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News > Memories > Sponsored walk 1969

Sponsored walk 1969

Striding out for the Evening Chronicle
The organisers of the sponsored walk
The organisers of the sponsored walk

In 1969 I was in the sixth form and, feeling very conscious of social issues, a small group of us decided we'd like to organise a school walk to raise money for the homeless organisation, Shelter. The staff seemed happy for us to do this so we scoped out some suitable walks and started to publicise it with a poster campaign around the school. Very soon we found that the girls were also interested in taking part so the campaign expanded and resulted in a very successful money-raising event.

At this distance I can't remember the route (was it 20 miles?) or the amount we raised, but I do have this photograph of some of the organisers. I think they are (L-R) Jonathan Lee, Barbara Lees, Duncan Grey, Pam Salkeld, David Johnson, Head Girl Sheila Walke, Jim Zenner.

No doubt others will correct me and, I hope, remember the event. I do remember collecting the money the following week and going on several occasions to a bank in town carrying bags of cash. According to the article in The Journal of May 10 1969 the 24 mile walk raised £1700. I remember the many visits to the bank with bags of cash. I think we had marshals on the route but I doubt we had insurance or a risk assessment. They were naive times!

Duncan Grey (1970)

I think this initiative originated after a talk in general studies from one of the founders of ‘Shelter’, itself set up after the ‘Cathy come Home’ play on TV. We had a very enthusiastic general studies teacher Pete Webber, who, I seem to remember, did his utmost to make these lessons interesting and relevant. 

I think we began the walk at Tynemouth station, proceeded up the coast to Seaton Sluice, then turned inland and followed a route to Wideopen where Chas Hay administered the contents of a giant cauldron of onion soup he had prepared. From here it was back down the Great North Road to DA. About 27 miles in all!
I remember it well.

Aidan Evans (1970)

We'd love to hear about your school days. 

Please email Katherine Leonard to share your memories.

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