Originally from Collyhurst in the heart of Manchester, my journey began at the age of 18…
Joining the army and serving Her Majesty the Queen in the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, with ceremonial duties at the Tower of London, Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace (including Trooping the Colour), the regiment offered discipline and endeavour, qualities I live by today.
Whilst in the Guards fitness played a major part in my life and as the saying goes I was “Army Fit”… or so I thought!
Whilst at work one day I read an article in the Sunday Times supplement about a Lakeland sheep farmer who had recently ran over 72 mountains and almost 100 miles within 24 hours… could this be true?
Little did I know but Joss Naylor would change the path of my life forever.
After commissioning a local artist to paint a portrait of him running on Pillar I wrote to Joss asking if it would be possible to meet and for him to sign the picture – to which he agreed.
As we entered Wasdale for the first time we were greeted with a sight to behold and one which is a lasting memory of Yewbarrow, Great Gable and Scafell and the head of the lake – Stunning! This was his playground and soon to be mine!
Joss met us at his farm where we spent sometime talking about his incredible fell running achievements whilst at the same time sharing a lovely pot of Cumbrian tea. Joss’ final words were “Thee should lose some weight, stop thee smoking and start running!”
With those words ringing in my ears, the rest is history… My passion and love for the Lakes grew and grew, changing mine and my family’s lifestyle and way of life forever.
My working career has taken me far and wide, with many achievements along the way…
Upon leaving the army, my first job was with the Central Electricity Board. However, running had become a major part of my life and it was through this new found passion that a chance to raise money and save young children’s lives arose. I decided to run from Oldham to Blackpool non-stop and upon completion, and handing a cheque over for £3k, I was approached by a Director at Manchester’s Booth Hall Children’s Hospital to see if I would accept the position of Fundraising Manager and the rest as they say is history…
The challenge was set, to raise over £1million to pay for the first children’s CT Scanner in the North West.
How can you raise £1million, I wondered? Well with a lot of hard work, dedication and support from loyal family and friends the successful organisation and management of a number of large scale events took place including; Children Running for Children (seeing over 7k children take part in a charity fun run and witnessed by over 100k people in Heaton Park, Manchester), the yearly Krypton Factor Assault Course Challenge and many, many more…
I am extremely proud of this achievement and feel honoured to have helped many a child throughout the North West and beyond.
Aside from work my son Matthew’s love of ice hockey saw me form and undertake the role of Coach for the local Inline Hockey team the Chaddy Wild Sharks. Taking up to 100 local children off the streets and into the sports hall, within two years we successfully became National Champions!
Below are a list of achievements I have successfully completed, which have all culminated in the creation of Lakeland Walks & Talks