Last Saturday night saw myself, W.Bro Bob Summers, Bro. Ian Salthouse and W.Bro Brian Lingard together with many other Brethren standing in the Players Car Park at Turf Moor. Were we to be the surprise signings up Burnley FC’s sleeve?….
Not really, but we were there to make a supporting contribution to a very worthy cause, that being the Pendleside Hospice and it’s Midnight Walk. For those readers who may not be familiar with the work of the Hospice, their aim and purpose is to promote the quality of life for each individual and his or her family and carers. They do this by delivering specialist care appropriate to each patient’s needs and family circumstances, and also offer emotional support to patients and their family and carers, a night care service and extend the hospice philosophy of care into the community.
Now in its fifth year, this event gives ladies (of all ages) the opportunity to raise money for the Hospice, often in memory of loved ones whom they had lost. As you’ve probably guessed, the walk, (or walks, as two different routes were on offer), was to begin at midnight, so my colleagues and I were assembled and ready to be deployed into our positions as Marshals, a role which offered a double sense of doing something worthwhile. One, by helping the Hospice to raise much needed funding, and two, providing security to those women wishing to take part in the early hours of the morning.
Before leaving, however, we decided to take a look at the Abba tribute band who were entertaining the steadily growing throng of participants before the event got underway. Big mistake, as it was here that W.Bro Summers decided that we all needed to enter into the spirit of things, persuading us all that we really needed to buy flashing multicoloured led Mohican headwear! I leave you, dear reader to form your own conclusion!
11:45 found us at the final briefing before taking up our positions and awaiting the arrival of the first walkers. As I mentioned earlier, there were two routes available to the participants; one of five miles, the other slightly longer at eight miles in length. We had been assigned to the five miler, and situated at around three miles from the start. At around 12:50, the first walkers arrived, taking advantage of the feeding station set up close by, which was doing a roaring trade in bottled water and bananas. Then again, that’s hardly surprising, as that’s all they had! Other walkers availed themselves of the conveniently placed Portaloos, and some adventurous souls even did both!
Passing my point just a little further down the road, all seemed in good spirits, as much laughter and cheery greetings were to be found. Even those busily munching their banana managed a wave and a smile. The trickle of walkers grew to a swell, and then a flood, finally abating at around 01:40ish, allowing us to return to Turf Moor for a welcome cup of tea and a bacon butty. On arrival, it was good to see our Worshipful Master, W.Bro Roy Langtree busily helping to receive the returning walkers. Butty and tea in hand, we sat and reflected on the evening’s success, some £77,238 in sponsorship being pledged, with over one thousand walkers taking part.
All in all, there aren’t many better ways to spend a Saturday night!