Community Support Flying High for the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway

The local community is bursting with energy and excitement to support the fundraising campaign to reinstate the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path. Last week saw the first in a series of community events take place in Keswick and Threlkeld raising nearly £4,000.

The Big Fat Community Quiz organised by Cake & Salad and Podgy Paws in Keswick raised £1,700 and a benefit gig at Threlkeld Village Hall raised £2,000. Over 150 locals attended both events wanting to support the fundraising efforts.

Chris Harper, Owner of Podgy Paws said she was overwhelmed by the amount of support for the quiz:When Jess from Cake & Salad and I put the call out locally we couldn’t believe how many businesses came forward to offer prizes. It was superb! And when we started selling tickets, again, we were blown away by the responses, as all the tickets were sold in a week. We were thrilled with how much was raised and quite simply, it was good old fashioned fun for a cause close to all our hearts”.

For those who couldn’t make the first two events there will be plenty of opportunity to get involved with various activities over the next couple of months. The Hope Park Games and Cafe are holding ‘K2Tee Off’ competition on Thursday 17 May which will be an optional fancy dress competition. Viki Mallaghan explains what the event is all about;We wanted to do our bit for the K2T fundraising drive, but thought we’d do something a bit different. It’s a fundraising golf competition on our 9 hole Pitch and Putt course. Teams of 4 are invited to take part and fancy dress is encouraged! The first team will set off at 5pm with the rest of the teams staggered at 10 minute intervals. Pre-booking is essential”. To get involved it’s £10 per person and prizes will be awarded to the winning team and the best dressed.

The Alhambra Cinema is planning a talk and film showing by Sean Conway on Thursday 7 June. Sean Conway is the Lake District Foundation Ambassador who now lives in the Lake District. Sean is the first person to cycle, swim, and run the length of Great Britain and holds the record for the world’s longest triathlon, a 4,200 mile journey around the coast of Britain.  Sean will be telling stories about his running adventures and his latest world record attempt a 4,500mile cycle challenge from Portugal to Russia in under 26 days.

Supporting the community activity the Lake District Foundation are organising a couple events for all to get involved. Firstly, the K2T Challenge weekend over 5,6,7 May where the team will be in Keswick for the weekend encouraging everyone to complete 5km, donate £5 and nominate five people to take on the challenge too. There will be five different 5km routes to choose from and you can make your donation on the day with the street collection teams on hand from the Lions and Rotary Clubs.

The second event coming up is an exclusive ‘money-can’t-buy’ auction on 8 June at the Lodore Falls Hotel. The auction will have 50 lots made up of unique experiences and special prizes from all over the world. It is set to be a fabulous evening and with support from the oldest auction house in the area, PFK Auctions, the auction is in very safe hands.

Heather Askew, Fundraiser for the Lake District Foundation, is looking forward to all the events:We are absolutely thrilled by the fundraising events and support from the local community. It’s going to be a jam-packed couple of months but we can’t wait. Especially, during the charity auction weekend as we’ll be at the Keswick Mountain Festival too encouraging visitors to do the K2T Challenge and donate.”

The funds raised will go towards reconnecting the Keswick to Threlkeld railway path, some parts of which were severely damaged during the floods in 2015.

Two of the old railway bridges that crossed the River Greta were washed away, one bridge was left at risk of collapse and around 200 metres of the path surface disappeared into the floodwaters.

In December 2017 the LDNPA were delighted to announce a major funding boost to the project – a £2.5 million grant from Highways England and a partnership with the Lake District Foundation to jointly fundraise the shortfall of around £3 million.

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