Margaret Marande, 81, is now half way on her marathon 220-mile trek of The Hardy Way, having left Hardy’s Birthplace Visitor Centre on 18 April. As reported in the May issue of Gillingham & Shaftesbury News, Margaret is walking the route that she herself created 16 years ago, in memory of her late partner Harry Holberry who died of pancreatic cancer last year. She is raising fund for three causes – Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, The Shaftesbury Westminster Memorial Hospital where Harry was cared for in the last weeks of his life, and Hardy’s Birthplace Visitor Centre. ‘I’ve made it to half way!’ says Margaret. ‘I’m feeling a bit more confident now as the knees and the feet have held up well so far. My leg muscles and shins have been a bit more problematic but are under control I think.’
Margaret has had to battle through the great British weather with temperatures ranging from 25 degrees Celsius in week one to five degrees and flash flooding in week two, but she is determined to carry on. ‘The main highlights of my journey so far have been the wonderful send-off on Day One at Hardy’s Birthplace Visitor Centre, the exceptional hospitality that I have received from places where I have stayed and the support of my family and friends who have accompanied me along most of the route transporting my baggage where necessary.
‘There have been many interesting sights and incidents all of which I will report after the walk but for now it’s onwards to West Dorset and then south to Bridport, the mighty Chesil Bank, the Isle of Portland, Weymouth and then, back inland, to Stinsford Church where Hardy’s heart is buried. The whole point of what I’m doing is to raise money for three very worthy causes so please do keep the donations coming. Every one is much appreciated.’
You can follow Margaret’s progress via her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/hardyway
And donate via:
Hardy’s Birthplace Visitor Centre at Higher Bockhampton – cheques to Dorset County Council, Hardy’s Birthplace Visitor Centre, Higher Bockhampton, DT2 8QH