There’s still time to sign up for the 40th anniversary Boundary Walk next month. But did you know the popular charity fundraiser has its roots in a much older local tradition?
Hundreds of walkers are expected to be stepping out to raise money for their favourite good causes when they take part in the Rotary Boundary Walk. The event, on Sunday, October 3, has become one of the town’s biggest charity fundraisers and this year is celebrating its 40th anniversary with the addition of a new 5km route for families.
But walking the main 13-mile route following the boundary of the old Maidenhead Borough harks back to the very origins of Maidenhead itself and the granting of a ‘Charter of Incorporation’ which brought the Borough of Maidenhead into being in 1582.
It became a tradition for the Mayor to get beaters to drive square-headed nails into posts and walls along the boundary route, each bearing his initials on its head. So was born the tradition of ‘beating the bounds’.
By 1934 the boundary of the borough was marked by stones – many of which can still be seen today – and during the walk the mayor would tap each one with the ceremonial mace to ‘reinforce’ the boundary. The last official ‘beating the bounds’ was in 1973, when Euphemia Underhill was Mayor.
But in 1982 the Boundary Walk as we know it today was resurrected by Rotary and the East Berkshire Ramblers to help mark the 400th anniversary of the granting of the charter and became an annual fundraising event.
Originally held on the last Sunday of September, the date was changed to the first Sunday in October as it clashed with Harvest Festival church services. While other changes over the years have included a shift to online booking and sponsorship, the event remains at its heart an opportunity for people to walk in aid of their chosen charities.
Now run as a joint project by Maidenhead and Maidenhead Bridge Rotary Clubs, the Boundary Walk will be back to normal in October after being held in a ‘bubble’ format last year due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Boundary Walk chair Jim Howles said: “We are delighted the Boundary Walk is back in its usual format this year. So, individuals, groups and families are all invited to take part in this little bit of Maidenhead’s history and at the same time raise money for their chosen causes.”
Both routes start and finish at Boulters Lock car park and follow a fully signposted path with checkpoints manned by Rotary marshals. The family route is a nice circular stroll via Guards Club Park, Oldacres and the A4.
There is a registration fee to take part which covers administration costs including route maps and completion certificates. All sponsorship raised goes to the walker’s chosen charity.
For more details and to register see www.boundarywalk.org.uk
This year’s Rotary Boundary Walk, which took place in a new ‘Bubble’ format due to Covid-19 restrictions, has been declared a resounding success by organisers.
Nearly 200 people took part in the 12-mile charity sponsored walk over three weeks in October, raising more than £7,000 for a range of good causes.
The event takes its name from the tradition of ‘beating the bounds’ - an annual walk around the boundary of the old Maidenhead Borough – and follows the same route.
Usually it sees about 600 participants setting out on a single Sunday in October to walk a fully marshalled route with checkpoints and road crossings manned by Rotarians.
But this year, due to social distancing rules, walkers were given a three-week window to complete a non-marshalled route in ‘bubbles’ of up to six people, such as families or charity groups.
“We were absolutely delighted with how the ‘Bubble’ format worked,” said organising committee chairman Jim Howles. “With the Boundary Walk impossible to run in the normal way, having 200 people still take part and raise so much money for charity in such a difficult year is a fantastic result.
“Lots of charities rely on it as a major fundraiser and we were determined to find a way for it to go ahead despite the restrictions.
“We’d like to say a huge thank-you to all the walkers who took part and to the Louis Baylis Trust and Shanly Foundation for their support.”
The Boundary Walk is jointly organised by Maidenhead Rotary Club and Maidenhead Bridge Rotary Club. They hope that by next year it will be able to return in its usual format but are thinking about introducing a longer window for walkers who are unable to take part in the main event.
Remember, if you're not a member of the club yet, then we’d also like to extend an invite to you and your friends to join us at one of our fun upcoming meetups to find out more about what we do and how you can get involved. Remember we’re a very relaxed, flexible and friendly club so you don’t have to commit huge amounts of time to get involved. It’s a great way to meet new people, try out new activities and give something back to the local community. Check out the list of upcoming events on the back page of the newsletter, if you’d like to join us get in touch today.
Maidenhead Boundary Walk – one of the town’s most important charity fundraising events - will be going ahead in a new ‘Bubble’ format due to Covid-19 restrictions, organisers have announced.
The Rotary-run sponsored walk usually sees hundreds of walkers tracing the boundary of the old Maidenhead Borough on a single Sunday in October.
But this year, thanks to social distancing rules, things will be a bit different.
Instead participants can walk any time during a three-week period from Sunday, October 4 to Sunday, October 25, either on their own or in ‘bubbles’ such as families or charity groups.
They can do all or just part of the 12-mile route, which is already clearly signposted, starting and finishing at any point along the way. And instead of the traditional method of signing in at marshalled checkpoints to get their completion certificates, walkers will be asked to fill out a post-walk form and take photos at key locations along the way.
Everyone taking part is urged to raise sponsorship, and organisers say the Bubble Boundary Walk is the perfect opportunity for charities to replace vital funding lost due to Covid-19.
Organising committee chairman Jim Howles said: “We were determined to find a way for the Boundary Walk to go ahead despite Covid-19 The ‘Bubble’ format means charities and community groups will still be able to raise much-needed funds at a time when so many are in desperate straits because of the impact of the lockdown.
“The Bubble Boundary Walk is a ready-made sponsored event. Charities just need to mobilise their supporters to raise sponsorship money and walk the route – it’s that simple. It’s open to walkers of all ages and abilities and after months of lockdown it’s the chance to get out into the fresh air for a good cause.”
There is a registration fee - £2.50 for adults, £1 for children and £15 for groups of 15 or more – which covers admin costs including route maps and completion certificates. All sponsorship raised goes to the walker’s chosen charity.
The event, which is jointly organised by Maidenhead Rotary Club and Maidenhead Bridge Rotary Club, is also supported by the Louis Baylis (Maidenhead Advertiser) Charitable Trust and the Shanly Foundation.
Full details about the walk and how to register can be found at www.boundarywalk.org.uk
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