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50-mile challenge to remember Flying Man

Walkers Alec and Chris Ramsden, Ros and Ian Aitchison who will ride the route by tandem, and walker Kathy Gilbank, gear up for the Flying Man Challenge in the shadow of Thomas Pelling's memorial at Pocklington's All Saints Church.
Walkers Alec and Chris Ramsden, Ros and Ian Aitchison who will ride the route by tandem, and walker Kathy Gilbank, gear up for the Flying Man Challenge in the shadow of Thomas Pelling's memorial at Pocklington's All Saints Church.

Pocklington’s annual Flying Man Festival is set to take place on 12 and 13 May, but an intrepid group of locals are undertaking a new Flying Man expedition ahead of the popular event.

They will be walking or cycling 50 miles from Burton Stather to Pocklington.

Andrew Hallewell checks out the glider simulator at last year's Flying Man Festival. (pa1718-13d)

Andrew Hallewell checks out the glider simulator at last year's Flying Man Festival. (pa1718-13d)

The festival remembers Thomas Pelling, a showman and acrobat who came to a tragic end in 1733, going down in history as ‘The Flying Man of Pocklington’.

The new ‘Flying Man Challenge’ will trace the route from Pelling’s birthplace in Burton Stather to where he is buried at All Saints Church, Pocklington.

Around a dozen locals have signed up so far to set out from St Andrews Church, Burton-upon- Stather, on the banks of the Trent in Lincolnshire, and trek the 50 miles to where it all ended at Pocklington.

The route breaks down into three sections of approximately 15 miles – Burton Stather to the Humber Bridge along the south bank of the Humber; after crossing the bridge following the Wolds Way to South Cave, then on from there to Nunburnholme.

The plan it to cover that part of the walk before the festival weekend then join up with families and anyone who wants to walk the ‘Last Leg’ the final few miles from the churches at Nunburnholme (five miles) or Kilnwick Percy (two miles) on the morning of Saturday 12 May, arriving at All Saints Church to a special musical welcome announcing the start of the festival.

The cyclists will undertake their route in a single day, while walkers can split their journey into three.

Anyone wanting to join in, either for the whole route, or for a single section, or the Saturday family leg, can get further details from Julie Ryder, tel 01759 318640, email i.ryder751@btinternet.com.

The walkers and cyclists are raising sponsorship and anyone wishing to support them can do so by signing a sponsor form at All Saints Church or by the church’s electronic giving or texting accounts, All Saints Church Giving Account sort code 77-71- 51, account no 13985368, or text Pock42 £5 to 70070.

The Flying Man Festival is in its 14th year and has a packed programme of activities, events, exhibitions, displays and fayre for all ages based in and around the church, the majority with an aerial theme.

More information is available from the Flying Man Festival website: http://www.pockflyingman.org.uk.