THE MINSTER WAY CHALLENGE
Following last year’s challenge organised by Andy Bowden to raise funds for the historical churches along our valley, cycling 120 miles and visiting 44 churches along the way we decided to use our limbs instead of our wheels for this year’s challenge. Any ‘normal’ walkers would complete the challenge in three or four days but not this trio, they decided to complete it all in one go, walking through the night and deprived of a nights’ sleep.
One gloriously sunny evening on the 17th July 2015 Andy Bowden ( our vicar serving the Wolds Valley churches) Sally and Stuart ( intrepid ramblers from Duggleby) set off at 6pm to complete the 50 mile walk between the Minsters of Beverley and York, crossing the Yorkshire Wolds. The Minster Way is a varied route. it includes the smooth chalk hills and dry valleys of The Yorkshire Wolds to the north of Beverley, arable farmland, two rivers, woods, several fine churches, villages, an historic market town and an ancient walled city. All these between the magnificent Minsters of Beverley and York which respectively define the start and finish and provide the name ‘The Minster Way’. Ignoring the ambience of The Beverley ‘piazza’ on this balmy summers evening and the abundance of happy, relaxed groups enjoying a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio and plate of delicious aromatic food, they headed to The Minster feeling a little apprehensive and full of vigour!
The weather was definitely everything we would have wished for, warm throughout the night, partially lit by the glow of the moon and a magnificent sunrise just after 4am. Perfect conditions for a wonderful walk. The trio were joined along the way by some fresh legs at Lockington by Helen Scull (Kirby Grindalythe) and Richard Hazelrigg (Wharram le Street). A welcome addition and the chance of a fresh pace to keep us going. Richard conveniently had other commitments the following day and left us before midnight but thank you for your support and encouragement.
The walk was definitely a challenge in every way and was not without its ups and downs ( not just the undulating terrain!). Many plasters, sock changes and endless snacks kept us going through the night. Helen’s husband, Nick got a gushingly over the top ‘Good Morning’ from us at 5am at Bishop Wilton when he greeted us with steaming hot Costa Coffees he’d sourced in Pocklington! A good early morning perk up and an aperitif for our bacon butties at Stamford Bridge!
We reluctantly said goodbye to Andy after 29 miles as his blisters were horrendously painful but a wise and brave decision had to be made. Well done Andy for completing more than a marathon before breakfast! On and on and on the trio went, arriving at York Minster at just after 1pm. Tears of relief as we ‘hugged’ the Minster doors. What a welcome sight.
We thank everyone who’s sponsored us this year and are pleased to announce we raised £455 for the churches along the Valley. We will, no doubt be partaking in another challenge next year and would be open to any suggestions and of course would love to see more people taking part for some or all of the challenge. Sally and Stuart