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Just to let you know....we DID IT!

No less than 15 of us completed the Poole Harbour YOMP on Saturday 6th July! The overnight rain cleared and the sun shone just in time as we set off from our very own Falkland Islands memorial by the Dolphin centre at 7am sharp!


Eight stalwarts completed the whole 25 miles, returning to the memorial in just nine and a half hours. Others joined us for sections of the route, but everyone gave it their all!


A great crowd was there to see us off including; Tony (Sharkey) Ward, John Meeds who has taken some great photos to commemorate the event and Jimmy Carberry who has already completed the YOMP in stages.

RMA member Brian Maidman (Store & Secure) set the pace with his crew from the Lake Yard Sailing club; Luke Maddison (former bootneck HW), Martin (former Sapper) and, still serving; Kev (RAF mover – Hamworthy Barracks) as we wended our way through the quiet early morning streets of Hamworthy and Upton.

First check point was the Bakers arms where we met John Seymour and wife Iris with their “Battle Bus.” Alex Cruickshank was going to stop here along with Simmo but decided to do just one more leg. Refreshments had, we were off again to Wareham where we wowed the local populace perambulating along the high street to the quay where a toilet stop and cups of tea were taken. We also took on extra walkers Luke's wife Seonag and 3 eager and energetic dogs.

Second check point was the car park at Ridge where more family joined the walk in the form of my son-in-law Seb, buddy Dudley and his daughter Evelina. (12yrs) We also saw the arrival of communications supremo, Clive Jennings and former LC entrepreneur Yorkie Twiss. And a quick check, confirmed Alex Cruikshank was still with us for another leg!

From here it was off into the bondu, beautiful heath lands, bridleways and former tramways, not forgetting Sherford Bridge! Check point 3 coincided with lunchtime so I was really looking forward to my ham, cheese and tomato sandwiches which were in the battle bus. However, Sharkey and John were nowhere to be seen!!! A phone call from Sharkey revealed that they had been apprehended by the local land owner who said permission was needed to transit these here bridleways. No lunch then, but a quick check and Alex was still with us!

Eventually we all emerged onto Ferry road where there WAS check point 4 WITH a battle bus and my sarnies and flask of tea. Morale was high at this point with the Sandbanks ferry only a couple of klicks away. Brian Maidman took the high road with Bry Fletcher and crew and we, took the low (literally) road (for my aching left foot) but we all ended up at the ferry point together – even Martin’s dog which had staged a sit-in at one point! I spoke to Alex; he said he was aching all over but was obviously in for the long-haul now.

After a much appreciated rest on the ferry – sea soldiers you see – we were deposited at Sandbanks and off we went. It turned into a free for all with Brian urging his crew on to finish in time to see the England match and rest of us falling into their slip-stream, well some of us. If you have ever seen the film “Cockleshell heroes” there were a few shenanigans on this stretch. “But what goes on tour stays on tour.” Check point 5 basically never happened. At Poole Park there was an Irish parliament about the most direct route to the Falkland square. Peter Wenham forged ahead barking out the directions and so we dutifully fell in line – not bad for a former LC Corporal!!


As we trundled through the bus station and the Dolphin centre my wonderful walkers and supporters pushed me and Pete Wenham to the front to lead us all to the Falkland memorial and the finish! It was amazing to have a reception party from the Foundry Arms and family and friends to welcome us all in!


What amazing support I have received from every quarter in this endeavour; our RMA members, Brian Maidman and his friends, the Foundry Arms, Centenary club, SBSA, BOWRA supporters and all my family and friends who have pledged monies to our justgiving account to the tune of £2500. With pledges still to be collected from Pete, Jimmy and RMA members we may even approach £3000 collected in the end. All for our veterans.


If you can inspire people I think it is an amazing thing and special note has to go to Pete Wenham, Jimmy Carberry Dave Sippitt, Clive Jennings and of course Alex who I believe all made great personal achievements in supporting the YOMP.


On a final note and for my outstanding safety and support crew manning all the Check Points; Sharkey, John and Iris, as the old “Bat out of hell” song says...3 out of 5 aint bad!

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댓글 2개

7월 11일

Great job, obviously still got the bootneck yomping mine set!


You guys are amazing it makes me emotional reading it, please see my WhatsApp post if you don't understand why 💚

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