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Gary’s gang raise over £1300 for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices

Gary Cobbold, Ian Johnson and Graham Crisp, along with their friends Scott Regan and Tony
Bowling, successfully paddled the 76 miles from Whitney-on-Wye to Redbrook, near
Monmouth in two- and three-man canoes, raising over £1300 for East Anglia’s Children’s
Hospices (EACH) in the process.

Sustained with home-made Simnel cake and carrying their belongings in waterproof drums, the five men navigated through the beautiful Herefordshire countryside, experiencing many wildlife close-encounters and overcoming many challenging moments – these included out- paddling an irate swan which was hissing like a snake; avoiding voluminous heron droppings falling from the sky; and safely negotiating the famous Grade 2 rapids at Symonds Yat. A partial capsize of one of the canoes on the first day meant three of the men were left with soggy shoes for the remainder of the trip; this was a seminal moment and entering and exiting the craft were always treated as high-risk activities from then on. Despite this, much white-water was successfully crossed, and not even the hazards of submerged rocks, ill- tempered anglers, and being sat in the same position for three days were able to dampen the intrepid canoeists’ mood. The sight of a kingfisher darting down the river ahead of the boats will be treasured forever, and the celebratory drink at the Boat Inn at Redbrook at the end of the voyage was never so well received!