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 31

D31 Sun 19 Jun. 523 miles. Sidmouth.

Patrick’s report covers most of the day, although he did not quite get across how stressed he gets about public transport, and meeting timetable departures. It that a London thing?

Anyway he left in good time for the bus from Budleigh Salterton to Exmouth, only to return three minutes later by which time I was filling my face full of more cream tea, and he dumped my waterproof jacket off. Good job that did not go to London I thought as I opened my mouth for more cream.

 

With Patrick on his way, I went down the tidy seafront and around the mouth of the River Otter, and enjoyed the quiet Sunday evening sun. Before too long I came over a headland and noticed cliffs way off in the distance – could that be the Isle of Portland I thought? To this day I am not sure, but Beer Head was certainly prominent, as were the ruins of the WW2 RAF armament trial facilities.

Cows. Now I told you a story about cows coming to get me as I approached Cawsand, and now it happened again. This time I got my emergency whistle out and blew them away!

I called John Mackay on the last tab downhill, and arranged my accommodation for the following night.

I had been to Sidmouth before, in 2007 with Frank and Constance, and as I passed the gardens next to Chit Rock, I stopped for a few moments to hear the brass band playing. I walked yet another seafront and spied a large sturdy wind shelter which would be bedroom for the night; then I was off to Anchor Inn. The staff there were chirpy, and were happy for me to charge my phone.

As I did this I got the maps out and for the first time I started to get quite emotional about my achievement.

Before the start a company in Woking had copied some old Ordnance Survey ¼ inch to the mile maps that belonged to my father. Unfortunately the one I had used so far had been drenched on the wet Friday. Although now dry, it was a bit messy, but still relayed how far I had indeed come. I was now on home turf, and tomorrow I would be in Seaton. Enough of the emotion, I was off to the Marine where I met landlord Phil, and brother Glenn, both of whom were competitive cyclists. Before I knew what was going on I had also met Daren Smith who thrust a £20 note in my hand. I chatted with him for the next hour or so, and although he seemed to have the weight of the world on his shoulder, he was a good soul.

As I left the pub I caught my lanyard of 32 years, used to secure my knife in my pocket, on a pinball machine handle. Snap, and there it was – in two halves!

There was a thick wet mist descending, and I rather contemplated putting up the tent after all.

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