newsextra Clover completes a coastal challenge

To mark the 175th anniversary of the Rainy Day Trust, chief executive officer Bryan Clover recently set out to complete a 175-mile ramble along Cornwall’s coastline to raise funds for the industry charity. But the trek was not without its trials and tribulations, as he explains

raise funds for industry charity the Rainy Day Trust - from Newquay on October 6, and finish just north of Mevagissey a week later on October 13 - averaging 25 miles a day, with about 4,000 feet of climb per day. But like all plans, things changed. I was hiking with a friend, David Crane, and we


were joined by Chris Chapman, a local farmer who had seen our Facebook posts and wanted to help us raise money. Chris is 20 years old and has a lot of hiking experience, so we were happy for him to join us. As the walk was happening in October, we were

ready for poor weather and on our first day, the climate didn’t disappoint. Pouring rain and 30 knot winds made the first few hours hard going, with strong gusts pushing us near to the cliff edge on occasions. Plus, the hills were steeper and longer than our planning had suggested. So instead of an average of 4,000 feet of climb per day, we were doing nearer 5,000 feet, which was soon to add up in fatigue. Each day we were on the hills ready to walk by

sunrise (basically, as soon as it was safe enough to see where we were going) and were rewarded with some spectacular scenery. We walked until we hit our planned end point or it got too dark. Wherever possible, we added extra distance to the day’s total, with the aim of reducing the final day as much as we could. The terrain around the tip of Cornwall is incredibly

steep in places, and the early morning dew and overnight rain made it very slippery at times. The first injury occurred on day three, when I sprained my knee; David pulled a thigh muscle the following day; and Chris joined the ranks of the injured on day five with a groin strain. Our various apps showed that we were taking something like 58,000 steps a day and burning between 5,500 and 6,000 calories each day. We quite literally couldn’t snack and eat fast enough to replace what we were burning. Each day, we followed the same routine: walk for two to three hours, stop for a cuppa, walk for another two to three hours, stop for lunch - then push on to the finish for that day. Because of the steepness of the landscape, we

didn’t have much time to stop and enjoy the scenery. We had to maintain a solid 3 mph whenever we could, just to finish the day’s stretch in daylight. Everything was going fine until day six, when we

discovered that the ferries from Falmouth and St Mawes were cancelled due to an exceptionally low tide. That meant a very rapid re-plan.

October/November 2018 • l-r: Chris Chapman and Bryan Clover

75 miles along the south-west coast path in seven days. Doesn’t sound like much when you say it. The plan was to start our hike - to

We skipped that section and started what should

have been our last day’s route up to Mevagissey, extending the final day north. Heavy wind and rain meant that once again we were soaked to the skin very quickly, though it all cleared around lunchtime, giving us the opportunity to dry out a little. Then we looked at the forecast for the final day.

We’d been watching it carefully all week, hoping that things might blow through overnight. It was not to be. The forecast showed wind speeds of 64 mph plus heavy downpours all day. We considered moving the route inland, but the risk from falling trees and debris was equally bad. We then looked at using our reserve day of

Saturday but that was little better, with winds of over 50 mph. Walking on slippery cliffs and rocks in those winds was simply too dangerous, so we chose to cancel the final day on safety grounds. In the six days that we hiked, we covered 156

miles, averaging 26 miles a day. We burned 32,500 calories and took 341,000 steps, and managed 33,000 feet of climb and descent. Miraculously, none of us had any blisters at all – a testament to our well- fitted and broken-in boots. Throughout the walk we wore our Dulux polo

shirts with pride and talked to many people about what the Rainy Day Trust does and who it helps. We would like to thank the brilliant companies that supported us throughout: Dulux as the primary sponsor, KitchenCraft, Home Hardware, bira, Lawsons, BHETA, Reisser, Southern Co-op and the many individuals who sponsored us across the six days. I would also like to thank my two fellow walkers:

David, the godfather to my daughter Evie; and Chris, who kept us feeling young - we figured out that both David and I are old enough to be his grandfathers! Since the walk ended, we have all completed the final 19 miles in our home areas to complete the full 175. This walk was about celebrating the 175 years that the Rainy Day Trust has been helping people from the home improvement industry and we certainly achieved that. Here’s looking forward to the next fund-raising adventure.

l-r: Bryan Clover and David Crane

• At the time of going to press, Bryan had already raised 97% (£5,830) of his £6,000 fund-raising target. But you can help him reach his goal by going to The Rainy Day Trust operates across three sectors

(housewares & tabletop, builders merchants, DIY & hardware) which have a combined turnover of more than £50 billion and employ close to 500,000 people. It is the only charity which exists solely to help people who have worked in these industries, including cookshops, housewares shops, hardware stores, garden centres, DIY shops, builders merchants, and all the manufacturers and distributors who supply them. | 13

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