The European Festival of Brass 2014
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Kenny Crookston made it!!

Published on 8 June, 2011 at 16:06

Dear friends,

You may remember receiving an email from me a few weeks ago, outlining my plan to cycle un-supported from Lands End to John O' Groats, a journey of 895 miles from the south-west tip of England to the north-east point of Scotland. Well, the good news is that I did it and lived to tell the tale!

With overnight stops in Newquay, Crediton, Tiverton, Bristol, Tewkesbury, Wellington, Tyldsley, Kendal, Lockerbie, Livingston, Pitlochry, Newtonmore, Alness and Wick, I finally made it to John o' Groats at 1pm on Friday 24 June - 13 days, 23 hours and 30 minutes after leaving Lands End. It rained about 8 days out of the 14!

If you have been following my trip on Twitter (@BB1887), or even if you are just really impressed that a 16-plus stone, 47 year-old, soon-to-be grandfather can summon the energy to propel his bike for almost 900 miles up and down nearly 40,000 feet of hills (without walking up any of them!), then please consider making a donation to the three charities that will benefit from my endeavour. I hope to raise a considerable amount for Leukemia and Lymphoma Research (http://www.beatbloodcancers.org - which presents Christmas Carols with the Stars at the Royal Albert Hall in which I have played in Frank Renton's Concert Brass for the past seven years), The Salvation Army's work at Chikankata Hospital in Zambia (http://www.salvationarmy.org/chikankata) and Mary's Meals (http://www.marysmeals.org.uk - which provides free food and education to thousands of children in the developing world and is a charity supported by my daughter's school). I would also encourage visitors to support the excellent work of the Brass Band Heritage Trust.

Please visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/KennethCrookston <http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/KennethCrookston> if you would like to make a donation to these worthy causes.

I am deeply indebted to everyone who has contributed so far and to my good friend, Ron Smith, who accompanied me from Lockerbie to John o' Groats (350 miles) and managed to keep our spirits up despite at least one hearty soaking on every day of that part of the trip. He also lent me his back wheel for the last 5 miles when mine decided it was going no further, so I genuinely can say I would probably never have managed it without him! I would also like to thank my friend and colleague, Ken Kendall, my wife, Annie, and my brother, David, for providing the transport to Lands End and from John o' Groats, as well as Philip Wilby, Nigel Morgan, Sue Harrison and John Stirzaker for their fantastic hospitality en route.

It really was the trip of lifetime and if anyone fancies doing it future, please let me know and I'll let you have a copy of my route - and cheer you from afar. I won't be doing it again!

Finally, the answer to the most asked question of the past fortnight - after the first week, it was only sore most of the time!

Thanks for all your support.

Kenny

______________________________________________________________________________________

Dear friends,

From 10 June 2011, I'll be embarking on a trip to fulfil a lifetime's ambition by cycling unsupported from Lands End to John O' Groats, a journey of around 900 miles from the south-west tip of England to the north-east point of Scotland. I first had the idea of doing this when I was in my early 20s and it has always held great fascination for me, but various things, like family, work and banding commitments, have always managed to get in the way since then. I guess if I'm ever going to do it, now would be a good time!

I hope to reach John O' Groats by 22 June and have scheduled overnight stops at Wadebridge, Crediton, Wells, Tewkesbury, Baschurch, Tyldsley, Kendal, Lockerbie, Livingston, Blair Atholl, Inverness and Helmsdale, legs permitting, of course! If anyone sees me on the way, then please feel free to stop for a chat or to make a donation to one of the charities that I hope will benefit from the trip.

I hope to raise a considerable amount for Leukemia and Lymphoma Research (http://www.beatbloodcancers.org - which presents Christmas Carols with the Stars at the Royal Albert Hall in which I have played in Frank Renton's Concert Brass for the past seven years), The Salvation Army's work at Chikankata Hospital in Zambia (http://www.salvationarmy.org/chikankata) and Mary's Meals (http://www.marysmeals.org.uk - which provides free food and education to thousands of children in the developing world and is a charity supported by my daughter's school). I would also encourage visitors to support the excellent work of the Brass Band Heritage Trust.

Please visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/KennethCrookston if you would like to make a donation to these worthy causes.

I will be accompanied on the Scottish part of the ride by my good friend and former colleague, Ron Smith, who will be raising funds for Willowgrove House Special School in Livingston.

Keep an eye on my progress at British Bandsman's Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/british.bandsman or on Twitter @BB1887.

Thanks for reading this. Now just pray that my legs and backside can make it all the way. 900 miles! How hard can it be?

Kenny

 

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