Wednesday 4 December 2019

Heartwarming Moments on the Jingle Bell Walk

I was proud to take part in this year’s Jingle Bell Walk in support of the Chris Lucas Trust which raises funds for and awareness of children’s cancer. I did the walk for the first time last year and was keen to do so again. I wasn’t alone! According to event organiser Lynn Lucas over four hundred people registered with more turning up on the night – all the more impressive given the rather damp weather we’d had all week!

The start coincided with the lighting ceremony for the huge Christmas tree outside Newcastle Civic Centre. I’d never witnessed this before and it made up for me missing the turning on of Newcastle’s main Christmas lights this year.

We set off from outside St Thomas’ church at Haymarket just after six pm. Four hundred walkers in Santa hats led by a marching band is quite something to see (and hear) and we drew plenty of attention!

The 2.5 mile route took us down Northumberland Street which looked very festive with the Christmas market in full swing and a mini fun fair complete with carousel and helter-skelter. The windows of Fenwick department store are something of a regional attraction at Christmas; this year’s theme is based on the Roald Dahl classic, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

We continued past STACK and the Tyneside Cinema before joining Dean Street close to the Theatre Royal. From there we walked down to the Quayside, under the Tyne Bridge and along the riverside to finish by the Millennium Bridge. Santa was there with his reindeer. There was music and dancing, a bubble machine, and hot chocolate for all donated by the Pitcher & Piano.

After a drink in the Pitcher & Piano it was time to head home. I called a friend of mine in the States to wish her Happy Thanksgiving and she kept me company as I walked along the Quayside and back up into the centre of town to Haymarket where the walk had started. I smiled when I realised I’d done the walk again in reverse – so if you sponsored me you really ought to pay double!

Here are a few of my personal memories of the evening:

  • The brilliant family atmosphere at the start as everyone gathered for the off.
  • The rain!
  • The man watching us go by the entrance to Eldon Square, holding the cutest puppy ever!
  • Two women waving to us all from an upstairs window on Dean Street!
  • The marching band’s (ahem) interesting selection of anthems from the WW1 playbook!
  • Singing Let It Go! WAY too loud (and without the benefit of alcohol!)

I asked organiser Lynn Lucas for her thoughts of this year’s event:

It was a great night from start to finish. The rain didn’t stop the fun and everyone supporting our charity to raise funds for childhood cancer. We try to make it magical for all with a marching band and at the finish Santa, reindeer, hot chocolate etc. The feedback has been fantastic; already looking forward to the next one! Support from everyone involved was really appreciated.

The Chris Lucas Trust is a registered charity supporting research into childhood cancer. You can find out more about the work of the Trust on their website and follow them on Twitter (@chrislucastrust). To donate directly to the Trust visit their JustGiving page. The Jingle Bell Walk has its own website


1 comment:

  1. Love that you took to the streets is support of children with cancer. And the lights are super fun. Thanks for sharing your walk with me. You always do and I love the journey.