Every year our club helps fellow Rotarians from Maidenhead Rotary to plan, organise and marshal the annual Boundary Walk. This year was the 36th year the event has run and is organised with the aim of facilitating local people to raise funds for charities that are close to their hearts.
Maidenhead Boundary Walk is based on an ancient custom called Beating the bounds. Its roots go back to mediaeval times when parishes reaffirmed their boundaries by processing round them at Rogationtide,
stopping to beat each boundary mark with wands and to pray for protection and blessings for the land.
Today Maidenhead has expanded outside the old boundaries of the town, but you can still find the old boundary stones, and this is the route we follow for the annual Charity Boundary Walk.
This year saw a record turn-out of walkers with 648 taking part in total, supporting more than 64 different charities and raising over £25,000. These numbers alone are testament as to what makes this event so special and one we are very proud to support. Below is a viewpoint from Kevin who was at one of the marshalling points!
After a busy week travelling to Spain and watching my team Chelsea win in Madrid and then lose on Saturday, it’s Sunday morning and the alarm goes off – why I ask myself? Then I remember I volunteered to help marshal the Boundary Walk. So I get myself ready, pack the car boot with coats, rain hat, jumper etc. The weather doesn’t look good. I am off to the Shire Horse pub on A4 to help people cross a road without stopping the traffic.
I meet my fellow victims (sorry volunteers): Robert a potential new member who used to be a Rotaract member and Geoff, a Rotary member, and now retired former treasurer of Maidenhead and Windsor Council.
We exchange stories and get to know each other. That’s one thing about Rotary, you get to meet some interesting people. Our first visitor arrives, we wait patiently for a gap in the traffic…finally he crosses! So it begins: more people slowly arrive, grateful that we can escort them over the road waving a stop sign (the rules said we were not supposed to do that). Have you ever tried getting over the A4 without getting caught in the middle?
Being at a crossing by the pub means many of the walkers seem take the opportunity for refreshments. Can’t blame them - it’s the half way point and they were obviously thirsty. So at the end of our stint the new crew take over our duties. Robert and I retire to the pub. Getting to the bar is fun it’s packed with boundary walkers all enjoying the local ale!
So if you want to be thanked by lots of different folks and meet some fellow like-minded volunteers I recommend it. This is the third time I have volunteered at the Boundary Walk at different points along the way and each time I have enjoyed it. BTW it didn’t rain on my watch.
PS the beer was good!
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