A group forecast of smashing records this year has led to double-whammey celebrations for LUMPS - the best bunch of walkers in the area.
For LUMPS - Longridge Unaffiliated Mountaineering and Peregrination Society - has broken fundraising records in the 20th year of their 20 miles and 20 pubs annual charity, and have so far presented cheques totalling £14,302.
At a special presentation evening at the Alston Arms in Longridge, a cheque for £9,742 was accepted by Help for Heroes co-ordinator Joanne Rutherford and a second one for £4,560 was presented to Emma Southworth for Longridge Hockey Club.
A further cheque will be presented to Longridge Cricket Club at their annual presentation at Ferrari’s Country Hotel on October 5.
It was also the evening when all walk members and supporters said goodbye to the Alston’s popular landlords, Nick and Lindsay Metcalfe, instrumental in organising the 20/20 event and who will be sadly missed by everyone, said participamnt Paul Gavaghan.
A group statement said: “The LUMPS would like to thank all who have supported the event over the years including entrants, sponsors, donors, Nick and Lindsay, local businesses, licensees and landlords of pubs and clubs along the way.
“Also the band and LUMPS member Brian Livesey for collecting with his bucket, and anyone else who has helped to make the event such a great success.”
The 2013 milestone walk not only attracted a record 551 people - 170 more than normal - but added to the double-whammy of smashing all previous records for the amount raised by reaching in the region of £18,000 through sponsorship and donations.
Walk organiser Alan Heaton - who with fellow members Bob Greenall and Phil Webster are the only people to have completed all 20 walks - explained the total amount made for charities over the past 20 years had passed the £100,000 mark.
The final result would be revealed after the cricket club’s presentation event.
He described this year’s walk as ‘amazing’ and a ‘good job done’ after the walkers completed a route similar to that of the first walk, starting and finishing in Longridge.
Following the event, which was held in June, he said: “It went unbelievably well. It was the 20th one and we finally felt we got nothing wrong. It went as smoothly as it could have done, especially at the beginning.
“There were over 170 more than ever before, with the walkers ranging in age from just 10 years through to their early 70s.
“There is no way in this world we thought we would get this many people.”
Their route included 55 stiles - unusually no kissing gates as reported at the time - and members of the Chipping and Longridge support group for Friends of Chernobyl’s Children had set up a welcome refreshment facility at the top of Longridge Fell, raising £400 for their own funds.
Planning the event also included coach loads of participants being ferried to drop-off points such as Gisburn, Wheelton, Darwen, Padiham, Dolphinholme, Longton and Belthorn for the 20 mile walk back to Longridge.