A KEIGHLEY man and two fellow Rotarians, all aged in their 70s, have completed a gruelling walk in support of a food bank.

Robert Allan, together with Bradford Blaize Rotary Club colleagues John Waterhouse and Barry Smith, walked from Ripon Cathedral to Bradford Cathedral.

They covered the 40-plus-mile route over four days, raising funds through donations and sponsorship for Bradford Metropolitan Food Bank.

The Rotary club has been a frequent supporter of the charity, and 78-year-old Robert had the idea for the latest venture after a flood hit the food bank at Christmas.

He enlisted the support of John and Barry – together they have undertaken a number of previous long-distance charity walks, taking in routes including The Dales Way, Hadrian’s Wall, The Cleveland Way and Offa’s Dyke, raising a combined £40,000-plus for various causes.

The trio started its cathedral walk to coincide with The Big Help Out, the volunteering initiative held as part of the coronation celebrations.

On a wet opening day, the three climbed out of Wensleydale towards their first scheduled stopping off point, in Pateley Bridge.

Walking via Fountains Abbey, they reached Brimham Rocks.

"We had planned to walk further but were slowed down by a lack of signposts, poor underfoot conditions and cows that thought it was quite amusing to chase us!" said Barry. "Also, me losing my boot in deep mud was not ideal!"

Day two saw them walk from the rocks to within four miles of the Timble Inn, near Otley.

The weather had improved, but conditions were still difficult underfoot.

On the third day, the trio headed out of the Washburn Valley into Wharfedale.

And the final leg took them from Burley-in-Wharfedale to their ultimate destination, via Shipley Glen – where they stopped off at Bracken Hall Countryside Centre, courtesy of manager Richard White, to have their sandwiches. The last section saw them pass through Saltaire and Shipley, and into Bradford, where they arrived at 5pm.

An online fundraising page, set up at justgiving.com/campaign/ripon-to-bradford-sponsored-walk, has coined-in over £1,300 and they are hopeful that with other sponsorship £2,000 will be reached.

Barry says the walk had presented challenges.

"It was not a well signposted route, underfoot was not good and there were a lot of hills, but all that was outweighed by the great time you have walking together and the wonderful countryside," he adds.

"Our grateful thanks go to everyone who provided support."