ name).