Pub talk takes Hexham friends on 100-mile adventure

Geoff Cant and Kirk Barclay present Tynedale Hospice at Home fund-raiser Cathy Bates with a cheque for £3,000.
Geoff Cant and Kirk Barclay present Tynedale Hospice at Home fund-raiser Cathy Bates with a cheque for £3,000.

TWO friends, 100 miles, five days – and £3,000.

The sums all added up for well-known Hexham personalities Kirk Barclay (57) and Geoff Cant (48) when they walked the St Oswald’s Way from Holy Island to Heavenfield, near Wark, in aid of Tynedale Hospice at Home.

Adding on an extra eight miles to finish the walk in their home town, the close friends raised a staggering £3,000 for the charity.

Neither had carried out a challenge like this before, and it was dreamed up over a few drinks at the pub. But pushing through the pain barrier paid off for the pair.

Geoff, the general manager at Prudhoe Waterworld, said: “It was an absolutely beautiful walk, taking in some stunning coastline along the way. We were pretty lucky with the weather, although we did experience real extremes of temperature.

“For the first two days, I wished I had brought some gloves, while we needed sun cream for the final couple of days!

“People have been so generous and it made every step worth it to know that we were raising valuable funds for such an excellent cause.”

The final total of £3,000 blew their initial fund-raising target of £500 out of the water.

Kirk, director of Hexham-based BW Electricals, said: “Geoff and I couldn’t believe we managed to get away without any blisters after walking over 100 miles, but I can’t deny we suffered a few aches and pains along the way.

“We got lots of encouragement though, and some of the locals we chatted to were so generous in sponsoring us. We also had great support from family and friends who joined us for parts of the journey.

“The final mile of every day was always the hardest, so by the time we arrived at our destination at the end of each day we were only fit for food, a cuppa and an early night.”

The money raised will support the work of Tynedale Hospice, which provides palliative nursing care to people in their own homes, a family support service and hospital transport to people living in the district.

Cathy Bates, the hospice’s community fund-raiser, said: “We’re so grateful to Geoff and Kirk for their efforts.

“To think that what started out as an idea over a pint turned into an incredible fund-raising feat. It just goes to show what you can achieve when you put your mind to it.”

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