Amateur cyclist Kelvin Pawsey, son of David Pawsey (Town Hall Keeper) and Sandra Pawsey (who organised the Garden Safari’s for the Hospice) embarked on his two-wheeled charity adventure of the year when he set off from Rye Harbour Lifeboat Station on Sunday 1 August.
Kelvin is aiming to raise as much money as he can for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and the Harris Tweed Authority Educational Trust by pedalling over 900 miles to the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, home of the famous Harris Tweed. Kelvin’s adventure is more challenging as he will not have a support team with him, he will carry his tent, bed, cooking pots and his custom made expeditionary Tweed RNLI flag on his trusty Holdsworth bicycle.
Kelvin’s adventure started on Saturday 31 July when he left from Folkestone’s Sunny Sands Inshore Rescue Boathouse heading to Rye Harbour to make his second departure from the South coast on the 1st of August. Kelvin is aiming to complete his journey within three weeks, punctures and map reading aside, and stopping for cake and ale along the way. Following the Grand Union Canal, Kelvin is hoping to pop into the Reynolds Tubing factory in Birmingham which supplied the world with its legendary ‘531’ bicycle frame tubing.
Kelvin Pawsey setting off from Rye Harbour Kelvin has strong and close family connections to the Mary Stanford, a Liverpool class lifeboat stationed at Rye Harbour between 1916 and 15 November 1928 when she capsized resulting in the loss of all 17 crewmen.
This lifeboat disaster is the largest loss of life from a single lifeboat ever experienced by the RNLI. The Mary Stanford launched to the assistance of the S.S. ‘Alice’ a Latvian registered ship, during the worst storm in the English Channel during living memory. The crew were unaware that recall flares had gone up to say that ship ‘The Alice’ was out of trouble.
It wasn’t unusual for Rye Harbour lifeboats to take sanctuary in Folkestone Harbour during rough weather. Kelvin’s great grandfather served on the Mary Stanford in the years before the tragedy
The Harris Tweed Authority Educational Trust is a charity concerned with keeping the traditions of weaving alive on the islands. As may have seen on a recent BBC documentary Harris Tweed is not as thriving as a unique, world-renowned cloth should be. Harris Tweed is the only cloth in the world to be protected by an Act of Parliament. This puts it in the same league as Champagne, Parmigiano Reggiano, Camembert, Arbroath Smokie’s and Plymouth Gin. The Harris Tweed Educational Trust has been established by the Harris Tweed Authority as a means of advancing the education of the public in the history,production and properties of Harris Tweed. Harris Tweed is hand woven in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland from 100% pure wool. At the heart of the Harris Tweed industry is an ability to combine centuries of heritage and tradition with creativity, imagination and a determined sense of individuality. The famous ‘Orb’ Trademark, stamped on every metre of cloth, guarantees that the fabric has been certified by the Harris Tweed Authority as genuine Harris Tweed.
The Harris Tweed Education Trust aims to ensure that young people from the Outer Hebrides and indeed furthera- field, are educated and informed about this most cherished and beautiful, but sometimes fragile parts of Scotland’s national heritage. The first project of this recently formed trust is to support a formal recognised vocational qualification in Harris Tweed
. From August 2010, this course will be offered through the education curriculum to S3/S4 pupils in one school on the Isle of Harris – the home of Harris Tweed. Other projects in development include a project to support the dying craft of hand warping and hand weaving.
Kelvin said: ‘I aim to hoist the Tweed RNLI flag and tweed bunting in every campsite to add a sense of occasion. In keeping with the two start points there will be two finish points! First will be the Harris Tweed Authority HQ and second will be the RNLI station at Stornoway.
Rye’s Own September 2010
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