AMAZING that anyone turned up at all! A month’s rain had fallen on the previous day and the new channels were full of the story of the miraculous escape of mountain marathon walkers who were stranded in atrocious conditions. Drivers drove through partly flooded roads to get to Bowness Knott, and even at the start of the walk it was doubtful whether they could possibly get round the lake. “This way it’s up to your crotch and that way it’s up to your neck,” warned Francis, but were we daunted? Just before the start a fierce squally shower warned that the heavy rain had not given up on us yet.

Amazingly, most of the party did walk round the Lake, often along paths that had turned into shallow streams fed by the spectacular mountain torrents. A mile from the end the party was forced into a detour by a path that was if not quite “up to your neck” at least knee deep.

The sponsored walk round Ennerdale drew the largest entry ever, with well over a hundred determined and well equipped men women, children and dogs. All were sponsored to support Francis’s cherished project to support local children in need through the Charles & Kathleen Dunnery Children’s Fund, set up in memory of his parents.

The editor’s camera chose this time to pack up on him with a major fault just as the whole party assmbled before the walk. He was rescued by Andrea and Benedetta, all the way from Italy for the fourth time, who lent theirs. It is a perfect example of the lovely spirit of international friendship that shone through the whole party.

He did not have time to take notes as he struggled to get to key vantage points before the main party. If anyone can identify themselves or others from these photos, please send an email and we can update this page.

Published in Egremont Today