Four intrepid friends recently completed the St Cuthbert’s Way to remember a pal who tragically died – and raised £1,600 for charity.
The Archie Foundation and the Macmillan Trust will benefit to the tune of £1,000 and £600, respectively, thanks to the efforts of Donny Mackay, Brian Dowling, Jake Gibb and Ian Cameron.
The lads, all of whom hail from Carnoustie, have completed six walks in the seven last years, only missing out last year due to the coronavirus pandemic restrictions.
And this year they completed their 62-mile effort from the Scottish Borders to Northumberland in memory of friend Ian Reid, who tragically died from cancer in March last year at only 53 years of age.
Great sum raised
Brian said they were delighted to get back on the road again walking St Cuthbert’s Way after missing out last year and to have raised such a great sum for the two charities.
“This is the sixth walk we have done. Previously we have walked the West Highland Way, The Great Glen Way, Rob Roy Way, East Highland Way and the Speyside Way,” he said.
“We did the first one for charity as a group. I usually do them for charity myself for local causes, but this is the first one we have done as a full squad again. It was basically because, sadly, Ian Reid died last year and it was in memory of him. We did it for The Archie Foundation and Macmillan Cancer Support.”
And their efforts don’t end there with thoughts already turning to next year, although it may be that they need to complete their next walk over two years.
“We’re not sure what we will do next year, but because we did Melrose to Holy Island, we are trying to get one that will link up Melrose to Glasgow. However, we can’t seem to find that,” continued Brian.
“We might need to do it over two years, going Melrose to Edinburgh and then the Forth and Clyde Canal, which will mean we have gone from Holy Island all the way up to Inverness.”
Brian said the camaraderie between the guys when they did the walk in June was great, while they were also blessed with good weather. And he was fulsome in his praise of the company that organises the events.
“The weather was great, the accommodation was great,” he continued “Gemini Walks organised it for us, as always. They do accommodation and baggage transfer. We walk with our day bags but they take the luggage on to the next stop.
“They do about 12 different walks in Scotland and we have done every one with them. They’ve been brilliant.”