SIR CHRISTOPHER WREN TECHNICAL HIGH SCHOOL
THE 50 MILE HIKE
The idea of holding a 50 mile hike originated from a challenge which Mr. Kennedy made to State officials in the U.S.A. - a challenge which was in fact accepted by groups of people both in America and in this country. When the idea was announced to the school, enthusiasm was great and more than 50 boys went so far as to sign a notice showing their interest - some of these boys had probably never walked more than about two miles at one stretch, but undaunted they signed! What happened after this is told by Martin of 111B who, although he did not complete the hike, put up a very creditable performance
THE 50 - MILE WALK
The hike started at approximately 6-10 p.m. on 21st of April 1963. Is was a Sunday and the town was quite. I was the third person to arrive at school, which was the starting point of the hike. I was looking forward to the hike and was glad when we had set off. Altogether there were about 18 of us. The ages ranged from 14 upwards. The first town we came to was Hedon, where we stopped for soup. After a short rest we set off on the next lap of the hike.
The next stop along the route was Withernsea. About half way to Withernsea it began to get dark and after a while it was pitch black. We had broken off from the main party and they were a considerable distance behind us. Those in our party were Pipes, Chapman, Tucker, Dally and I. Tucker had a small transistor radio and the music was good company and it was good to listen to. The cars which had their headlights on were blinding, after just looking at the darkness. One which came along made me jump on to the grass verge so quickly that I jumped into a ditch. Along the route we kept stopping for short rests and about four or five miles from Withernsea I spotted the beam coming from the lighthouse and when new finally arrived at Withernsea, Lawson and Jacobs had hot soup waiting which was very welcome. We had a rest and Mr. Martin suggested changing our socks round to stop our feet blistering. After I had has a wash, we set off once more.
The next stop was Hornsea. Nothing much happened on the way to Hornsea, only one thing. When we were walking down a dark lane lined with large trees everything was quiet, the only sound which could be heard was the tramping of our feet along the road., when suddenly what looked like a crow flew from one of the trees cawing in panic. Everybody almost jumped out of their skins. Just outside Hornsea at about 1 a.m. we passed Rolston Camp. Coming into the town we through we had taken a wrong turning, and were lost, when I spotted Mr. Martinís Bedford parked in a small lane a few yards away. We all rushed towards the van looking forward to something to eat and drink. After resting we set off again feeling stiff after having a rest. By this time there were only five of our party left and three in the other. We were now on our way home and were hoping to see the sun rise, but it was cloudy and there was no sun. When we got to Skirlaugh, Pipes and I dropped out, Tucker and Dally went on and finished. When I got home I had something to eat and had a nap on the studio couch. I enjoyed the walk and would do it again if one was organised.
We met outside the school on Sunday 21st April at 6 oíclock. There were fourteen of us who were going to attempt the walk. We were to walk from Hull to Burstwick and stop there to have some tea. From Burstwick we were to walk to Withernsea and from Withernsea to Bail Wood, Bail Wood to Hornsea, Hornsea to South Skirlaugh, South Skirlaugh to Hull.
We started off at half past six and arrived at Burstwick in pretty good condition - nobody had dropped out yet. At Burstwick tea was served out, but I did not have any because I was not very hungry until we arrived at Bail Wood. It was becoming dark and a little cold as we left Burstwick.
A mile outside Burstwick on the road to Withernsea we split up into two groups. In our group were six of us - Pipes, Chapman, Tucker, Meredith, Martin and I. We started to get further ahead towards Withernsea and as it was dark we had to get right on to the side of the road every time a car came along. This was where my feet started to feel a little tired, but it wore off a little later. We arrived at Withernsea at 11 oíclock and had some more soup there.
The next stretch of road seemed the hardest stretch of all. It was dark and we could not see very far ahead and a cold wind was blowing. The signposts along the road did not point out the number of miles it was to the various places. At some places we thought we were lost. Now and again we saw a meteorite flash through the sky, but apart from that it was very lonely walking along the road. At Bail Wood we had some tea and ate some food. This made all six of us feel sick and we did not feel like carrying on. In fact< I did not eat anything more until I reached Coniston. The route from Bail Wood to Hornsea was as bad as the route from Withernsea to Bail Wood.
We reached Hornsea at about half past five in the morning. We could not find Mr. Martinís van so we sat down on a bench nearby. Somebody, after a few minutes, noticed a van parked a hundred yards down the road. It turned out to be the van for which we were looking.
I took off my shoes in the van and put on a pair of sandshoes which I had brought along, and after a few minutes we set off again. The group I was in was well ahead of the main group. As we left Hornsea it started to rain and it kept on raining for the next few hours. Somewhere in Hornsea we took the wrong road and Mr. Martin had to plot another route, Hornsea to Hull, so that we could cover the whole fifty miles. I was now becoming really tired and I felt like giving in, but I did not want to be the first to give in in our group. We managed to walk on to Coniston. By this time there were only four of us left in the walk. Meredith had decided to give up along with Chapman.
At Coniston Pipes and Dicky Martin decided to give up, leaving Tucker and I to carry on the rest of the way. I was surprised that Dicky gave up as he was doing very well at that stage.
We carried on through Ganstead and on to Holderness Road. Mr. Martin met us at Laburnum Avenue and told us we had finished the walk. It was now half past ten and we decided we might as well ride the rest of the way back to the school. At school we had a cup of tea; after drinking the tea Mr. Martin dropped us off at our houses and I donít know what Tucker did but I went straight to bed.
J Dally (1VA)