THE ROAD TO AGINCOURT
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Me, Jon and Graham are raising money for 2 charities, the NSPCC and St Lukes Cheshire Hospice by cycling a round trip of 500 miles from Harfleur to Agincourt. We would like you to consider splitting your sponsorship monies between the 2 charities for the reasons outlined below.
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Mark Jephcott, Jon White and Graham Simmonds will set off on Wednesday 26th August 2009 to raise money for the NSPCC and St Luke’s Cheshire Hospice by cycling a round trip of 500 miles following the route that King Henry V took in 1415 from Harfleur to the Battle of Agincourt.
The idea behind the journey was inspired by the 1990’s BBC TV series ‘War Walks’ written and presented by Professor Richard Holmes. One of the programmes covered the Battle of Agincourt and told the story of Henry’s march across Northern France to the battlefield, though of course his army didn’t do it on bicycles!
Mark explained; ‘I was inspired by the series and having performed in Shakespeare’s ‘Henry V’, one of his greatest plays, I had always been interested in taking on the challenge of cycling ‘The Road to Agincourt’ but, like so many other things in life, had never got round to doing it. So Jon, Graham and myself agreed to do it this year for charity.
“Two acting friends of ours, Terry Chandler and Roger Metcalfe, tragically died in the last 18 months and they are very much missed and so we wanted to do something to support them.
We asked their families if they would be happy with the idea of us doing this trip to raise money for the charities that Terry (NSPCC) and Roger (St Luke’s Cheshire Hospice) had an interest in and they have given us their blessing’.
King Henry V set sail from Southampton for Harfleur on 11th August 1415 with 1500 ships, the biggest armada ever assembled at that time, and landed on the pebble beaches of St Addresse which is now on the outskirts of Le Havre.
‘The Road to Agincourt’ will start at the landing beaches at St Addresse and then take in the towns of Harfleur, Fecamp, Dieppe, St Vallery, Amiens, Peronne, Albert, Doullens and finally Agincourt. The journey will take 10 days with an average of 40 to 60 miles cycling per day with a one day rest day at Peronne.
Mark commented: ‘We had always intended to fund the trip ourselves so that all the money raised from the public would go to the charities concerned. However, we have received a very generous sponsorship given specifically to help us cover some of the costs of the trip from IP netix formerly Phase Telecom based in Altrincham. Its Managing Director Kevin Boyer who also knew Terry and Roger has been very supportive of the project. We would also like to thank John Keen who helped to prepare and train us for the journey and Martin Oldfield who helped us with photography.
Agincourt is a word that has always resonated in England because it remains one of our greatest military victories, won by one of our most charismatic and mythical monarchs
King Henry V.
Who knows, the challenge of cycling the ‘The Road to Agincourt’ could one day become another great cycling journey to stand alongside ‘John’O’Groats to Lands End’ or ‘London to Paris’.
The Road to Agincourt.
Wednesday 26th August.
Meet 5pm at Denmead Community Centre.
Park cars in Denmead. Cycle to Portsmouth Ferry Port for the overnight sailing to Le Havre, departing 23.00.
cycle miles 9.
Thursday 27th August
8.30am disembark Ferry and cycle to St Adresse.
Then cycle to Harfleur and onto Fecamp for an overnight stay. cycle miles 42.
Friday 28th August
9am depart Fecamp and cycle to Dieppe for an overnight stay.
cycle miles 45.
Saturday 29th August
9am depart Dieppe. Stop off at Arque to walk upto the castle and then onto St Vallery on the banks of the River Somme for overnight stay.
cycle miles 45.
Sunday 30th August
9am depart St Vallery and cycle to Longueau on the outskirts of Amiens for overnight stay.
cycle miles 57.
Monday 31st August
9am depart Longueau and cycle to Peronne. 2 night stay in Peronne including a days rest.
cycle miles 59.
Tuesday 1st September
Rest day in Peronne.
cycle miles 0.
Wednesday 2nd September
9am depart Peronne and cycle to Doullens for overnight stay. This puts us at striking distance from Agincourt the following day.
cycle miles 48.
Thursday 3rd September
9am depart Doullens and cycle to Agincourt. 2 to 3 hour stay at Agincourt visiting the battled field and the Museum sited in the centre of the village. Then onto St Pol for an overnight stay.
cycle miles 60.
Friday 4th September
Cycle from St Pol to Dieppe. Overnight stay in Dieppe.
cycle miles 65.
Saturday 5th September
Cycle from Dieppe to Le Havre. 5pm sailing back to Portsmouth. Overnight stay Denmead.
cycle miles 68.
Sunday 6th September
10am depart Portsmouth for Manchester ETA home 5pm.