Early risers on Sunday May 19 may have heard the bells of St Peter & St Paul Parish Church, Tonbridge ringing Grandsire Triples on Radio 4 at 5.43 a.m. Tonbridge Lions needed no such wake-up call to prepare for their club’s 32nd annual charity walk.
The 124 walkers who embarked on either a five-mile or ten-mile walk, starting and ending at Shipbourne Village Hall, raised thousands of pounds. The shorter route took them via Dunk’s Green, Fairlawne Estate, Ightham Mote, Wilmott Cottage, Budd’s Green, and Shipbourne Church. The longer route extended to Carter’s Hill and Underriver.
With fine sunny weather, that was not too warm, and the “going” good underfoot in most places, the walkers returned full of reports of the magnificent views and the springtime fragrances of bluebells, and wild garlic.
The Lions planned and marshalled the event and supporters of other charities obtained the sponsorship and did the walking. The charities keep all the money for themselves and estimates indicate that around £4000 was raised.
At the finish walkers had their sponsor forms officially “stamped” to show that they had completed the walk and Mike Stout, President of Tonbridge Lions presented each walker with a certificate.
The Mayor & Mayoress of Tonbridge & Malling BC, Cllr Howard and Mrs Jane Rogers completed the longer walk and raised funds for The Bridge Trust. Other beneficiaries included Age UK, Hayesbrook School PTA, chYps Hospice, The Scotts Project, Angel Ladies and Junior Bowls, Tonbridge First Responders and well as local Scouts and Beavers.