A Warwickshire man prepares for a 142 Mile Charity walk – as a retirement gift to himself…
Trevor Langley has spent the last 40 years working in schools in and around Warwickshire and this July will finally hang up his red marking pen. But instead of jetting off in to the sunset, as most would plan on doing, he is tying up his walking boots and taking on a ‘trek of a lifetime’ – planning to walk the entire length of the Grand Union Canal, all 142 miles, in aid of his son’s charity The CAW Foundation.
If you were to travel by train from Birmingham New Street Station to Paddington Station, London you’d cover 115 miles and take just 1 hour 50 minutes.
If you drove instead, that would be 118 miles and take 2 hours 24 minutes.
But to walk from Gas Street Basin, by the Mailbox in Birmingham to Paddington, London on foot, by Canal Towpath and along the Grand Union Canal it is 142 miles and will take 47 hours 20 minutes, walking at three miles per hour.
“Realistically, this is going to take me nine days, walking for up to six hours and up to eighteen miles each day. That is equivalent to walking six London Marathons!” Trevor said.
I’ll be starting my trip at 10.00 a.m. on Monday 22nd July, ending up on Tuesday 30th July in Paddington, London – which is actually our 36th Wedding Anniversary!”
The walk is in aid of a very good cause and not just for Trevor’s own health. The CAW Foundation was set up in 2012 by his Son, Rob Langley-Swain, with the ambition of raising funds to support charities and good causes throughout the UK that give access to Artistic, Cultural, Sporting and Social Change projects for Young People and deprived communities who would otherwise not get those experiences.
“I’m really proud of my Dad for setting up this walk and taking it all in his stride. The CAW Foundation means a lot to me – I set it up because I could see some amazing causes shutting down or reducing output because of lack of funds and I felt obliged to do something to change that and help them. Dad has dedicated his whole life and career to helping others, so it is no wonder he opted for something like this to mark his retirement – rather than two weeks on a beach somewhere,” said Trevor’s Son, Rob Langley-Swain, Founder of The CAW Foundation.
Trevor is hoping to raise more than £1,000 from his walk, through pre-sponsorship from family and friends, a bucket collection from passers-by as he makes his way to London and other events like pub quizzes and fun activities. He is hoping to get other groups and organisations involved and joining him for sections of the walk and some of the pubs and tourist attractions that he will pass on his way too. He is also selling tickets in a raffle he has designed, called “Pick a Lock” – all linked to the 164 locks, three tunnels and numerous aqueducts along the Grand Union.
“It will be a great way to start my retirement after 40 years in Primary and Special Education in Warwickshire. I retire on Friday 19th July and start walking three days later.
“I hope to get other people out walking with me, to enjoy the countryside and the joys of our waterways – walkers, countryside lovers, waterways lovers, families, and Scout and guide groups – anyone! They only need to walk the bit near to where they live – not the whole way!!
The walk will see Trevor pass by 152 locks, three tunnels, many aqueducts and historical buildings and even a visit to the Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne. The whole route has been planned and timed meticulously and Trevor’s family will be meeting him at the end of each day’s walk in a Motorhome and staying on the nearest campsite.
Trevor has set up a blog, which he will be posting progress reports, and photos too, regularly before, during and after the walk – http://poundingthepounds.
“I have a life-long love for the Grand Union Canal, having been born and brought up in a house beside it in South Leamington, going to school next to it, playing on its towpath, and walking eight miles along it to the church next to Shrewley Tunnel, where my Dad took the afternoon service once a month. I have boated along it in a narrow boat, but also as a ten year old, sitting on two polystyrene sheets and paddling with a piece of timber borrowed from the local building site – now Sydenham Estate in Leamington. I crossed it via “The Ladder Bridge” on our way to play football on the Eagle Recreation Ground each Wednesday afternoon, back in the 50’s and early 60’s. Since then, I have introduced our local canals to hundreds of school children, families and international visitors over the years.
And now I am going to walk its towpath – from end-to-end!” said Trevor Langley.
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