Sidford friends raise £5,000 walking SW Coast Path

PUBLISHED: 16:30 22 March 2009 | UPDATED: 08:48 18 June 2010

FOUR friends from Sidford have completed a two-and-a-half year challenge to walk the 630 SW Coast Path, raising £5,000 for Cancer Research UK.

FOUR friends from Sidford have completed a two-and-a-half year challenge to walk the 630 SW Coast Path, raising £5,000 for Cancer Research UK.

Roger and Dorothy Davis from Byes Lane were joined by Keith and Sandra Blanshard of Sidford Road, for the walk, which runs through much of Dorset, all of Devon and Cornwall and part of Somerset.

Since handing a cheque to Dawn Harrison from Cancer Research UK last week, their sponsors have pushed the figure over £5,000.

Dorothy, 60, a retired clerical officer with Devon County Council, said: "We did the walk in stages, mostly at weekends or in holidays.

"We walked from Sidmouth to Poole, then continued from Sidmouth the other way."

They completed the trek in Minehead on Sunday, February 22, celebrating with a glass of champagne.

Thanking sponsors for their support, Roger and Keith described the walk as "well worth the effort."

"We met many interesting folk, from across the UK and further afield, on our journey," they said.

It is not surprising the challenge ranks in the top 50 worldwide, with the walkers climbing the equivalent of Mount Everest four times on their trek.

"It felt like it at times but any aches and pains are soon forgotten," said freelance gardener Roger, 66.

"However, at a combined age of 247 years, we feel proud to have completed the challenge and lucky enough to have had the health and strength to carry it out."

Wearing fundraising T-shirts, Dorothy said others on the walk made donations and once, while stopping for coffee, people in a café "must have taken pity on us" adding donations to their collecting box.

Highlight on the walk ranged from East Dorset's chalk cliffs, the wooded, lush creeks and estuaries of South Devon and South Cornwall, turquoise seas at Kynance Cove on the Lizard Peninsular and Porthcurno, and the awe-inspiring rugged scenery of North Cornwall and North Devon.

There was one low point, which saw the four "almost crawling over the boulders on the North Cornish coast in a full Atlantic gale."

Now taking time to enjoy being grandparents, Dorothy says they have not yet planned any future fundraising treks.

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