Welcome to Swanage Army Link.

The Swanage Army Link is a dynamic association that has evolved over nearly 30 years between the Swanage Railway, the British Army, the People of Swanage and the Royal British Legion.

Regular ongoing visits by the Royal Corps of Signals soldiers are core to this Link, as is Team Herston, formed in 2007, bringing together local residents and ex soldiers who work regularly on our core project – the upkeep of Herston Halt.

More recently we have been proud to welcome Heroes Haven into the fold.

Want to know more? See About the Army Link .

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Heroes Haven Donations

If you would like to make a donation to the Heroes Haven, please visit their site http://www.heroes-haven.org.uk (opens in a new window) and click on the 'Donate' link in the top right of the page.

Please enter SWCP as the reference.

SWCP:Day 9

Day 9 -  Fri 20 May (12.5 of 110.25 miles) Hartland

Up at 05:00 to send off a load of reports to the web. I received a text overnight from Lynn Connor asking where I was, so I checked the website. Others were starting to ask too, so feel the need to be quicker with updates. However I have had no signal for the past 14 hrs on Hartland.

In preparation for leaving the New Inn I packed up all my  clothes, had breakfast and a chat to Sandra Ross who served me breakfast. I then sat in the room to scribe more reports to bring everything up to date. I noticed i am increasingly using the camera on my phone so that I can send off photos for the website.

I was then thrown out of my room by the chambermaid, which was fine as I needed to get on the road. One last walk down Up-along to post another BFPO bluey to Sgt Danny Shovelton in Afghanistan. Then up the steep cobbled street and out of the village - I'll be back I thought...

Bloody hell. I did it again and missed the start walking straight passed the "big black gate" for the SWCP. before I had realised what was going on I was halfway down the service road used by Santa's cars to get to the Clovelly! I was fuming with myself. At about the same time lots of text messages arrived all at once so I stopped and replied, sent an e-mail to Wilts and Dorset, and called my friend Gill. 
I then missed another junction a mile down the track which cost me another half mile. One thing that experience gave me was the sight of a long track lined with barrels either side with lids in. What were they for? At the end there was a pavilion with an excellent view - and the large crucifix on the top of the roof .... totally covered in an Army Cam net!  I suspect the barrels were for flaming torches to light the path at night, for some strange solstice ritual? I may never know! On the way down I was sure I heard a woman scream, I was stopped in my tracks, all tensed up with no-one around. How strange. Perhaps she was asking me to collect the Army cam net!

I then bumped into two long distance walkers. Firstly, Frenchman Dan who was breaking for lunch on his way to John O'Groats  and then an older gent who I accused of coming from Brum; he was a Scoucer! But be did say try the Youth Hostel at Elmscott.

The 5 miles or so leading to Hartland point was mainly fields, and somehow I missed the Trig Point 152 - but it may be that a farmer has bulldozed the 1m high block of stone or concrete away since OS (or whoever) made the decision to stop maintaining them! I arrived at the Hartland Point Cafe at 5 to 5 on Fri and it was not Crackojack time, but just in time for tea and afternoon cake served by Mathew whose brother was serving in Afghanistan, and Adam from  Manchestor! They passed me £5, and were away to the village

The Point, officially the southern start to the Bristol Channel, and the lighthouse looked dramatic as the evening sun came out and I engaged in conversation with a nan with old fashioned specs, perhaps from Germany.

The evening walk was fantastic, and I even stopped for 10 minutes of the R4 Newsquiz before decending towards the very quaint Blackpool Mill at the end of a small valley. "For Hire" the sign said - I thought I might just do that one day I thought!!

I had YHA on my mind, not the YMCA mincing song, but a shower and a bed!  So I headed down the path and with the evening sun motivating a few more miles out of my weary feet, and decided it was worth investigating. It most certainly was!

I was met by ex-Matlot Tony, a volunteer on his 2 week annual visit. A quick tour of facilities, shower, sock washing session and then some pasta sat next to three fun girls from Dorchester. I say girls, but ladies really and we engaged in good conversation. They even offered me salad and were only beaten to offering a glass of wine by host Tony. My emergency pasta meal tasted fantastic, now with salad, and it was out with the maps to see just how far I had to do.

A long way but well inspired after the dreadful mid-day element of the journey.

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