20 Sep The Ian Perry Memorial Walk
Sunday September 17th was a day to remember and the day we had all been looking forward to. After weeks of planning, we were about to start our 5k walk in memory of a wonderful man, many of us arrived at 9.30 at the Lime Kiln café in Uppermill to grab a coffee and quick chat before we went on our way, many of us had never met or hadn’t seen each other for a long time.
Everybody was wearing their ‘Ian Perry Memorial Walk’ T-shirts ready to look like the red army on a mission to get to the top of ‘Pots and Pan’s’ we stood outside Lime Kiln listening to Chris Bird say a few inspiring words before we set off
“We are doing this in memory of our good friend Ian Perry an amazing man who we all loved, this is for Ian… You’ll never walk alone”
And then It began it was all uphill to start with the rain fell on cue as the first steps were taken but that wasn’t putting any of us off, we were determined. As we walked we got to reminisce with ex-colleagues, Friends and family including Ian’s lovely wife Julie who I had spoken to in the weeks leading up to the event about the plans for the walk and what she could expect on the day but nothing could prepare us for such an amazing turnout. It was tough on the ascent as it was wet underfoot and some of the paths were quite narrow, considering most of us had never done it before we all powered through!
The views on the climb were breathtaking, the kind of views that you wanted to stand and really take in, Pots and Pans was coming into sight and it was the best feeling not only would we have reached the highest point but we all got to sit and chat whilst sharing Ian’s favourite treat that he always had on his walks… Good old jammy dodgers with a cuppa!
Once we caught our breath there was only one more thing to do before we set off on our descent back down, we needed a group photo so we came together for a photo that would capture the day. As we set off back down we were all in high spirits ready for our last pit stop The Swan pub but first we had to carefully navigate the downhill route whilst some of us slid down the hill (not by choice) as it was slippy underfoot, our very own Paige O’Grady from Bird Consultancy, did it with style and panache as she held onto her brew and didn’t spill a drop what a girl!
So we plodded on, the sun started to beam down which was lovely but certainly turned up the heat in our all weather clothing. Then a little obstacle course was presented to us as we carefully crossed the stepping stones across the local river 1 by 1 we did it, it was like being kids again it was great! A lot of wet feet, 1 very wet bum and a soaking for our mascot Fred the dog ( Ian’s best friend! )
Off we went then for the last push towards the finish line where the drinks and food were waiting, a steep hill and tired legs were the only things stopping us but we all dug deep and WE DID IT!!!
We had made it to The Swan in Dobcross, what a great walk with great people. The pints were pulled and the pie and sandwiches were eaten, 35 happy people able to sit and relax after an amazing day doing something in memory of an incredible man who we know didn’t let us “WALK ALONE”
It was great to get together with everyone who knew Ian and for his family to see how he had impacted peoples lives over the years, I was amazed at how much we had raised our target was £1000 but on the day of the walk, we had reached over £2000. All money is going to Springhill Hospice in Rochdale helped care for Ian and his family through a very difficult time this money is going to make a big difference to them, we can’t thank you all enough for taking part on the day for your kind generosity, friendship and love for Ian, Julie and Imogen (and Fred the dog too)
Thanks also to those who made donations but couldn’t join us on the day.
Same time, same place next year.
“We Will Never Walk Alone”