Rain fails to dampen fundraising spirit during Brighton to Crawley walk


More than 100 intrepid souls walked from Brighton to Crawley in awful weather to raise money for two good causes.

The torrential rain failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the 110 people who took part in the Pillars to Plough walk on Sunday (April 20).

The walk started at the pillars on the A23, at Brighton, and ended at the Plough Pub, in Ifield.

Participants were greeted with cheers, applause and a fish and chips dinner when they trudged and squelched their way along Ifield Street to the pub.

The walk, in aid of Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice and Olive Tree Cancer Support Centre, at Crawley Hospital, was organised by the Ifield Chestnut House fundraising group.

Since the group formed, in 2008, they have raised almost £100,000 – a milestone organisers hope to have cleared once all sponsorship money from Sunday’s event is collected.

First to finish were Will Drury, 34, of Horley, his brother Eddie Drury, 31, of Maidenbower, and Katie Brindle, 32, of Maidenbower.

They were followed by 57-year-old Steve Luke, of Crawley.

Will, Eddie and Katie, who hope to have raised £500, ran much of the race and then headed back to walk with one of the children from the hospice, 13-year-old Harry, who had raised more than £1,000.

Will described Harry as “a really inspirational young man”.

He added: “They all are really. When you look at these kids who may not see their next birthday, it makes it all worthwhile.

“It may hurt a bit now, but it’s worth it.”

Organiser Chris Spurgeon thanked everyone who took part in what was the fourth Pillars to Plough walk.

He said: “We’re hopefully going to go through £100,000, which is amazing really for a little pub like the Plough.

“There’s a lot of thank you for the people who have walked with us – some who have done it year after year – and the support we’ve had from the locals here at the pub.We’re hoping to grow, so hopefully next Easter Sunday we’ll have a bigger crowd doing it. The weather hasn’t been kind to us but it’s still great fun, a great event and it gives a good buzz to the pub.”

To find out more about the Ifield Chestnut House fundraising group, log on to www.ifieldchestnuthouse.co.uk .