Mayor’s 85-mile Ribble Valley boundary trek for charity

Ribble Valley Mayor Coun.Michael Ranson prepares to 'beat the bounds'
Ribble Valley Mayor Coun.Michael Ranson prepares to 'beat the bounds'
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Ribble Valley Mayor Michael Ranson is to revive an ancient custom by walking the borough boundaries to raise cash for charity.

He is to “beat the bounds” by walking Ribble Valley’s 85-mile boundary during his mayoral year. He will undertake the trek in 20 sections, ranging from four to six miles, and has already completed the first section last week.

And he is inviting Ribble Valley residents to join him in the walks and raise cash through sponsorship for his chosen charities for his year in office – Ribble Valley Crossroads Care and Homestart Ribble Valley.

Coun. Ranson said: “Ribble Valley is one of the most scenic and picturesque boroughs in the country and I am delighted to be walking its boundaries during my mayoral year.

“I hope to put a modern twist on this ancient tradition by raising money for my chosen charities and invite residents to join me in any or all of the walks.”

The walks have been devised by Ribble Valley Borough Council’s health development officer Barrie Williams. The 20 treks cover different sections of the borough boundary and a reasonable level of fitness and mobility is required to take part, although at least one of the walks will be accessible to mobility scooters, pushchairs and wheelchairs.

The first walk, which took place last Wednesday, June 4th, covered the section from the Gamecock pub in Whalley Road, near Great Harwood to Sabden.

Forthcoming walks are: June 25th Nick of Pendle to Downham; July 9th Downham to Rimington; 16th Rimington to Gisburn; 23rd Paythorne to Tosside; August 6th Tosside to Gisburn Forest; 20th Coat Rakes, Gisburn Forest, to Skaithe Road, Gisburn Forest.

All walks start at 5 pm and are linear, so participants are asked to make car-sharing arrangements. A full programme is available at or from Barrie Williams on 01200 414484.

l “Beating the bounds” is an ancient custom still observed in many English parishes. Its roots go back to mediaeval times when parishes reaffirmed their boundaries by processing around them, stopping at each boundary mark to pray for protection and blessings for the land.