Malcolm helps a visitor from Norfolk
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough ...
... were the words used by Chris Doherty from Gorleston, near Great Yarmouth, to describe his attempt to reach the summit of the Wrekin.
Chris is a severely, multiply, disabled gentleman who was put in touch with us in February asking if we could offer any advice regarding his planned attempt to ascend the Wrekin in his 4x4 all terrain electric wheelchair. To assist Chris, one of our committee members, Malcolm, walked the path to the summit several times taking photo’s of the terrain and using a GPS phone tracker app to calculate distances and gradients over multiple sections of the route – the most extreme parts of the track were going to be the short but steep section just before Halfway House, and getting either through or over Heavens Gate near to the summit.
On Tuesday 21st May, Chris arrived at Forest Glen with Julie, his carer/driver, having stayed locally overnight, and was met by family and friends, Ken from near Cannock Chase, Colyn and Simon from Hastings, Keith from Coventry, Richard from Kidderminster, and of course Malcolm who having done the groundwork wanted to join them to see Chris reach the summit.
The weather was just right, a fine clear day and the party set off at 10:00. All who know the Wrekin will appreciate it’s not a smooth path, and although Chris’s wheelchair could cope with most of the terrain, it was a slow ascent. Stopping for a refreshment break at Halfway House both on the way up and coming back down again, together with a short stay on the top to enjoy the views while some of Chris’s friends and family had a look at, but didn’t attempt, the Needles Eye, the round trip took 5.5 hours. As expected, the 2 extreme sections plus a few others needed a bit of muscle power to assist Chris in getting up them but it was all well worth it to see him fulfil his desire to reach the top.
Many thanks also to Jenny and her son for opening up Halfway House especially for Chris on the day.
We were heavily involved in the Get Telford Walking event on May 19th , which was run by the Telford T50 50 Mile Trail consortium . The trail was launched on June 16th 2018 in Telford Town Park. The Friends of the Telford T50 50 Mile Trail was launched successfully on April 16th . The next venture is Get Telford Walking 2020, on May 24th 2020.
Malcolm helps a visitor from Canada
We had a contact from Terry (from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada) via our website. Last Wednesday, Malcolm, one of our committee took him on the walk he'd requested, to and around the Steeraway area where he believes his grandfather, Henry Frost, born in 1871, worked as a limestone miner from the age of 12. From information supplied by Allan Frost, they worked out that his grandfather lived in a house that was sited in what is now the entrance to Telford Road, off the Holyhead Road, just along from the Red Lion. After looking at old maps from 1888, they identified and walked the likely path they would have taken to get from their home to Steeraway, the majority of which still exists today, taking you into Christine Avenue, then alongside what is now the Wrekin Golf Club.
At Steeraway, they looked at the base of the old limekilns, and then went via some of the old tramways to one of the original mine entrances before returning along the path across the top of the limekilns where the tramways led to, to supply the top of the kilns with the raw material (limestone and coal) that was being used to produce quicklime. It is possible that he and Malcolm are related as Malcolm has Frosts in his family tree.
He was very grateful that we had been able to help him by showing him the area. We readily agreed as being open to unusual requests can only be good for our reputation, for Wellington and for Walkers are Welcome nationally.