Crossing 14th July 2018

Greetings from Swanwick in Derbyshire!

I watched a serial on TV back in 2016 (I think) called “The Living and the Dead”. What struck me more than anything was the eerie and haunting theme tune. Investigation revealed this song to be the Lyke Wake Dirge.

Intrigued by the song and its history I soon discovered the Lyke Wake Walk. (Yes, I’d never heard of it before.)

A friend and I are members of a walking group in Derby. I suggested that it may be an interesting and exciting walk to do and it all started from there. The leader of our group, Richard Birkin, told us that he’d completed the walk some years ago (He had a tie somewhere to prove it) and volunteered his services as support. Another good friend, Mark Spencer (Why walk when I’ve got a car ?), offered his help too. We were up-and-walking.

Eventually, six of our group signed up:

Les Herbert
Geoff Johnston
Louise Disney-Smith
Lorraine Meakin
Roy Slack
Peter Allen

We were joined by:

Max Herbert
Rob Johnston
Rob “Cheese” Steel
Jordan Stapleton
Daniel Webb
Richard Green

We set-off as one group from Osmotherley at about 2.30 a.m. Saturday 14th July and finished in two groups (Our age range being about 18 to 67 is probably why that happened) at the stone in Ravenscar at just gone 7 p.m. and about 8.30 p.m.

I think it’s safe to say that we all found the walk absolutely brutal, especially given the extremely hot conditions. The dry-boggy section, desert-like moorland and ravines were particularly strength-sapping and psychologically difficult. A lot of this walk is mind-over-matter, isn’t it? Those runners passing us all seemed so cheerful, too.

However, we were all massively proud to have completed it and become members of what has to be one of the most prestigious clubs in the world!

What glorious, loud jubilation
Is subject of feverish talk ?
A birth ? Or a King’s coronation ?
No, the end of the Lyke Wake Walk !

Thanks for being custodians of this great tradition.

Best regards,

Les Herbert