The history of our challenge walks in words and pictures
Up to date financial details and other information about our fundraising activities
Annual financial details of the totals raised from our Walkers and Corporate Sponsors
Information about The Three Peaks Challenge Walk and the surrounding countryside
Information about The Chatsworth Challenge Walk, and the Chatsworth area.
Preparation, Hints & Tips
Handy tips and sound advice for tackling those demanding challenge walks
Some interesting features associated with our walks
Information about us and why we raise the sponsored funds
All the other bits we couldn’t fit in anywhere else
chatsworthchallenge.com and threepeakschallenge.com are organisers of sponsored challenge walks to raise money for the Dave Owens and Frank Goodall Memorial Fund in support of nominated charities to fund cancer research, prevention, and treatment.
The four charities we currently represent. All of the money raised on our walks go to the four listed cancer charities to fund the research, prev-ention, and treatment of cancer.
More information >>
Regrettably the opening chapter of our annual walk page over recent years has been dominated by the poor weather we have endured on our one fundraising day out in the English countryside.
As any experienced British holidaymaker will know, it is unwise not to pack suitable rain-gear along with your shorts, sunglasses, and suntan cream, so as to cover all the options the British climate can offer. And, as it was in recent times, so it was again on June 20th 2009, when having basked in glorious sunshine for the preceding days leading up to the walk (and again in the subsequent days thereafter) we were disappointed that the occasional sunny periods were accompanied by grey overcast skies, and rain showers.
New routes providing our participants with exhilarating views of the Peak District for
both the 22 mile and 9 mile walks had once again been planned by event organisers Gerard Mitchell and Peter Mackie. Strong consideration had been given to the locations and amenities of the checkpoints at The Red Lion (Birchover) and The Devonshire Arms (Beeley), and these proved to be popular with all the walkers, particularly the ladies; and this of course raises an important issue.
I am reliably informed that nipping behind a tree to spend the proverbial (female) penny when zipped and buttoned in full walking outfit is not a straightforward task. It is of course a very delicate process, and to accomplish the task requires skill, dexterity, and the ability to view the surrounding countryside with 360 degree vision, whilst at the same time managing several difficult ‘wardrobe malfunctions’. Some may say, ‘how did we ever win two world wars, when ladies can’t go to the loo outdoors’. Whilst we at three peaks challenge.com would never endorse such a discriminatory comment, it is nevertheless a major consideration in the planning of such events that these issues are not taken lightly. It is therefore, a testament to the honourable concerns of our two (male) route planners that these appropriate considerations were implemented.
Anyway... we should move on; and so, at 06:00 hrs, and 11.45 hrs respectively, the 22 mile and 9 mile walks set out. Gerard Mitchell (22 mile walk) and long time three peaks challenge supporter, and now guest writer, Ann Mitchell (9 mile walk) give us their own recollections of the day. (PL)
The 22 milers and the 9 milers meet for rest and a drink at the 2nd Checkpoint. (Devonshire Arms at Beeley)
Corporate Sponsors (No / £)
Individual Walkers (No / £)
Text : Philip Lynskey : Gerard Mitchell : Ann Mitchell : Tommy Cooper :
Images : Ann Mitchell : Gerard Mitchell : John Brady : Peter Mackie
chatsworthchallenge.com are organisers of fund raising challenge walks in support of the Dave Owens and Frank Goodall Memorial Fund to raise monies for nominated charities in support of cancer research, prevention, and treatment.
2009 Walk : Chatsworth Challenge
The 22 Mile Walk
1. The 06:00 hrs start at Baslow Car Park
The 2009 event saw a record number of starters with 75 people talking part in the two walks. 32 of them have dragged
1. Baslow Car Park-06:00 hrs. Early start for the 22 milers
3. The Picturesque village of Edensor
2. 30 minutes into the walk at Chatsworth Bridge
4. Time for a quick stop at the Packhorse footbridge
5. Checkpoint 1. Outside the Red Lion Pub in Birchover
6. Checkpoint 1. Inside the Red Lion Pub in Birchover
walk when one of our participants virtually ran around the 26 mile Three Peaks course so that he could get home for his cricket match in the afternoon, during which he achieved the aforesaid 6 wickets and 50 runs - Ed). We are just crossing Chatsworth Bridge spanning the River Derwent before taking the right had fork along the path up and over to Edensor. Shaun Hardwick is the back marker here but I’m sure he’ll be right up there with the leaders as they hit the finishing line.
themselves out of bed and made their way to Baslow for the 06:00 start of the 22 mile walk. The remaining 43 will start the 6 mile walk at 11:45. As always in our starting line-up there are a lot of regular faces mixed with the very welcome first timers. It’s 05:55, we’re under starters orders but the first drops of rain are already starting to land on the camera lens.
2. Chatsworth Bridge
Thirty minutes into the walk and people are getting into their stride, finding their own pace and the field is starting to get strung out. As always some walkers like to make a full day of it where others like to get round as fast as they can so they can take 6 wickets and score 50 odd not out in the afternoon. Personally those types just get on my t**s. (Censored ! Gerard is referring to an earlier
Here we are in the picturesque village of Edensor, which like most other villages in the area, is clearly identified as being part of the Chatsworth Estate by its paintwork. The soffit boards and fall pipes on the houses are painted the famous Chatsworth blue. You will probably notice Vanessa’s legs don’t look too shabby in those shorts either. Although it is not in the picture we have just passed Edensor churchyard in which Kathleen Kennedy, sister to J.F. Kennedy, is buried amongst the Dukes of Devonshire. From here the path gets quite steep up through the woods to Ballcross Farm and then Bakewell.
4. Packhorse Footbridge
This packhorse bridge is about 7.5 miles into the walk and this photo doesn't do any justice to the fact that it's pouring down. The bridge links the small village of Alport to the even smaller village of Bradford. Despite the rain Simon Lockwood, Christine Hinton, Barbara Marshall and Dan Jackson are managing a smile though it has to be said that some are managing it a lot better than others; well done Barbara. Surprisingly Clare
Mitchell is also in the picture but you can’t see her due to the fact that she's wearing her camouflage walking jacket. There is a prize for anybody who can spot her but my advice must be to not waste your time, you’ll never do it.
5. Checkpoint 1, Outside The Red Lion
We’re now at the halfway stage, which is checkpoint 1 at the Red Lion public house in Birchover. With the last of the rain behind us the weather is now setting fair for the day. At this point I would like to take the opportunity of thanking Matteo Frau who is the landlord of the Red Lion for his hospitality on the day. By opening up his excellent premises at 08-30 to accommodate us he played a large part in making the day more enjoyable for the walkers and marshals, Phil & Wendy Lynskey, alike. His first-rate menu included
tea, coffee, bacon sandwiches or even a full breakfast for the really hungry. I can’t make out whether Laurence James is perusing his map or the menu. Thanks again Matteo.
6. Checkpoint 1, Inside The Red Lion
What sort of a carry-on is this at 10-15 in the morning halfway through a grueling 22 miler! (Well done Gerard. I’m pleased to see that you feel morally obliged to bring to our attention that some members of the group are drinking at this unholy hour. It took a brave and absolute man with a strong moral code of abstinence, like yourself to bring this indulgence to the attention of our readers. Well done !... Ed).
Obviously the coffee didn’t quite do the trick for some people. In the interests of propriety
I think this calls for a bit of naming and shaming. I feel I have a duty to let you know what type of people you’re walking with so let’s crack on. From the left we have Eddie Messenger (rural vicar), Louise Winder (social worker), Phil Lynskey (justice of the peace and event marshal), Matteo (pub landlord so he’s ok), Wendy Lynskey (school ma’am and event marshal) and finally Dean Morley (captain in the Salvation Army). Only joking Chaps, it was a great moment and one that I sincerely hope we can replicate for our next walk in 2010. (GM)
The 9 Mile Walk
7. The 11:45 start at Baslow Car Park
As we approached Derbyshire the clouds got blacker and the rain came down. As we arrived at Baslow it was dry again
7. The team photo at the start of the 9 Mile Walk
11. Negotiating the Kissing Gate
12. Louise has the scent of the pub (err... final checkpoint)
8. Some of young Fundraisers
Here we have the youngest people to ever take part in our event, and judging by the look of them I would guess they range between five to ten years of age. With their maps and route guides at the ready they look eager for the off. From the left we have Ella, Oliver, Alexander and Benedict. Ella had raised funds by walking around her local summer fair called "The Gallop" and asking for donations for her Chatsworth Challenge nine mile charity walk. She and her friend Molly also set up a stall (the sale articles of which were taken from their respective homes) with all proceeds being donated to the charity fundraising. It really was terrific to see young people happy to get involved in a 9 mile slog up and down the hills to help with our fundraising, and to be fair they made it look easy. Louise Lavelle is studying her clipboard to ensure everyone is present and correct before the off.
9. Graham Fisher leads the walkers
Graham forges ahead with a very cheesy grin (was that because he had just had a
9. Graham Fisher and Margaret Mackie set the pace
10. Time for a well deserved drink at Beeley
8. Some of our young Fundraisers
without anyone watching)! Back to the car park where a rather suspicious looking car park attendant was goose stepping around the car park – well it takes all sorts. Time for a group photo once we had got everybody in one place and managed to drag Margaret and Stella away from waving goodbye to three very nice leather clad bikers, who declined to walk with us. (They were very nice though – calm down girls). Everybody looks enthusiastic and ready for the challenge ahead apart from Danny and friends on the back row who look far more interested in what’s going on behind them... perhaps it was the strange car park attendant slapping a notice on their car.
and gave everybody chance to change into their gear. Some of us headed to the cafe for bacon ‘sarnies’ and managed to avoid the huge slabs of cake (but agreed that we could come down another time and eat cake
result in the kissing gate – Margaret and Anne are looking a bit sheepish behind him) and a chorus of ‘I’m happy when I’m hiking’ – which seemed a very appropriate song... shame nobody joined in! In fact most were looking like turning back through the kissing gate.
10. Time for a drink at Beeley
A well deserved break at Beeley. Most of this lot had 16 miles under their belt and were still smiling and they had 6 miles to do yet. Graham in the background is posing for the camera again!
Clare Mitchell enjoys a pint of Guinness and is raring to get off on the last leg of the walk. (She looks like she’s happy to stay there boozing on Guinness to me - Ed)
11. The ‘Kissing Gate’
Two male walkers hurry through the kissing gate so as nobody talks about them, well it is a KISSING gate. Duh! (Ann, we all live in a free, and democratic society where equality and intolerance of discrimination of any kind is of paramount importance, and if two men want to huddle together in a confined area known locally as the ‘kissing gate’, who are we to judge. Ed!)
12. Nearly there !
Clare and friend make it through the last gate and looks like drinks at the bar are being ordered over the mobile. Louise can’t decide what to have. And the sun is shining as it should be in mid summer!. (AM)
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If you took part in this year’s walk, and want to take the challenge again, OR...
If you’re reading this for the first time, and wish to take part in our annual walk, click on the following links for more details.
2009 marked a significant milestone in our fundraising efforts when our total sponsorship raised to date passed through the £100,000 mark.
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our walkers, our corporate sponsors, and everyone who has contributed in any way to the Dave Owens and Frank Goodall Memorial Fund.
A significant milestone for Chatsworth Challenge.com (click to enlarge)
The following is a letter sent by Audrey Goodall to Gerard, and because it contains no confidential or any personal comments, and is a general thank you to all who take part in the walks, we have decided to reproduce it here as an open letter.
I do so appreciate all the personal effort you give in organising the Dave and Frank Memorial Fund event, and would be grateful if you would pass on my heartfelt thanks to everyone involved. It certainly is a great way of remembering friends, and keeping so many others at the same time. I know the lads would be proud of you.
I wish you every success!
23rd June 2009
You know what it’s like when you’ve just completed a punishing sponsored walk. You’ve been up and down hills, up and over gates and climbed over stiles for 22 long, never ending miles. You just want to get to the final checkpoint, get signed off, and then sit down and have a quiet drink or two.
Well who can blame our four smiling walkers pictured here who have just completed the course for doing just that. Phil Hemingway and Vanessa Procter (foreground), and Paul and Sara Hitch (background) take time out from their busy drinking schedule to pose for the camera. (PL)
Vanessa, Paul, Sara and Phil have a quite drink or two in Baslow after a punishing 22 mile walk. (click to enlarge)
13. Ann Fisher at Beeley Checkpoint
(click to enlarge)
Margaret and Louise at the Beeley Checkpoint (click to enlarge)
Even though the weather does it’s best to dampen our spirits, our walkers appear to have enough ‘spirit’ inside them to keep them laughing.
Something is clearly making Ann Fisher, and Margaret Mackie and Louise Lavelle break down in fits of laughter at the Devonshire Arms Checkpoint at Beeley.
(fund total raised to date after current walk year)
Could it be our glorious leader, Gerard ‘Tommy’ Mitchell-Cooper doing one of his impromptu Tommy Cooper routines. (He’s probably already done the disappearing glass, bottle, bottle glass routine inside the Beeley Arms three times. Ed). Catch some of his best ‘Cooperisms’ in the following notes (PL
I had a meal last night. I ordered everything in French... surprised everybody. It was a Chinese restaurant. I said to this Chinese waiter, "Look, this chicken I ordered has got one leg shorter than the other." He said, "What do you wanna do with it, eat it or dance with it?" I said, "Forget the chicken, give me a lobster," and he brought me this lobster. I said "just a minute, he's only got one claw." He said "Well he's been in a fight." I said, "Well give me the winner."
Police arrested two kids yesterday, one was drinking battery acid, the other was eating fireworks. They charged one, and let the other one off.
I told my girlfriend I had a job in a bowling alley. She said "Tenpin?" I said, "No... permanent."
So I went down my local ice-cream shop, and said “I want to buy an ice-cream.” He said “Hundreds & thousands?”' I said “We'll start with just one.” He said “Knickerbocker glory?” I said “I do get a certain amount of freedom in these trousers, yes !”... Huh Huh Huh (TC)
Gerard takes time out at Beeley checkpoint to do his famous Tommy Cooper impersonation. (mouse over to see Gerard’s impersonation of Tommy)