News Page

Hi everyone. If you are looking for up to date news, always go to our News Page first, sometimes we are slower at updating the Blog.

So apologies for posting this late, but better late than never!



Children Raise £560 in Sponsored Read

The Sponsored Read raised over £560!
Parents, children and staff at Pilton Infants’ School and Pilton Bluecoat Academy were keen to support our ‘Buy Manning’s Pit’ campaign, and organised a sponsored reading event over Christmas.
It’s not the best time of year to ask for more money, but the children who took part were very committed and managed to raise over £560, and read over 100 books.
The prize draw for a £20 book voucher was won by Arthur Barber of Bluecoat Academy.
This is another great result, thank you to all the parents and children who took part:
The photo shows Alex Meller reading to his sister Lucy.  Alex won Third Prize in the Under 12 Category of the Inaugural Manning’s Pit Poetry Competition last year

The Finish

As before, the walk finished below the Buy Manning’s Pit Banner hanging on the front of the Yeo Dale Hotel. We were very grateful to have Selaine Saxby, our new MP, to help hold the finishing tape. Ian Roome, our District Councillor, had hoped to be there too, but was unfortunately unable to make it. District Councillor Robbie Mack, who came on an earlier part of the walk, had also hoped to make it but wasn’t able to do so.

Here is John coming round corner towards the finish. He’s still wearing his rubber glove, and has kept his bandage clean and dry throughout the whole walk.


John reaches the finishing tape, held by Selaine Saxby and Katie Martin, to a big cheer.


Johns Walk 4sm

Johns Walk 5sm

You can just spot Twinkle and Wendy behind him.

And here he is holding the tape, afterwards, before we all went into the Yeo Dale Hotel, to be given tea and cakes by the owners, Sarah and Paul, who have been such  staunch supporters throughout our campaigns.

Thank you again to Selaine Saxby, and well done everyone, and we are so grateful to all who took part or came along to support us. John has raised well over £900, with more donations coming in still.




The walk – what happened next:

Having survived the muddy slopes of Tutshill Wood (where Chris had fallen over earlier and Robin was next to fall over in the mud) we reached the grassy fields again. By the time we were ready to go up Shearford Lane, John was in the lead.


At the top of Shearford Lane, we met up with Wendy Robinson and Twinkle, and Susan Jarvis. Robin had to go home as he had other tasks ahead of him, so we said goodbye with many thanks.

Next, it was time to walk up to the Hospital. This was important to John, as he has had quite a few emergency admissions there in the last few years.  We also feel that Manning’s Pit has an important part to play in the health of the local community, in so many ways, both mental and physical.

Here are John, Kate and Wendy, with Twinkle, posing outside the Accident and Emergency Department, where John was treated for his dog bite on New Year’s Day. John is showing off the Air Ambulance sticker that he was given recently.


A kind lady, waiting for a bus, asked why we were there, and gave a donation, although she does not live near Manning’s Pit.  From here, it was on to Manning’s Pit again, by road. Twinkle, Wendy and Kate left us for a time, and we went on for the last stage, which was through Manning’s Pit, by Hall’s Mill Lane and Bradiford, where we picked up another supporter and her dog Leo. The clouds became dark, and there were hail showers, so we didn’t take photos as we had hoped in the last part of the valley, except for this one, at the end of the footpath, where it meets the main road at Pottington.


From then on it was road, Chaddiford Lane, Bellaire, Church Lane and down Pilton Street.

More photos from the walk

Here is a set showing how we crossed the muddy valley:


First John goes over and then skirts the really boggy mud


Next Katie climbs over


Now Richard climbs over. Note how Katie turns up the hill avoiding the worst place, but Richard forgets and goes downwards, only to get stuck in the deepest mud. Chris Bulpett, watching and taking these photos, comes across and with Robin (seen behind Richard at the stile) they eventually manage to rescue Richard, pulling him out of the bog.  Up on the slope I watch, and laugh at their exertions (which do look funny) only to slip myself and land in the mud.


With a bad left knee and wonky right hip, I can’t get up, and my feet keep slipping away on the slippery slope, until the rescuers come.  Serves me right for laughing!


Even Nat came to help. The photo doesn’t show how slippery and steep the slope was.  At one point it felt like we all might slide down together, but somehow it all worked out. Chris who took these photos had earlier had a big slip himself, while in Tutshill Woods. He was wearing waterproofs, luckily.  The one person to keep really clean of mud was John, none of us know how he managed it so well!


January 17th 2020, John’s Walk

During our Fund Raising Campaign we have in general been putting all News on our Facebook Page and the special News page on the website.

For this day, we may be uploading some photos of John Lovelock’s Sponsored walk as it takes place. They will be posted below – if this is not possible, go to the News Page for updates after the walk, or Facebook.

startReady to set off.  Despite a heavy downpour quite a few people turned up to see us off, including Wendy and Twinkle.

Johns Walk 2sm

Here we are about to leave, although Robbie Mack hasn’t as yet climbed over the gate. John waves, displaying his rubber glove. He wore it throughout the walk, to protect the bandage on his finger that mustn’t get wet.

We were surprised how very wet the fields were, and even more shocked by the caramel colour of the water streaming down the field near Shearford Lane. This was obviously coming from building work in the field higher up.

Susan who had started with us, dropped off around then, as she had to go home, but was replaced by Richard and his dog Nat. They were out for a walk and decided to join us.

Here are two photos from inside the entrance to Tutshill Woods. L to R, Katie, Christine, Richard, John and Robin.


robbie_woodsThe second photograph includes Barnstaple Town and District Councillor Robbie Mack, who took the earlier photo.

It took quite a long time getting thorugh the woods because everywhere was so slippery. We took care to avoid the worst muddy places.  The river by the footpath towards Blakewell was a roaring torrent. We meant to take more photographs at Blakewell but were too busy drinking our very welcome coffee at the Waterside Cafe. You can see good photos at this link here.

waterside_cafe_blakewellFirst stop at the Blakewell Fisheries Waterside Cafe, where Robbie decided to leave us as he had to get back for a meeting in town.  Chris and Kate had come though the woods and were waiting to meet us so we hurried on back, stopping only to admire this building, an old Mill:

IMG_20200117_115607 (1)

We reached the muddiest part of the walk, and saw Kate waiting across the way, with a sign she had made that morning.

All we had to do was carefully navigate the mud….


Go to the next section for what happened next!  (Because of the way this was posted, you have to scroll up, not down.)


Go to the website for news updates

Sometimes we are really busy – we are none of us paid or professional fund raisers – so for the moment we are going to ask people who aren’t on Facebook to go to the website for the most up to date news,

Here is a link to the News page that we update most regularly:

If you forget it , just go to the website, there is a link to it just under the film (the link says News.) And please note, if you have saved an earlier blog page with donation details, the BACs number that was shown earlier on this Blog has been changed, and the correct new one to use is the one on the website.

Here’s a photo from today’s Coffee Morning, which was a real success – and very well supported. As well as being great fun!  As always, fantastic cakes, too.