On Thursday 18th August, Masons from East Lancashire set out on an ambitious fundraising hike in support of the East Lancs Festival 2026.
WBro Mark Davis APGM and Bro’s Thomas Daniel and Elliot Jervis set out the 4-night, 85-mile trek following Hadrian’s Wall path from Bowness in Solway to Wallsend Newcastle.
The trek was unsupported – with the small team carrying all their own food, camping gear, clothing, and equipment. Aiming to cover close to 20 miles a day, carrying 16kg packs this was later described by the team as one of the most physically demanding endeavors they had ever undertaken.
Speaking with Thomas – “It was clear from the very first few miles that this was not going to be easy. Hadrian’s Wall path is a well-trodden route, but of all the dozens of people we met along the way absolutely nobody was carrying anything near what we were carrying or doing the daily mileage that we were.
Our feet were worn and blistered by the time we reached the first campsite, but spirits remained high. We got through the first day and the seemingly impossible started to look achievable.
The second day was tough. Really tough. 19 miles, this time over much more challenging terrain, and already tired from the previous days walking. As the day went on, the wet weather set in, and even something as simple as finding somewhere to camp for the night, or finding clean water became a challenge. There were some testing moments, and often long periods without any of us saying a word to each other but no one ever lost sight of the goal, and we never lost our sense of teamwork and camaraderie. Always making sure we were each ok, comfortable with the pace or just helping each other with their packs or waterproofs.
We reached the famous Sycamore Gap on the third day. The views were stunning and the sense of achievement just to get there was enormous -though we were almost too tired, cold, and wet to appreciate it. The weather was awful and the rocky, sawtooth terrain was relentless.
The following days presented their own challenges, but nothing compared to those unrelenting hilltops and driving rain on that third day.
The final 15 miles, on the morning of the 22nd of August, were mercifully flat and though still tough underfoot, the end was finally in sight.
We were greeted at our finish line at Wallsend Masonic Hall by our good friends at PGL Northumberland who very kindly opened the hall for us and gave us a generous donation towards our goal. Two of our own brethren, WBro Darren Fletcher and Bro Josh Dewitt also joined us to support us and take us home.
The final total raised was over 5000 and we are all extremely grateful to all those who sponsored us, supported us, and to those who followed our journey online, and sent us kind words and encouragement along the way