An excellent first ‘official’ day of the walk where everything went very well. A large contingent from Travis Perkins most of whom had been on the walk before so good to see some older faces !
Colin and Angie Wake from Wakefield joined us after a long drive South so special thanks to them and also joined by Mr and Mrs Watson from Gloucester, nice to see an old couple out for a stroll.
A very special mention of Ian Watson’s walking attire and especially the very twee pink ankle socks ‘ so as to show of my tan ‘ he drawled when challenged. a very good match for the Usain Bolt trainers he was sporting – lovely .
An excellent lunch at the Ferryman where the waitress had not been on the customer care training course. One of the very few occasions I have been glad to see Jane and Anteneh waiting to greet their throng and with refreshing orange juice. Thanks for the pint as well from the super slimline Ian Smith of TP.
The afternoon session was pleasantly quick and on a hot day a welcome sight to see the toll bridge at Swinford and our stop.
Thanks to all the walkers and helpers on an excellent start.
Back to walking after an exciting three days in Leeds with the administrators of Connaught.
All guns firing ready to attack the 12 miles heading into West London.
First call of the day from the MD of our Stockbrokers – “Where are you?”
“Strangely, Mark we are at the start point where are you?” He had not read the instruction as usual.
Having motivated him, the next call was from a major shareholder – “I am late 0 where can I meet you?” Now you all know my frustrations with the city type!
Eventually got started at the most beautiful start point of the walk, Hampton Court Palace. Magnificent surroundings, 17 walkers in total with runners and riders from Travis Perkins, “the City” and Mears. Stopped for a great lunch at the New Inn in Richmond. Weather again excellent , not even a spot of rain, and then onto a short afternoon walk to Kew Bridge
Hi-lights of the day were the plonkers getting lost at the start and of course the excellent views of Hampton and the houseboats. A quick shoot home, quick bath and onto afternoon appointments made by my rottweiller of a PA Jane, who doesn’t realise I am getting an old man.
A late start with a few stragglers arriving at Kew Bridge. If we had known they were latecomers we would have had another bacon butty!
Anyway off we go with the usual guff from me regarding following the acorn. The regulars know what I mean. On this leg of the walk you can walk on the North and or South side of the Thames. I was a bit bemused therefore to not recognise some of the sights. We had the embarrassment of walking up a private towpath and Captain Birds Eye came out to direct us accordingly……
A tough walk before lunch, nearer 9 miles than 7 but a good lunch, and short walk thereafter. Last day tomorrow.
The Last Day
A large field today for the Thames Barrier handicap chase over 12 miles – going very tough.
I forgot to tell you about my highlight yesterday, which was meeting five of the best looking young women in the world (see picture) who came into Battersea Park for a photo shoot. Everybody on the walk seemed bemused by the fact that I had ordered the photoshoot just for the occasion. Needless to say, when I returned after the walk the girls had had to go back to school!
Back to today – good weather, everybody on time and ready to walk along the Thames with all the most memorable views, starting with the House of Lords and House of Commons, followed by the Wheel and all the famous bridges. A quick comfort break at the New County Hall building – thank you Boris, please can I have my 20p back which did not allow me access into the toilet – and onwards to lunch at the Ship and Whale, Rotherhithe (under new ownership) for probably our nicest lunch. No choice but a good selection of sarnies and big fat home made chips – none for me of course!
A quick stock up on Kit Kats from Anteneh’s boot (!) and then onto what I regard as the least exciting part of the whole Thames Walk – from Rotherhithe to the Thames Barrier. Thanks to somebody for the new signage all along the route, and as a group we stuck together and nobody got lost – first I time I can remember that on this leg!
A very welcome new sign read Thames Barrier left 4 miles, Thames Barrier right 2.25 miles – I will let you guess which route we took. A rather shortened afternoon therefore, arriving at the Barrier at around 2.30 p.m. All in tact , no rain, a few tired faces, and well done to our bright staff from Maidstone who had parked cars at the end enabling them to make a quick get away.
Another memorable year and another memorable walk. Thanks to the support team of Jane, Anteneh and Jenny.
Many thanks to everybody who took part and made the event a success. To those who have raised money for their charities of choice – well done, and for those who have donated to The Footprints Foundation – get the cheque in the post!
Sincere thanks to everybody. Well done. Signing off for another year.