Coast to coast
wheelchair challenge raises over £23,000
Photographs taken by Anna
WITH over 100 friends, 29
machines and 16 dogs, Roy Taylor successfully completed his 215 mile
Coast to Coast wheelchair challenge and raised over £23,000 for the
Roy; who works for the RSPB in northern England; and his wife Anna,
set out from Southport along the Trans Pennine Trail, to reach
Hornsea in just 10 days. The aim of the challenge was to highlight
the problems of inaccessibility in the countryside and raise funds
to improve accessibility on the RSPB's 20 northern nature reserves.
Over 100 friends, family and colleagues gave up their time to take
part in the walk and provide support on the way. And helping to make
the journey inclusive for all, participants used a variety of
methods to get them from A to B, including 2 wheelchairs, 2
trampers, 2 trikes, 17 bikes, one electric bike, four scooters and a
Roy said:- "The friendship, support, energy, humour and
kindness of everyone who supported us made the journey an incredibly
humbling and emotional experience for Anna and me. It was an
experience which will leave a deep impression on our lives. We can't
thank everyone enough."
The journey wasn't without obstacles, which helped to highlight the
numerous issues people with mobility issues, and families with
pushchairs, face on a daily basis.
Challenges included kissing
gates, A frames, steps, chicanes and wooden sleepers. On a number of
occasions, Roy's 4X4 wheel drive wheelchair; had to be
dismantled to allow it to fit through the various obstacles.
Roy said:- "On 1
occasion we were close to giving up, as my wheelchair just couldn't
get through a gate which had double wooden sleepers. Luckily a group
of workmen nearby came to the rescue and lifted the FourX over the
obstacle. We're so grateful for their help."
However, they came across a number of innovations which made the
going much easier, including different designs of A frames and gates
operated by Radar keys, which allow disabled people (who hold a
Radar key) to open gates where needed.
Roy's job now is to complete
accessibility audits of the RSPB's northern nature reserves, produce
a report for the Trans Pennine Trail (TPT) Executive Committee on
how accessibility on the trail can be improved, and ensure that all
the money raised is spent on implementing the changes identified on
RSPB reserves over the next year.
Roy added:- "It is my pledge that the Coast to Coast Challenge
will immeasurably improve accessibility; be it for wheelchairs,
families or those with other mobility issues; and that RSPB nature
reserves in northern England will be exemplars of accessibility in
To date, the challenge has raised
£23,890.53 (inc. Gift Aid) including donations from hotels and B&B's
used along the route, a £2.5k donation from United Utilities, who
the RSPB works with at their Dove Stone site, and £1000 each from
John Laing, who Anna used to work with, and Naturetrek, who Roy has
led tours for.
For a daily account of how the challenge went, visit Roy's
Blog, or to
donate money, visit:-
AND CARNOUSTIE TO HOST THE OPEN IN 2017 AND 2018
WITH just days off the start of
Open at the
Birkdale Golf Club for the 6th time, the Club has even more to
celebrate, as the R&A have announced that the Club will host The
Open Championship in 2017 and it will then be held at Carnoustie in
5 time Open Champion Tom Watson, who won The Open at Royal Birkdale
in 1983 and at Carnoustie in 1975, joined The R&A to make the
announcement at the Greenbrier. "I am delighted to see The
Open returning to 2 great venues in Royal Birkdale and Carnoustie. I
know both courses are held in high regard by the players and I
certainly consider them to be wonderful tests of golf. When I 1st
played in The Open at Carnoustie I still had a lot to learn about
links golf, but I quickly adapted to the challenge of playing in the
wind and keeping the ball low. I played well that week and was
thrilled to win the play off. Royal Birkdale is also a fine links
course and I have always thoroughly enjoyed playing there. I think
the players and the fans will be excited to see the top players
playing these courses once again."
Royal Birkdale will host The Open for the 10th time in 2017.
Ireland's Padraig Harrington won by 4 shots from Ian Poulter the
last time the Championship was played there in 2008. Mark O' Meara
emerged victorious from a play off with Brian Watts in 1998 and Ian
Baker Finch enjoyed a 2 shot victory over his fellow Australian Mike
Harwood in 1991. Another Australian, Peter Thomson, won The Open
when it was 1st staged at Royal Birkdale in 1954, and again in 1965,
and he was joined by Arnold Palmer (1961), Lee Trevino (1971) and
Johnny Miller (1976) as winners in the North West.
Richard Hunt, the Captain of Royal Birkdale, said:- "We will
be delighted to welcome The Open Championship back to Royal Birkdale
in 2017. The club has a long and proud history of hosting The Open
and some of the game's greatest players have won here. We regard it
as a privilege to host the Championship and look forward to seeing
the world's top players facing the challenges of Royal Birkdale once
2018 will be the 8th occasion on
which Carnoustie has hosted The Open Championship and the 1st since
Harrington lifted the Claret Jug there in 2007 after defeating
Sergio Garcia in a play off. In 1999, Scotland's Paul Lawrie
triumphed after a play off with Justin Leonard and Jean Van de Velde.
Ben Hogan famously won The Open at Carnoustie in 1953 on the only
occasion he played in the Championship and the other winners at the
Angus links are Tommy Armour (1931), Henry Cotton (1937) and Gary
Pat Sawers, Chairman Carnoustie Golf Links, said:- "We are
very much looking forward to welcoming The Open Championship back
for an eighth time to the historic links at Carnoustie in 2018 and
feel sure the Championship will generate just as much interest and
excitement as in previous years. We believe the fact The R&A has
invited us to stage the 2018 Championship will provide a big boost
to golf in the local area and will have a beneficial effect on our
on-going efforts to attract more local youngsters into the game."
Open Championship will be
played at Royal Birkdale from 20 July to 23 July 2017, and at
Carnoustie from 19 July to 22 July 2018.
Photos above are from the Open
Golf in 2008.