Tag Archives: Shelter

A Happy New Year to you all

Teddy, Tom, and Patrick on the South Downs Way fundraising in December 2016

Teddy, Tom, and Patrick on the South Downs Way fundraising in December 2016

Thank you for reading the blog in 2016 and for engaging in lively debates via the comments section. The most controversial issue is the state and status of Paddy’s house, but we end the year with some hope that the Benaki will be able to make some progress as seen by their recent press release.

Please do keep sending me material. I probably say this every year, but I have a good backlog of items, many of which have been kindly donated by some of you. Forgive me if I don’t get round to publishing them immediately, or even quickly; it can often take me an hour or more for the more complex posts and time as you know is short and precious. My goal is to have everything up on the site one day. There is plenty of good material to come in 2017 and I wish you all a very Happy New Year.

The Like a Tramp 2016 Just Giving site will close in a few days. So far we have raised over £7,000 for homeless and mental health charirites. The most recent 2016 tramp has had donations of over £1,850. It would only take a few more donations to take us over the magic £2,000 mark. If you would like to donate in any currency, please follow this link.

Like a Tramp 2016 raises £1,500

Patrick, Teddy and Tom

Patrick, Teddy and Tom after a cold night in Exton church. A rare glimpse of the sun and blue sky which didn’t last.

Thank you to all who donated to Shelter and Combat Stress. Donations breached the £1,500 mark so we are very pleased. Fog and mist spoiled any views for the three and a half days we tramped along the South Downs Way which was a disappointment, but on the whole the weather was pretty kind; cold but no rain. As ever we walked like tramps seeking charitable shelter. We slept in churches and were offered drier accommodation near Midhurst which was a blessing.

If you would like to make a donation to help the homeless and veterans suffering from PTSD this Christmas, the Just Giving page remains open.

A Merry Christmas to you all.



Update Walking from Winchester to Bath

Arrival in Bath

Arrival in Bath

I wanted to pass on my thanks to all of you who gave financial and moral support to me during my walk from Winchester to Bath . My goal was to raise both money for, and raise awareness of, the plight of homeless people.

Both objectives were achieved. Donors gave around £2,400 for the charity Shelter when including Gift Aid (UK taxpayers) which is a really excellent amount. It was so encouraging for me to see the donations tick up as I paced out my walk.

It was a hard exercise and my experiences of sleeping rough gave me a new insight into what it may mean to try to find somewhere relatively warm, dry and safe to sleep. I managed to sleep in a shed in Winterbourne Gunner, a church porch in Heytesbury in Wiltshire, and an abandoned caravan in the Frome valley. The distance was around seventy miles or 115 km and lasted just over three days. Each day brought new challenges which were mostly environment related, with a big variation from the leafy by-ways of Hampshire, to the slippery and muddy remoteness of Salisbury Plain, and finally the boggy ground of Somerset and Avon. In order to make my proposed arrival time of 11 o’clock Saturday morning I had to make use of an abandoned bicycle to get me the last six miles into Bath along the Kennet and Avon canal towpath.

It is still possible to donate via my Just Giving page here.

I was quite speechless when I finally arrived at Bath Abbey but felt an enormous sense of release and relief when a busker started to play the Soft Cell hit Tainted Love – see video!


Here are some pictures if you would like to look at them.


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Once again thank you and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. All the best.


“Testing you sorely” or is it “Sorely testing you”?

Splitting the infinitive is almost as controversial as splitting the atom, but clearly a lot easier to do. What I hope is not easy dear readers is to upset you by the variety of posts on this blog, and in particular some of the more recent ones.

Yesterday Francis Fermor added a most unkind comment saying that the blog is no longer interesting as it is no longer all about Paddy and that “too many people are joining the band waggon and taking advantage for their own personal ends.” This was in relation to the post about Owen Martell’s walk across the USA.

For one thing I don’t think Owen has made any money out of his adventures. At least he has not written any books on the subject that I can find. I post such things as I personally find them interesting and they fit with my editorial policy of being “Paddy related”. Owen contacted me after his first walk as he was interested in Paddy and had been inspired by him. I am sure the man himself would have been most interested in Owen’s journeys: a lot of you are. Paddy would have encouraged him and wanted to hear his story.

Paddy may be dead, and not much new will emerge, but his work and his life remain as an inspiration to many, including those who read this blog. A lot of people are inspired to set out on journeys of their own. Nick Hunt’s attempt to follow Paddy’s route was not for any great “personal end” but because he wanted to do it and thought that others might like to read about the great changes that Paddy himself wrote about via his Polymath. Ed and Charlotte walk parts of his route each year for no other end than they enjoy it and find one of those Songlines to follow; a Songline chanted by Paddy and now in our memory.

How long can I continue with material on here? As long as there is an audience, and my stats tell me that there is one with over 20,000 regular visits each month. We are now within a few thousand visits of one million since opening in 2010. That I find pretty phenomenal. People visit here for a variety of reasons and the material that I post attempts to address those varied interests.

So how long can I continue? There is plenty more directly related material and my self-appointed “task” here is to create a unique on-line archive of Paddy related material. So I will continue to do that. And I will do it until I test you so sorely that you leave me alone with just a few die-hards.

Finally, to continue the theme of “personal ends” I would like to remind you that I will start my 70 mile walk to Bath tomorrow on behalf of the charity Shelter in aid of the homeless and there is still plenty of time to donate via my Just Giving page.

Between 10-13 Dec you can join with me to increase awareness of the scourge of homelessness and to help raise funds for the UK’s leading charity for the homeless, Shelter. I will walk 70 miles from Winchester to Bath over one of the most sparsely populated areas in England, sleeping rough under a simple shelter, enduring the December cold, and the long, cold, lonely nights: just like THEM. All you have to do to join me from your warm home is to please give some money to Shelter at my Just Giving page. These are your fellow human beings and they deserve some help and comfort. You can join me walking to Bath Abbey on 13 Dec. Just email me or comment on this post. PLEASE SHARE THE FACEBOOK EVENT I CREATED (click here) on your Facebook timelines: it is a public event. Give your money: £, Euros, US $, Yen, Lei, or whatever here.


Thank you. The target is now £1,000!!!

The rough route Winchester to Bath

The rough route Winchester to Bath

Thank you to so many of you for donating to the charity Shelter in conjunction with my walk to Bath between 10-13 December. The approximate route is above – Google insists on roads even though I am walking over country – which offers an idea of where I shall be going. The original £500 target has been smashed and I have now doubled it to £1,000 so I still need you to give more. Please donate here!

Homelessness is a terrible scourge. I will “walk home for Christmas” from Winchester Cathedral to Bath Abbey to visit my daughter and to raise money in support of the UK charity for the homeless, Shelter.

I will be living out for three nights under a simple tarpaulin in the middle of a cold and damp British winter to try to experience something of what our homeless have to go through every day.

Whatever your location in the world, as long as you have a debit card, credit card or PayPal account you can contribute something to help.

We have beaten the first target; let’s beat the second one of £1,000. Please give as much as you can via my Just Giving site here, to help the homeless at this Christmas time. Thank you.

The plan is to arrive at Bath Abbey at midday on 13th December. I would be very happy to see any of you there if you can make it.


As I will walk out one December morning

DSC01639Many thousands visit this blog every month, and have done since I started it all in 2010. I know that you all enjoy different sections and themes. The Paddy blog is, and will remain, free at the point of reading, but I do want to ask you for something quite important at this time.

Homelessness is a terrible scourge, and between 10-13 December I will walk from Winchester Cathedral to Bath Abbey to visit my daughter and to raise money in support of the UK charity for the homeless, Shelter.

Below I tell you why I want to do this at this time, and how you can donate. This applies to anyone whatever your location in the world, as long as you have a debit card, credit card or PayPal account.

I have set myself a modest target which I want to smash, so please give as much as you can via my Just Giving site here, to help the homeless at this Christmas time. Please give.


For all sorts of reasons, people in our great country, men and women, and sometimes entire families, end up without a home, have no bed of their own, without warmth, and don’t get to eat simple, wholesome food.

All of you reading this have these things and more: a job; friends and family to share your happy times with; money; and perhaps more than this, a future.

We have all passed these people in our towns and cities, perhaps feeling guilty that we have not given them a pound. But also maybe thinking that if we did they would only spend it on booze. You may be right.

The charity Shelter aims at long term solutions for homeless people, giving them chances not just for a roof over their head, but also to help them make a future. To get a job and to rebuild their lives.

I have a friend who lives on the streets around my train station in Winchester. He is called Paul. He is an ex-soldier, and served his country well, but for reasons that I don’t understand he now has problems with alcohol and lives on the streets. He is about my own age.

I met Paul in May and wrote about him, contrasting his life with someone more privileged, also a brave soldier, in this poem.

It would be good to help Paul and others like him at this time of year when the nights are painfully long, and damp and cold.

My daughter Harriet finishes her term at Bath University on 14 December and for some time I have wanted to walk to Bath. So at this Christmas-tide I am going to do that. It is not so far, only about 60 miles but I will probably end up walking further. I thought that maybe I could combine my walk with raising money for the work of Shelter.

I will have some modern clothing and kit and will try to keep as dry and warm as I can. But I will live outside under meagre cover, with a simple shelter and may experience some of the cold and damp that is the daily lot of people like Paul.

This walk will not change anything, but it may help some good people who have fallen on hard times and who are really just like you and me. The people who we so often turn away from and walk on by. My walk may however make a small difference.

It will soon be Christmas and we will spend an awful lot of money on ephemeral things. Please consider giving some of what you may spend to help the work of Shelter with homeless people in this country; give some of your hard earned cash to the cause which I am supporting.

Thank you from me. And thank you from Paul.

You can donate now very easily on my Just Giving page. Please help.