By Kim Hardie

The 56th Keswick to Barrow 40 Mile Sponsored Walk took place on Saturday, May 13, with Team HM Naval Base Clyde all successfully reaching the finishing line and receiving their medals.

It was an early start for the team of five, made up of Royal Navy, Royal Navy Veteran and Lockheed Martin personnel. The group left their hotel at 3:40am to make their way by bus to the starting line at Keswick and begin the long walk back to Barrow.

Due to extensive damage caused by Storm Arwen, the route was diverted and slightly shorter than usual, however it was much tougher, with two miles of brutal never-ending hills to endure the minute you step off the coach.

Debbie Walker from Lockheed Martin, who was completing her 11th K2B challenge said: “Before lockdown we had 25 walkers on Team HM Naval Base Clyde and although just a small team this year, our t-shirts were easily recognisable and received a lot of attention – we certainly put HMNB Clyde on the map.

“It would be brilliant to get a large team together for the next one and continue taking part for many years to come. Not only is it a great way to meet people in the Naval Base, but it’s also an excellent opportunity to raise funds for various charities.”

This year the team raised funds for North West Air Ambulance, to ‘give something back’ for their incredible support provided to a HM Naval Base Clyde team member who endured a medical emergency at the finishing line of a previous Keswick to Barrow Walk.

Lockheed Martin UK Strategic Systems are one of the sponsors of HMNB Clyde Field Gun Crew and their Managing Director presented a cheque for £3,000 to Commander Gareth Batsford, Clyde’s Field Gun Officer during the team’s first training session on Monday, May 22. The team will take part in the Brickwoods Field Gun Competition which begins at HMS Collingwood on Monday June 26 with the final on Saturday, July 1.

Captain Nick Gibbons, Captain of the Base, said: “We are extremely grateful again, for Lockheed Martin’s support that enables us to enter this prestige event. Field Gun showcases the very best of the Service in terms of courage, discipline, teamwork and leadership and I wish the team the very best of luck for the season.”

The Field Gun competition simulates the Naval Brigade’s heroic mission to relieve the besieged British Army during the Second Boer War.

During the conflict, the sailors offloaded guns from HMS Terrible and HMS Powerful, manhandling them over many miles to come to the Army’s aid.



Top picture: CPO Jack Beard, WO1 Iain ‘Whisky’ Walker, WO1 Willy Thorne, Debbie Walker, and Trevor Cochrane at the finish line; Team HM Naval Base Clyde near the start of the 40-mile walk; HMNB Clyde Field Gun Crew at their first training session and HMNB Clyde Field Gun Crew with the Field Gun.

Leave a Reply