Crossing 28th July 1982……………………

I am writing this letter as an addition to my son’s report. As a witch who made my one and only crossing at the age of 18 on 28th July 1982 (copy Condolence Card attached) I would like to apply for membership of the New Lyke Wake Club in my married name of Catherine Thorn.

However I think you may be interested in the circumstances of my crossing, as therein lies a possibly forgotten piece of Lyke Wake history.

A proud son of Yorkshire, Brian Robinson by name, had moved to Norfolk to work as a school teacher at Earlham High School in Norwich. For a time from the late 1970s to the early 1980s he would lead a party of sixth formers (with a few of his fellow teachers) on an annual trip to attempt the Lyke Wake Walk. My late father Jim Hooley was a colleague of his; being a fellow northerner (albeit from the other side of the Pennines) he shared Brian’s enthusiasm for this madcap project, and having completed his own crossing with one of the first of Brian’s parties (in the days when you still had to walk down into Ravenscar to sign your name in the book at the hotel) he would go on subsequent trips to help with the support. It was through this that I came to join the 1982 trip. I enclose copies of photographs from my Dad’s album. The top two are of some of us in mid attempt; I am the one with the blonde hair and yellow cagoule. The bottom two are of us revisiting the end point on the following day; in the left hand one, three of us who reached the finish together (I am the one on the left) are reconstructing our triumphant final lunge for the transmitter (which you could touch in those days); on the right is a larger team photo taken next to the transmitter. I am delighted to report that all but one person in the party making the attempt managed the crossing, which is a testament to the hardiness of Norfolk people.

(Totally unconnected circumstances led to me and my husband setting up home in Helmsley in 1996 and bringing up our family here, by the way.)

I am sure that my Dad would be delighted that doing the crossing and then supporting the next generation to do so is now becoming a family tradition. Indeed my husband is hoping to make another attempt next year, possibly in the company of our older son Alex; I will certainly be in support, possibly with Tom – although he may be making a second crossing in the hope of beating my time!

With kind regards,

Catherine Thorn

     

    

Leave a Reply