Coming in after Day 1

I sat down on a garden wall and forgetting about my huge rucksack, the weight of it pulled me backwards over the garden wall and I was left with my feet stuck up in the air like a beetle on its back, I could hear the Duxbury's laughing in Preston. After setting off again I met Sheila Fogg just before the East Lancs Road. I had a chat and walk with her and devoured the banana and water she had for me, many thanks it was very welcome.

Off to the next checkpoint, Warrington, where I was met by my one of my longest known friends Colin Clayton, he had wanted to meet me earlier to walk a few miles with me. At this point my age was starting to show signs of catching up on me as the pack on my back was starting to be a big pain. Colin then put my pack into his car and arranged for me to meet up with it again at my night stop. Without this help there is no way I would have made the journey. Thank you Colin.

Mick Blakey and Bryan Lythgoe

Off I went like a man possessed to my night stop just south of Northwich where I was looked after by Mike Blakey (above) and his lovely partner Linda who ordered me to stay at their house for the night, an offer I could not refuse. Total mileage first day 43.6 miles. My right was shin in bits with a big blister on ball of left foot. My mind was not on where I was going during this day, but on the problem of traffic on roads with no footpaths, how I was not hit remains a mystery.

 
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  Sgt Bryan Lythgoe carried out a sponsored walk in May 2016 from Fulwood Barracks in Preston (UK), to Peninsular Barracks in Winchester (UK) a distance of some 240 miles in 5 days. He was raising money in aid of The King’s Royal Hussars Welfare Trust.

Bryan lives in Fulwood, Preston, and served in the 14th/20th King’s Hussars and The King’s Royal Hussars from 1974 to 1993. This his 'his' account of those days.
 
     
  Day 1  
  I waved goodbye to Geraldine my wife, Stephen my eldest son, Anne and Trevor Burnett my friends of many years and Tony Wagstaff another friend who would join me as my batman, sorry, support driver on my 4th day. I set off from Fulwood Barracks carrying everything bar a kitchen sink and made my way through Wigan, when as it always does when I am walking it started to rain.  
 

Checking in with Geraldine


Carl Smith

 
 

Day 2

Early breakfast afterwhich I set off walking and was joined by another great man Terry Murphy, who walked with me for about 18 miles we only stopped once to powder our feet, Terry then bade me farewell and hitched a lift and caught a bus back to his car, I felt great as I made my way to Stafford for a good nights sleep.

Mike had worked all day and that night he caught the train to bring me my pack so I could change clothes, he would then take my rucksack back home with him to stop me carrying it. The A34 road was a nightmare, it just seemed to go on and on for ever and Stafford did not seem to get any closer.

Day 3

NIGHTMARE. After setting off south I was met on route by Carl Smith (above) who was a great companion, we walked and talked all the way to JTF Wallsall who are a sister store of the one that I work at, in Preston, where I was told lunch would be waiting for me.

We eventually arrived at JTF and I introduced myself to a young lady at the entrance and told her that I worked for the Preston branch, she then said "OK go and get changed and get to work". After clearing this matter up we (Carl and I) went upstairs to the cafe where we had a light lunch paid for by head office, which was very kind of them. A quick photo call then I was off in one direction on my own, Carl went to find a bus to take him back to his car. Now I am on my own again going into unknown territory and guess what, it started to rain once again.

Terry Murphy and Bryan Lythgoe

 
 

Stanford in the Vale one of the many stops

By now my body was starting to hurt a bit my feet were on fire and my brain was getting a bit muddled. Navigation through Birmingham was a nightmare as every sign post seemed to point in 4 different directions something my mind could not cope with due to its overwork over the last 3 days. I felt a right dummy not being able to make sense of my route card, map or my stupid telephone that kept taking pictures of the inside of my pocket and nothing on it worked because of the damp.

I decided just to follow my nose and ask people for directions. By now it was getting late and I still had many miles to go to my next night stop Alcester, which the locals pronounced Elster, no wonder none of them could make any sense of me. I decided to go to a chippy for fish and chips and after explaining to the owner what I was doing he said he would do me a special deal. Hellfire his special deal cost me £3 more than a non-special, I was too knackered to argue so off I trundled once again.

I can remember being grabbed by the shoulder by a man who thought I was a suicide candidate, as he said I had crossed the same part of the road 5 times, he thought I was waiting for a fast enough car. Mind now in a right pickle and body in bits I staggered on and finally made it to Alcester where I stayed the night and got my act together.

 
 

Day 4

Late start just after 08.30 after the best breakfast I have ever had, it took me a few hundred yards to get my feet and legs going once again but after that I was fine. Got a text from Waggy (left) saying he was on his way, that really picked me up.

I made my way to the town of Bidford on Avon and took the opportunity of a few photos, after asking a tourist to take my picture I carried on my walk south. Little did I know all the photos were selfies of the people who were photographing me as I had not reset my phone (what an idiot). This being my 4th day my mind and body would not work with each other and by the time that Tony Wagstaff met up with me I was in cloud cuckoo land.

He quickly got me back to my senses and got me eating and drinking again and slowed me down, without him I would not have got much further. I set off again, Tony said he would sort out the admin and then drive past me to find a good spot for the night. While he was looking for a good spothe rang me saying "I have broken down and you have lost me" Now this is what I did not want to hear as I still had a few more nights and a lot of mileage to do. Luck was on our side and the AA sorted the problem and he was up and running again once again.

The monkey on my shoulder, Ringo, was on his best behaviour today as my route took me past Crocodiles of the World, I told him to be good or I would give the crocs a cuddly toy for lunch.

Past Brize Norton I was now feeling very good and strong. Tony found a very nice landlord who let us stay on his carpark for the night and even paid for our evening meal. If anyone is down Burford way please call in at the 'Merrymouth Inn' and say hello to Will the landlord from Wigan.

Another photo call, then I was on my way once again. This was after a policeman had approached us in the back of the van with me with my fingers in a jar of Vaseline for my feet and Tony half naked, try to explain that one to our wives.

Day 5

Tony Wagstaff - my 'SQMS' resting up (above)

 
   
 

Now I was on fire my legs wanted more and I constantly caught Waggy on the hop, he was never ready for my arrival at the rest stops we had agreed to, and he always seemed to have a beer in his hand. Again the traffic on roads with no pavements were a constant strain on my concentration.

I made good progress without any effort to my next stop in another pub car park just North of Newbury. I treated Tony to a lovely meal of pulled pork, mash spuds and watercress in the pub called 'The Crab and Boar' where the landlord bought us both a beer.

 
 

Day 6

I could now smell Winchester, and as soon I set off a motorcyclist pulled up alongside of me and took off his helmet, it was no other than Chris Sym (Right) a former squadron colleague from the first Gulf War who I had not seen since 1992. Off I plodded once again and quickly sped through Newbury where I saw the 26 mile marker to Winchester, only a marathon to do and I would be finished.

It was not to be as if I carried on at this pace my Royal welcome party would not be ready so Tony again managed to find another kind landlord in the Swan Inn at Barton Stacey where we could spend the night. As we were washing and brewing up turned Ady Harris who we did not know lived in the village to greet us. The first thing he did was offer us a bed for the night which we kindly turned down and 2 mins later his wife was on the phone to him to tell him to offer us a bed for the night.

We were happy to stay in our little camper van for one more night, Ady then offered me his physio appointment as I had told him about my injury, this I had to turn down as I did not want the Physio to tell me I had done too much damage to carry on. Later we were joined by Col. and Mrs. Tilney who were celebrating their wedding anniversary and also Mathew Gimlette who paid for our meal, what a star sir.

An early night and up at the late time of 8am ready for my assault on Winchester. A very slow walk as I only had about 9 miles to do and I was constantly being told to slow down by Tony and Paul Baker who had joined up with us in his mini.

Chris Sym and Bryan Lythgoe (above)

 
 

Bryan Lythgoe and Paul Baker's Mini

Finally I arrived at Winchester to be met by Prince Michael of Kent (below) and it was a great honour to meet and talk to him. Former and serving members of the regiment were also there and it was fantastic to see them and talk to them.

Prince Michael of Kent talking to Bryan Lythgoe with General Shirreff looking on (above)

After drinks and food (I only got peanuts) we were driven to spend the night with Steve and Belinda Penkethman's who were fantastic hosts and made us extremely welcome. Asked if I would do this again my reply was 'If I had too' I am now home and I have had a full body massage and a visit to the doctors and am taking 3 different tablets to get me fit for work.

 
 

After leaving Terry Murphy at Rodeheath

THANK YOU ALL this has been a big team effort and thank you for reading.

Bryan Lythgoe

Some other images:

 

Stow-in-the-Wold

Click on the image above to make a donation

 
 
Walking towards Winchester (above)

General Richard Shirreff and Bryan Lythgoe

 
 

The Mayor of Winchester and Colonel Peter Garbutt (KRH) talking to Bryan Lythgoe on completing his epic walk

 
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