Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Ambition fulfilled

 My family are Lancastrians and since being a young'un I've been fascinated by the concept of the county being split in two, Furness (now part of Cumbria) lying to the north of Morecambe Bay and the rest of the county to the south of the bay, with a bit of Westmorland (also now part of Cumbria) in between.

 For many years I've wanted to walk across The Bay, having been intrigued by supposed rights of way marked on maps and stories of the Queen's Guide and the Fishermen of Flookburgh published in mum's magazines, like Cumbria. Every year there are a number of guided walks across the bay to raise funds for charities. Cumbria Wildlife Trust had a slot allocated to them for a date in August and we duly met up at Arnside and registered for the 8 mile crossing to Kent Bank. 

 Walking around the coast from Arnside to White Creek it soon became apparent just how many people were on this walk - around 300! The walking speed was also rather variable. How would they get everybody safely across the sands?

 Answer - a whistle! Line everybody up at an obstacle and wait for the stragglers, instruct everyone what to do, then do it. Simples!

 Everybody soon got the hang of what was going on and what to do and obstacles such as the channel of the River Kent were crossed safely without too much carnage! (Yes, there's always the one who does a runner and has an early bath, so to speak).

 The walk wasn't a straight line as quick sand, river channels and creeks in the saltmarsh all dictate the route. These shift position so recce's are done by the guide's team the day before and if necessary, on the day, before setting out on the main event.

The Queen's Guide to the sands Cedric Robinson (with sunglasses) and his assistant Mike Carter. Thanks guys for a splendid day out and a long held ambition fulfilled.

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