Landmark to honour source of the River Tyne

Stone obelisks are to be erected on a remote Northumberland farm to mark a 150-mile trek which highlighted the work of a cancer charity

Dave Bowmaker, Ron Stanley, Brian Burnie and William Burt King at South Shields
Dave Bowmaker, Ron Stanley, Brian Burnie and William Burt King at South Shields

Stone obelisks are to be erected on a remote Northumberland farm to mark a 150-mile trek which highlighted the work of a cancer charity.

Last year four friends from Daft as a Brush Cancer Patient Care walked from the source of the South and North Tyne to the sea at Tynemouth and South Shields.

Now their efforts are to be officially recorded by the stones at Jimmy and Fiona Hall’s Deadwater Farm, north of Kielder village in Northumberland.

The stone is being provided by Robert Charlton of Border Stone Quarries, Haltwhistle, while the the structural design work is by Cundalls in Gosforth, Newcastle and carving is by Gilbert Ward, of Fourstones village. in Northumberland.

Funding is being provided for the project by Northumbrian Water and Northumberland County Council.

The plans is for an RAF Chinook helicopter to land the two stones on the fellside at the farm on October 8.

The walk was the idea of former hotelier Brian Burnie, who founded the Daft as a Brush Cancer Patient Care charity.

The aim is to establish the walk as a national trail to promote the charity and highlight the work of the Northern Centre for Cancer Care at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

Brian set up the volunteer-run Daft as a Brush a year ago to provide free transport in 10 ambulances for cancer patients receiving treatment at the Freeman Hospital.

He was joined on the 10-day hike by volunteer ambulance drivers Dave Bowmaker and Ron Stanley and his friend of 50 years William King.

The party left the moorland source of the South Tyne, and after following the South Tyne Valley to Haltwhistle, their next stop was the source of the North Tyne at Deadwater near Kielder.

They walked the piers at both Tynemouth and South Shields to complete their journey.

Brian said: “It is a jewel of a walk. The Pennine Way, Coast to Coast and Hadrian’s Wall trail are all super walks, but the sources to the sea trail is fantastic for the variety of scenery and history.”

“There aren’t many walks which include two rivers, two sets of hills in the Pennines and Cheviots, stepping stones, about 80 bridges, a reservoir dam, tunnel and ferry before reaching the sea,” said Brian, who ran the Doxford Hall Hotel in Northumberland.

“The walk passes though some of Britain’s most beautiful scenery, with all its history.

“ It even has its own song in Waters of Tyne.”

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