The brigade down at Welshpool Fire Station are a lot more than just fire fighters. They are a part of the social fabric of the town. Over the last few weeks they have organised a 'Midnight Walk' to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. The event took place last night, and the Mayor of the town asked me to join her to cut the ribbon through which the 451 walkers burst out of the Fire Station. It cost £12.00 to enter, and about 500 did - so a fair bit of money was raised for one of my favorite charities. I thought it was called Macmillans Cancer Relief, but the name was changed about two years ago to more accurately reflect the charity's work.
It was a beautiful evening. Most of us were dressed for less clement weather, and were sweating heavily as we approached the summit of Red Bank. Most of the walk was through Powis Castle Park, where there was no lighting other than that which we carried ourselves. As passing under the imposing silhouette of 'Castell Coch', one of the male walkers, suffering perhaps from a flabby prostate, felt the need to disappear into the darkness for a pee. Don't suppose he was expecting the 500 torches to be trained on him, along with our cheers and best wishes. Mrs D and I did not take any short cuts, and the walk took us about 1 hour 45 minutes.
Now, the photograph above is significant. The Editor of the local newspaper, Nick Knight was there, fully equipped with a backpack, his mother (who was walking with him), and a camera, which he failed to operate at all. So he used mine, and only took a couple of photographs before my battery expired. So this could be the only photograph of a quality suitable for newspapers available anywhere in the entire world. Before going home we enjoyed the hospitality of the fire fighters, in the form of a coffee and sausage roll. In bed by three.