www.Poundswick .org.uk

Sponsored Walks

In the late sixties Poundswick raised funds for Guide Dogs for the Blind and one fundraising activity was a 25-mile sponsored walk. The chosen route was back to Poundswick from the Cat and Fiddle pub in Derbyshire and those who completed the walk were awarded a rather grand certificate. The one reproduced here was sent in by Mike Tomlinson (1960-67). It was awarded to his girlfriend of the time, Jenny Goodwin, who he eventually married. Amazing what can come from a long walk in the countryside!

The "Route Marshal", Keith Moorby, was Poundswick's metalwork teacher of the time and an enthusiastic promoter of outdoor activities, organising walking trips in Scotland and the Lake and Peak Districts. In 1964 a group of pupils attempted to walk overnight to Blackpool, a distance of over 50 miles and although a number of staff helped with the event, Mr Gilpin refused to make it an "official" school activity because he believed that not many who set out on this double marathon would ever make the acquaintance of Blackpool Tower; he was right. A few very fit stalwarts did make it but most retired well short of the coast, exhausted and with painfully blistered feet. I remember I sat at home and watched telly, thinking to myself: silly buggers!
By all accounts, the Cat and Fiddle walks were better organised and participants were better prepared with the result that most did actually make it to claim their sponsor money and coveted certificate. Dennis Preston (1963-70) recalls that the 1967 walk was "a breeze" even though it was a misty, murky start: "we were young then and it all seemed too easy!"
Not so three year later!

The 1970 walk was the same distance and the same route, but Dave and his two friends Derek Smith and Dave Horrocks, were overconfident and set off too quickly. By the time they'd done 13 miles they were suffering. By 21 miles they were "really hurting" and the only way they all finished was to keep telling each other that they were sixth-formers and mustn't be beaten by any juniors!

Dave Hamman (1964-71) remembers that the 1967 walk took place on St. George's day and that he and his pal Tony Burgess did the walk in five-and-a-half hours; they were the first to arrive back at Poundswick, surprising even the canteen staff who had come in to provide refreshments. Dave did the 1970 walk too, but took that "at a far more sensible pace!"

John Tomlinson (1976-83) tells us that the "Cat and Fiddle" walks continued until 1977 by which time the Upper School participants still did the full 25 miles but those from the Lower School did a shorter (12-mile) walk back to Poundswick from a lay-by on the Macclesfield road. In 1978 the walks were shortened to 10 miles for the Lower School and 15 miles for the Upper. The route started and finished at Poundswick and went round the airport, along the Bollin valley and diverged past Quarry Bank Mill for the Upper School. It took place on a school day (all previous walks had been at the weekend) and everyone was expected to take part except those medically unfit and, inexcusably in my view, the Sixth Form.