If at first you don’t succeed…
When Steve Binks set out on his RSBF fundraising challenge in April 2016 he didn’t bank on the unseasonably severe weather. His plan was to set-off from Edale in Derbyshire and complete the 268 mile route to Kirk Yetholm in Scotland in approximately two-weeks. He told us “I’ll be self supported carrying my own tent and food, though I may use the occasional hostel, bunkhouse and cafe if discovered on route.”
Hostelries and respite were few and far between but stoically Steve battled for nine gruesome days, covering a remarkable 136 miles before the elements – snow storms, gale-force winds and extremely low temperatures – forced him to postpone the trek; it was simply too dangerous to continue.
At that point many would have thrown-in the towel; sponsors had pledged money and we know all would have felt his efforts to date were more than valiant and worthy. Not Steve; with true grit and determination he vowed to complete the walk during his summer leave. His Just Giving blog declared: “I’m going back to finish the remaining 120 miles. I’ll be setting off from Middleton in Teesdale in August with the intention of reaching the finish at Kirk Yetholm. Thanks to all who’ve supported me. Hopefully I’ll finish it this time.”
Next time I’ll stick to walking the dog!
True to his word, on the 16th August Steve was back on “The Way”. The first day he hiked from Middleton in Teesdale to Dufton, a distance of some 20 miles. The next day he covered the 16 miles from Dufton to Garrigill crossing four peaks including Cross Fell; the highest peak in the Pennines. Day three was in theory a 20 mile hike from Garrigill to Greenhead but in practice the second half was a bog – so more splurge and squish than stride and march. Thursday’s trek from Bellingham to Hadrian’s Wall was a little drier but needless to say the torrents returned. “The rain joined me for most of the last two days and nights – Friday to Byrness and beyond to a refuge hut and Saturday to Kirk Yetholm.”
Steve finished the walk on schedule and, at 02.19 on Sunday 21st August 2016 he sent a message to the RSBF with the magic words:
“Finished. Glad I’ve made it, though next time I think I’ll stick to walking the dog!”
Steve you’re a stalwart. Thank-you for going to such lengths for us, for raising money, for not giving-up and for being so singularly determined to help us, help others.
Finally, both Steve and we at The RSBF want to say a massive thank-you to all who sponsored him to the sprightly tune of £500, ensuring he reached his fundraising goal. The money will make a genuine and heartfelt difference to fellow serving and retired Signallers who are in need or distress.