I am now organising events for November Awareness Month which will culminate in a candlelit procession from Morecambe Parish Church on Saturday 26 November and on Sun 27 November Step Back in Time to The 1930s with Ian Dewhirst MBE.
Marguerite Terry House is almost complete. We had hoped to be ready this year, but adverse weather conditions and my builder's cycling accident have put it on hold. The kitchen is complete and the shower room. Inside there is just decorating and the electric bed to purchase. Outside the garden and pathways and drive are still in abeyance.
Ladies Day at the Races at the Midland Hotel Morecambe on Sun 3 July 2011 is the next fundraiser. Piimms receptiion at 2.30pm. Own and name your own racehorse! Winning horse gets a bottle of champagne for owner. Strawberry afternoon tea. Half price cocktails. Ladies Hat competition. Ray Evans Lounge Pianist. Win money by betting on the races. Grand Raffle. Details and tickets tel: 07702980903.
This event was a huge success for the people who attended and the atmosphere was electric.. The Ladies Hat Competition was won by Janet Kelly who will be enjoying the luxury of Sue Shields Beauty Salon at Carnforth. Bottles of Champagne ( courtesy of Lakeland Vintners) were won by winning racehorse owners G Bartley, J Rose, J Corkill, J Gilmore, J Kelly, J Millard and C Bennison. A big thank you to our sponsors - G Farrell , G Bartley, Hadwins of Lindale, Robinson's Florist of Bare , G Helme and Wright and Lord Solicitors.
Unfortunately the local MP and councillors had other commitments but Mayor P Woodruffe donated £30. Next sumer it is hoped that the event will be better attended so we do better than break even. A big thank you to The MIdland Hotel for making this event possible This event will be repeated again next summer as everyone really enjoyed it.
2011 People Quiz now on sale. £1 a copy. Win a night for two at the iconic Art Deco Midland Hotel in Morecambe. Tel: 07702980903.
97 mile walk Carnforth to Whithaven
We managed to match Barclay's offer of £750, which they have doubled to £1500 - add to that over £120 donated on justgiving page . Thank you so much to all those who gave generously which leaves only about £7K still to raise to reach my target figure.
Sun 20 Feb 10am donations today £10.10
Got the bus to Carnforth where Goldie and I were joined by staff from Barclay's Bank. Graham, Mary, Daryl and Lyn with her boys Robert and Cameron. The weather was kind to us - overcast but no rain.
A short cut through Booth's Car park and we were on the A6 en route to Whitehaven! We were lucky to have a decent footpath as far as second balloon where we had to cross the road to avoid going under the railway bridge.
On the other side of the road was a wide grass verge but very uneven and more balloons were being popped by prickly branches.
The traffic was heavy on our left but to our right were clumps of snowdrops everywhere and the hedges were stretching out to Spring with tiny signs of life.
The signs of a wet winter with fields flooded all around.
We met a sad case of an otter who didn't quite make the crossing of the A6 - a warning to us to be extra careful.
A loo and photo stop at Pure Leisure where the boys assured me there was a pork pie tree.
We crossed the road to Wild Life Oasis where we were offered the use of the picnic tables. It was pleasantly warm sitting there and enjoying coffee Mary bought me from the cafe.
We were only five miles on our way at this point so we had to pack up and move on.
It was not good on this side of the road so we crossed to the other side where there was a reasonable footpath. Passing the pub a kind couple gave a donation ( had listened to Radio Cumbria)
Soon we reached civilisation - Beetham, where, as walkers not in cars) we had time to study the buildings and gardens.
On past the garden centre to the layby near the Dallam Estate; as we approached Milnthorpe people stopped their cars to donate.
Eight miles behind us - should we carry on? The unanimous decision was to go further and we reached Levens Hall at 3pm,
Mon 21 Feb donations today £44.57
Michelle ( Manager of Barclay's Carnforth), her colleague Pauline and Tilly the dog , joined Goldie and I and Graham drove us to Levens Hall. We set off to walk about 10.15am
It was a murky wet day and no fun on the side of the A590. We had a choice - walk on the lumpy muddy verge and risk a broken ankle or walk on the road edge and risk being syphoned off. We took the first opportunity to cross the road to walk on the old road to Witherslack. This was a haven from the constant zoom and splash of the traffic roaring past us. we let Goldie and Tilly run free as we negotiated this forgotten highway with it's major cracks and potholes.
We had time to take in our surroundings - farms with livestock, the crag above us, and all the signs of plants and animals recognising that somewhere in this awful downpour Spring was waiting to make an appearance.
We spotted an oasis up ahead - The Derby Arms - maybe we could get out of the wet. It was 11.50 am. Even better was Witherslack Community Shop where Dorothy and Celia gave us a warm welcome and coffee! This is a great shop with local produce and Michelle treated us to some cake she bought there. We would recommend anyone slipping off the A590 to drop in - the shop stocks everything one might need.
Unfortunately we had to drop back down on to the A590 and this was a nightmare stumble along the verge until we reached the roundabout and turned off for Grange.
We expected the road to Grange to be easier - it was a little quieter but there was little space at the verges.
Ahead we saw Hadwins VW Garage and we were invited inside by Ben
Thank you to all the generous people out there who have helped me raise such a large proportion of my target. I hope that by Nov this year the £20K will be in the bank.
My next venture is a 97 mile walk north to St Bees/Whithaven, 20 Feb to 2 March 2011, with my dog Goldie. I will be tying a balloon every mile so anyone who wants a balloon with the name of a loved one please contact me/ You can choose a location for the balloon from the list on my website.
Barclay's Bank is sponsoring this walk and Michelle Hughes, manager of the Carnforth branch and her colleagues will be joining me. For every £1 raised Barclay's will give £1 up to £750.
I plan to try to get home every night by public transport and back again the next morning to save expense. However Dick at The Greyhound Inn Grizebeck has offered me accommodation for Fri 25 feb so I can set off at first light on the Sat to do the scary bit from there to Broughton.
Marguerite Terry House is on hold until the ice age melts. At the beginning of October, after many weeks of waiting, the architect finally brought the plans. The building extension was scheduled to begin on 14 October but was delayed by waiting for permission from various bodies. Finally the work began on 28 October with the digging up of the patio and removing the fence. Over the next few days the garden was reduced to a building site as excavators and tractors moved in to move the inspection chamber and drain. The weather was not kind and torrential rain turned the area into a quagmire. It was a time to manage without the use of a lavatory or kitchen sink.
On 9 November the drains were inspected and the go ahead was given to sink the piles which were driven in on 5 November.
10 November the piles were concreted over.
15 November the rings were sealed on sewer and piped and the next day it was backfilled.
It was good to have ablutions back fully functioning.
18 November the digger went back and the next day the brickwork was started and the concrete base for the floor was laid.
Then came the ice and the temperatures plummeted and now a weeks later the builders are waiting for a thaw so they can get the brickwork done and the roof on.
2011 January the builders are back and the walls are going up fast - then the ice age returns!
24 Jan the builders are trying again now the thaw has come.
It's now Feb and the roof is on and hopefully the window and doors will be in next week.
A new quiz for 2011 will soon be available - watch this space!
Purple Bear is on sale at £3.50 plus £1 to enter photographic competition with a prize of a holiday. Add to this cost of post and packaging if necessary.
Finally the doll which was on holiday in Morecambe has found her way home to Oman - won by Kirsty.
On Saturday morning Jess and Laura Griffin helped me blow up 97 purple balloons with the names of victims on and 3 orange ones for survivors. It was a beautiful bright day but the wind chill made it difficult to tie the balloons along Morecambe promenade in front of the Midland Hotel.
The Candlelit Procession on 27 Nov was a very moving occasion. About 40 people turned up at Morecambe Parish Church. The night was bitterly cold yet the sky was sharp as we walked along the frosty promenade . As Kay led us with singing the sunset burned the sky. Morecambe Band galliantly played as we sang hymns, the windchill cutting into every exposed bit of flesh. We gathered the balloons up and went back to Poulton Memorial hall to thaw out with soup and mince pies. Thank you to Lesley, Val and Gail who had worked so hard to have supper ready for us. The mince pies made by Carol were delicious.
Thank you for the souls who braved the minus degrees .
Step Back in Time to the 1930s at The Midland Hotel Morecambe on Sunday was a grand affair . 107 people were treated to an afternoon of Jazz provided by The High Society Jazz Band accompanied by Jan the singer. Thank you to those guests who came in period dress and danced the afternoon away in the 1930's style. Ian Dewhirst entertained with his tales of Morecambe long ago: I have an abiding memory of one of his anecdotes. Ian said that you do not go to the seaside without a paddle so, after taking his coach party round the historical sites of Lancaster, they went to Bare where Ian went for a paddle. This caused an embarassing incident - someone on the promenade saw Ian wading into the sea and alerted the emergency services. Back on the promenade he was met by a policeman who asked him if he was alright and if he had anyone looking after him. They were apparently under the impression that he was a potential suicide - who else would wade out into the sea at Morecambe? He replied that he was alright and was in charge of a coachload of folk! This incident was a major attraction to a great number of people who gazed long and hard as Ian rejoined his party and the coach set off back to Keighley!
If you want to hear one of Ian's mesmerising talks I hope I can book him next year.
The Afternoon Tea at The Midland was redolent of teas long ago: delicately cut triangular sandwiches; warm currant scones with jam and cream; a variety of cakes and biscuits; oceans ot tea and coffee - and a REAL serviette.
Many people said they would love to repeat the experience and I am already planning the next one!
The Grand Raffle included: a Purple Quilt, crafted by Marie Dixie of BLS; a tab rug, crafted by Margaret benson of Bentham; a Purple Celebration Fruit Cake, hand made and crafted by Carole Bennison of Keighley; a bottle of Damson Gin, wild damsons picked by Kate and distilled by Carole; a Purple Clown crafted by Pom Pom Dolls donated by Kate.
Thank you so much to all who attended and made it a Grand Affair!
The Purple Quiz: The Midland Hotel winner - Jenny Hadingham of Market rasen Lincs
The Waterhead Hotel winner - Debbie Arrowsmith of Thornton Cleveleys.
Answers will be on website shortly. Butterfly - Purple Emperor - Curple rhymes with purple - Rabbie Burns (also hurple)
Hyacinth, Pansy, Heather etc
Marguerite Terry House is one step nearer. The garage is now ready to move things into when the builders come.
The plan is to turn the ground floor of my house into a comfortable bed sitting room, wet room, kitchen, separate lounge room/sun room. All easily accessible when people come who need a holiday. Eventually it will have charitable status with a Trust running it. Also I hope that it will be a centrepoint in this area for information, meetings etc for Pancreatic Cancer..
I started to raise awareness of Pancreatic Cancer with my Odyssey, which began on 1 March ( my mother's birthday)2009 and ended 7000 miles later in September 2009. During that time Goldie, my dog, and I were interviewed on every BBC local radion station in the British Isles. By bus, train and ferry we travelled as far south as Jersey, as far north as The Shetland Islands, as far west as Londonderry and as far east as Ipswich.
On February 28 (my brother's birthday) 2010 Goldie and I walked from Morecambe to Saltburn on Sea, arriving on 1 March (my mother's birthday) - a distance of 97 miles - each mile marked by a balloon with the name of a victim on.
Every opportunity I have to do a car boot sale or a coffee morning is edging nearer my target.
A Gallery of photographs is to be found on FLIKR and FACEBOOK. If you cannot access them email me for help.
All pictures and stories on FLIKR of our Odysseys since 28 Feb 2009