On Thursday afternoon, as the October sun shone on the Thames and the Club Ensign waved in the northwesterly breeze, a bearded figure in walking boots carrying a backpack and a bucket rang the Riverside door bell of the Little Ship Club. In contrast with the commuters and city folk rushing from office to underground on the Thames Path, he was an unfamiliar sight, and on an incredible journey.
Alex Ellis-Roswell started walking on 3 August 2014 with an aim to raise as much money as possible for the RNLI, on what he anticipated would be a four-year project, going clockwise around Britain and Ireland, including the Isle of Man, the Western and Northern Isles. He has, so far, walked nearly 9,000 miles and quickly smashed his first target of £10,000.
After the passing of his father, Sir Raymond Ellis, at Christmas in 2013, Alex decided to walk the entire coast of Great Britain. He sold his business, gave up his flat and somewhat comfortable lifestyle, and set off on the journey of a lifetime. Before ill health, his father had spent much of his life dedicated to charity work and fundraising, which spurred Alex on to set himself a goal of raising £10,000 for the RNLI. ‘My dad’s ultimate stubbornness against what seemed to be a never ending cycle of illness, pain, operations and setbacks will always be a very personal inspiration to me’, said Alex, who has at times suffered with knee pain during his walk.
On reaching his latest target Alex said ‘I started off thinking about £10,000 then £20,000 then £50,000. I suppose reaching this target shows how well supported the RNLI is by the people, places and communities I’ve walked through, especially when for many people money is tight. The target now is £95,000. Any other target would seem a bit half-hearted, although this will be a really daunting target to reach’
On seeing that Alex's route would take him past the very door of the Club, we reached out to him and offered a cabin (we imagine camping on the Thames path isn't really an option). He is staying for a few nights here in London to regroup before he walks up to Teddington, crosses the Thames, and makes his way back down river and turn the corner for the home strait to Margate.
We are delighted to be able to help in a small way, and hope that members will be interested to meet him on the Club Night of Tuesday 10th October. Your support and encouragement would be greatly appreciated.