Massive turnout for Martin’s Walk of Life

Martin's loved ones sitting on his memorial seat.
Martin's loved ones sitting on his memorial seat.

A special walk in memory of a popular community stalwart has helped to raise more than £4,000 for cancer research.

Martin Smith, from Red Row, passed away in October last year, aged 53. A hard-working family-man, he played an active role in the parish of East Chevington.

In his honour, loved ones organised Martin’s Walk of Life, which took place earlier this month.

It began at Red Row Welfare and the route went through Druridge Bay Country Park to Martin’s memorial seat and then headed back to the Welfare.

After that, there was a raffle – with prizes donated by local businesses – at Red Row Brick Club.

And in a touching mark of respect, renowned Red Row blacksmith, Stephen Lunn, created a memorial plaque which was unveiled at the Welfare on the morning of the event. He also took part in the walk, which was well supported, with more than 200 people and about 50 dogs joining in.

One youngster, Ethan Guy, raised £180 himself with sponsorship. He was awarded Martin’s Superstar Trophy for 2018.

Due to its success, the walk and the trophy will become an annual fixture in the calendar.

Martin’s daughter, Brydie, said: “The event went off with a bang; there was an amazing turnout and we had fabulous weather to top it off.

“We were totally overwhelmed with the amount of people and their generosity.”

To help raise additional funds, the plan is to stage a dog walk – Canines for Cancer – in the summer, following the same route.

In the run-up to Martin’s Walk of Life, his family and friends managed to raise funds by holding a raffle and selling Martin’s Walk of Life wristbands at local businesses.

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/alan-mackenzie4