Category Archives: fundraising

Penzance to Burnley – Day 51

Long-time supporter and Friend of MPA, Barbara Sanders, is undertaking the most extraordinary feat this spring. Barbara is walking from Penzance to Burnley and is asking people to support her efforts by donations to MPA.

14.4.16 - 4

Yesterday Barbara reached 1,000 kilometres which is 625 miles and 35,605 metres of ascent!  Getting to this point certainly hasn’t been easy.  Since we last updated on her progress she’s endured more dreadful weather.  But more worryingly she also slipped on a tree root on the 15th April and has a possible fracture in her arm. She had to go to Shrewsbury hospital to get it checked out, but the results of whether it was fractured or not were inconclusive.  So back to the hospital for more tests the day after and the consultant thought that her arm did have a small fracture.  Fitted with a removable splint and the consultant’s advice that she should carry on if she wanted to, she headed back to the trail.

Barbara had some concerns about whether she would be able to put up her tent etc, so she devised a new plan.  She jettisoned the heavy camping gear, at least temporarily, and added a few more B&B’s and hostels to the schedule.

There is no doubt that Barbara is one tenacious lady, she isn’t going to let anything stop her!

Yesterday she arrived in Uttoxeter after three days of green ways, Sustrans bike routes and canals. Her arm is getting easier but she’s still using the splint full time. Today, with a fair wind behind her she should reach the peak district.

So far Barbara has raised the wonderful total of £592, but this magnificent effort deserves more.  If you can help, contributions to Barbara’s fundraising can be made via Just Giving.

Look out for updates on Barbara’s progress on this blog and on our Facebook page.

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Dr Steph Takes on the Marathon

We are feeling very privileged at  the moment, not only is Barbara Sanders still on her way from Penzance, on foot, but one of our Trustees has also been out in all weathers, training hard for this weekend’s London Marathon.  Both are undertaking these extraordinary feats to raise funds for MPA’s 50th Anniversary.

Dr Stephanie Hawke, has been pounding the tow path of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, racking up a 100 miles of training runs.  Steph first became involved with MPA as a 16 year old on work placement.  Some years later we were very pleased to welcome her to the education team, which she went on to lead in 2011 after completing her PhD.  Although we lost her to Curious Minds a while back, Steph has stayed involved with MPA by joining the Board of Trustees.

Steph Hawke 2 - training for London Marathon April 2016

Steph says, “I started running with a fantastically supportive group organised through Burnley Leisure. My first race was the Jane Tomlinson Burnley 10k.  I got the bug and within 12 months I’d joined Clayton Le Moors Harriers, run six half marathons and had my sights on the big one. I was delighted to win a place for the Virgin London Marathon 2016 and started training in January running through ice, hail, lightning, wind, rain and sun. As the mileage increased the Leeds Liverpool Canal provided the perfect track, and apart from being hissed at by surprisingly threatening geese, I have successfully pounded more than 100 miles of training. There’s a physical price to pay for that kind of endurance and I’ve had painful massage and acupuncture not to mention experimenting with ice baths and agonising foam rollers!

I’m raising money for Mid Pennine Arts to establish an award for young artists. The organisation has brought vibrancy, colour and texture to Pennine Lancashire for 50 years, often with little recognition – who doesn’t love the Singing Ringing Tree? MPA make me proud to live in Burnley and I want to inspire the next generation of artists to work in our quietly fabulous historic and rural environment. “

Steph has contributed so much to MPA over the years and we are delighted to benefit from her efforts once again.   We know how hard she’s been training for this and appreciate it enormously; we hope that people will help her reach her target of £800.

Contributions to Steph’s fundraising can be made via Just Giving.

Steph Hawke - training for London Marathon April 2016

Penzance to Burnley – Day 34

Long-time supporter and Friend of MPA, Barbara Sanders, is undertaking the most extraordinary feat this spring. Barbara is walking from Penzance to Burnley and is asking people to support her efforts by donations to MPA.

The weather has continued to give Barbara a rather hard time, with lots of rain, high winds and cold to negotiate, even some hail!  In mid March she camped for the first time and woke to find frost on the tent.  Wearing two t-shirts, plus two insulating layers; a hat and nose mask kept her warm enough.  As she says, “the advantage of sleeping in a set of warm clothes inside your sleeping bag is that you are ready to make a dash for the toilet block at a moment’s notice”!

But thankfully there have also been brighter days, as you can see from her photographs.  You can also see the two amazing bridges she needed to cross.  Both during high winds.  The Clifton Suspension Bridge into Bristol and the Severn Bridge into Chepstow were both swaying precariously as she crossed.  In fact the Severn Bridge was closed later the same day. We are continually impressed by her determination to keep moving, no matter what.

By the end of March Barbara got her first good view of the Black Mountains and with that reached more than 50% in days, miles and ascent.  She has walked 400 miles and climbed 23,380 metres of ascent.

As a member of the Clarion Choir we are sure that it was very meaningful when yesterday, walking the Cambrian Way, she passed the Chartists Cave where they used to hide the printing press for the Chartist movement and then a memorial to Aneurin Bevin -the architect of the NHS.

For the next few days Barbara is being joined by her friends Derek and Ellie who are also walking the Cambrian Way (commonly known as the Dragon’s Back) and are acting as her guides.  We do hope the weather treats them all kindly.

So far Barbara has raised the wonderful total of £440, but this magnificent effort deserves more.  If you can help, contributions to Barbara’s fundraising can be made via Just Giving.

Look out for updates on Barbara’s progress on this blog and on our Facebook page.

Penzance to Burnley – Day 14

Long-time supporter and Friend of MPA, Barbara Sanders, is undertaking the most extraordinary feat this spring. Barbara is walking from Penzance to Burnley and is asking people to support her efforts by donations to MPA.

Barbara’s first few days saw some atrocious weather and she had to battle driving rain and gale force winds, but she kept going.  On the 7 March she finally got some of the weather she had been hoping for and completed the longest distance to date at 17 miles and 1,166 metres of ascent.  The improved weather has helped her catch up with the schedule, which had been delayed by the earlier dreadful conditions.  Yesterday, on Day 14, she passed 186 miles and 12,000 metres of ascent.  To give you some context the 10,000 metre, or ascent mark, is equivalent to Everest!   Barbara will have a few more of those to do before the end.

The last few days she’s had the company of two friends who have provided wonderful support.  They have walked with her and cooked fantastic cordon bleu meals from a tiny camper van. To thank them Barbara provided the singing for a dance on the beach to celebrate a birthday.  Not sure where she found the energy for that!

Barbara is regularly keeping us updated on her progress and sending lots of great photographs of her travels.

Contributions to Barbara’s fundraising can be made via Just Giving.

Look out for updates on Barbara’s progress on this blog and on our Facebook page.

Penzance to Burnley – the beginning…

Long-time supporter and Friend of MPA, Barbara Sanders, is undertaking the most extraordinary feat this spring. Barbara will be walking from Penzance to Burnley and is asking people to support her efforts by donations to MPA.

Yesterday was the first day, and as she headed off from Penzance she has ahead of her, 700 miles that will take her along the North Coast Path, through the Somerset Levels, along Offa’s Dyke, across the Black Mountains, through the Peak District and then on to the home stretch of the Pennine Way.  She hopes to walk past the Singing Ringing Tree at Crown Point, Burnley around the 27 April. Throughout the miles, and the 35,000 metres of climb the walk entails, Barbara will be carrying a 30lb pack containing everything she needs, including her camping gear, as she will make camp or stay in hostels for most of the trip.

Unfortunately the weather on Day One was wet and windy so she decided to stick to lanes rather than face a westerly headwind.  There were no campsites open and her planned lunch time pub turned out to be shut on Tuesdays in the winter!  So a testing first day.  We do hope things get easier.  A plus side to the day was passing the Tregiffian burial chamber.

Day 1 - 1.3.16 - 2 - compressed

Day 1 - 1.3.16 -compressed

The local papers have supported Barbara’s efforts by features in the Burnley Express and the Lancashire Telegraph, which is great.  Although we think Barbara might find the Telegraph’s focus on her age as testing as Day One’s weather!

Contributions to Barbara’s fundraising can be made via Just Giving.

Look out for updates on Barbara’s progress on this blog and on our Facebook page.

I Blame Bradley Wiggins

Mid Pennine Art’s Creative Director, Nick Hunt, reflects on the recurring intersections of art and two-wheeled sport that lured him into signing up to a distinctly foolhardy challenge.

I blame Bradley. None of this would have happened without him or all that extraordinary stuff that happened through the summer of 2012. An Englishman winning the world’s greatest bike race, the Tour de France. Unheard of. And not any old lycra robot, but a proper laconic, old-style, neo-mod antihero. Allez Wiggo.

And then the London Olympics, and the Cultural Olympiad, and all the extraordinary, euphoric moments of home-team success, all wrapped up in the discovery that London could be a place of collective joy where Tube passengers smiled at each other and mounted police high-fived spectators in the enormous, teeming crowds. And Wiggo blitzing the Olympic Time Trial was one of those amazing moments and surely life would never be so uncomplicatedly sweet again.

But then we heard that the 2014 Tour would come to the Yorkshire Pennines. And the rains stayed away, and the world saw the Pennines and the Dales at their best, and two million people came out to welcome Le Grand Depart and it was another once-only, euphoric experience. Not just that, but we were able to commission one of Pakistan’s most celebrated contemporary artists, although hugely in demand across the international art world, to come to a reservoir near Ripponden and create his first work in landscape.

Imran Qureshi

Imran Qureshi

A hair-raisingly close call, but it worked out in the end, after which we were able to immerse Imran Qureshi and ourselves in the weekend of the Tour, with a ceremonial start at Harewood House, a rickety two-seater giving the artist a few aerial shots of his work, and then Stage Two coming right past the site. And the small-boy feeling of lying in a meadow for hours to catch a few fuzzy

Tour de France

Tour de France

shots of the world’s best cyclists as the peloton whizzed past Baitings Reservoir…

I blame, too, the Landmarks project, and the partners in Bowland Revealed who made it happen… As memories of Le Tour 2014 started to fade, my working life took on the onerous necessity of regular trips out into the Forest of Bowland AONB to meet artists, make site visits, progress check installations. It’s a tough job. I knew it was there, of course, Bowland, lurking somewhere the other side of Pendle Hill, but I kind of took it for granted. I had sort of overlooked that, north of Clitheroe, you soon slip into another, slower, pre-industrial, magical world of breathtaking beauty. Professor Tolkein’s Middle Earth. And if you approach stealthily, you get close to some peculiar fauna. Mamils, everywhere. Hordes of them. Many of quite mature years, like me. All putting in the miles while enjoying a particularly intimate engagement with that fabulous landscape. And I started to envy that connection, the breeze in your nostrils, the sun on your cheeks. And I started to think, if those often somewhat podgy seniors can do it, why not me?

So Landmarks was a great project for us, but it cost me. To be precise, £650 of new-to-me carbon-framed hardware. And then I just needed a little extra motivation to get me out on it.

MPA’s work has always celebrated our landscapes, and so over the years, it has found recurring connections with cycling, and cycle routes… The Padiham Greenway engagement programme, introducing 7,000 people to their new cycle route. Valley of Stone, commissioning sculptures for the lunar landscape of Lee Quarry’s extreme cycling trails. And this year we will renew those connections, as we pilot a programme of creative interventions for a new, countywide programme of strategic cycleways developments.

But meanwhile… Coming up fast is MPA’s fiftieth anniversary, in 2016. We want to make the most of this landmark date, and need to raise extra funds to do so. We want to celebrate MPA’s work in a way that looks forward more than back. And how better than to promote a new opportunity for Lancashire’s next generation of artists? A competition award, yes, but one that comes with a real commission, to create something substantial in one of Lancashire’s special places… And we want to name it after the feminist writer and activist who inspired the founding of MPA back in 1966, Doris Nield Chew. Our award/commission will be The Doris.

As a committed member of the APPL organisations Catalyst group, we are especially conscious at present of the need to encourage individual giving, and to crack the challenge of crowdfunding. So I started to think about what sort of individual challenge I could take on to help make The Doris happen.

And at the creaky old age of 63, I have found one to stretch my ligaments to snapping point. But irresistible because it climaxes in Paris. Three days in early September, London to Paris, around 80 miles a day. Arriving under the Eiffel, channeling a little bit of Wiggo 2012 of course.

That’s the plan. Between now and then I just have to get on the bike, become a real rather than fantasy cyclist, put in the hard miles and toughen up all round. Simple.

Image - Nick - ride your bike to work day - Sep 2014

If you would like to add your encouragement, as I put myself through all that pain in support of Lancashire culture, you can contribute at:

Just Giving

You can be sure that I, Mid Pennine Arts and the future recipients of The Doris will all be very grateful.

Nick Hunt