Edgehill guides for Clare Balding return with charity walk for Tim

(L-R) Barry Gamble, Ramblings producer Lucy Lunt, the late Tim Cherry, Clare Balding, Robert Aplin, Jonathan Williams and Charlie Bates on their Edgehill walk in 2015 NNL-180420-154149001
(L-R) Barry Gamble, Ramblings producer Lucy Lunt, the late Tim Cherry, Clare Balding, Robert Aplin, Jonathan Williams and Charlie Bates on their Edgehill walk in 2015 NNL-180420-154149001

Walking friends, who once guided Clare Balding around Edgehill, are taking on a 30km charity challenge in memory of a much-missed former member of the team.

Robert Aplin, Charlie Bates, Barry Gamble and Jonathan Williams will be walking through Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland in June for the mine-clearing charity Halo.

The hike is also in memory of Tim Cherry, the fifth member of the group which would regularly go on long walks, who died last year.

Tim, a doctor in Banbury for decades, often went with Halo to war-torn countries along with fellow GP Jonathan.

Barry said: “Quite a number of old patients of Tim’s have said this is terrific and would be a lovely way to remember him, it does tick quite a few boxes.

“It’s a great opportunity to do this and we’re rather pleased it’s come along as the timing is fortuitous.

“He’s no longer with us but he will be in spirit as we’re doing something he would recognise.”

Halo’s Walk for Syria will see 50 teams walk 30km through the Scottish countryside on June 23, to support the charity’s work clearing mines and helping civilians in the country torn apart by civil war.

The four friends, who all live in villages around Banbury, felt the combination of raising money for a charity close to Tim, close to the first anniversary of his death, with a walk was the perfect way to remember him.

The Three Peaks Challenge in 1996 saw the five men walk together for the first time and was the beginning of years of hiking and friendship.

They would try to go on a substantial walk every year, travelling across the UK in search of the next challenge, and in 2015, they were asked to hike around Edgehill with Balding for her BBC Radio 4 show Ramblings.

Looking back, Barry said: “It was fascinating to spend time with Clare, she’s the consummate professional but had a great sense of humour and was great company.”

The Walk for Syria will be the group’s first ‘serious’ hike since the Radio 4 show as Tim was diagnosed with terminal cancer shortly afterwards.

Barry said: “The horror for us was he was the fittest out of all of us.”

The team launched a fundraising page two weeks ago and have been taken aback by the support and encouragement they have already received.

They would like to thank everyone who has engaged in the quest and in particular for all the donations received, with more than £3,500 raised so far.

Donate to the team’s appeal at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/edgehill4halo.