March 11 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, December 21, 2013
A party with friends, holiday on the beach or romantic meal out are some of the more traditional ways in which couples may choose to celebrate their golden anniversary.
But for adventurous pair Sue and Mick Crick, the cake and balloons were swapped for backpacks and a campervan, after they decided to mark 50 years of marriage by going on a fundraising road trip.
Over the course of three months the couple from Holt clocked up 4,000 miles as they journeyed around the English and Welsh coast, stopping off at RNLI lifeboat stations along the way.
And their epic adventure has since raised more than £1,200 for the charity.
Mrs Crick, 68, said: “When you have been married 50 years you don’t want presents, we have got enough in our house. So we decided we’d do something positive.
“We’ve always supported the lifeboats and when you live near the coast like we do you’re very aware of how much a lifeboat is needed, especially after the storm (on December 5).”
After packing up their 15 year old Ford Autosleeper the couple - who were joined by pet Labrador Nell - set off from their Kelling Road home for Cromer lifeboat station, where their journey began.
And despite heading out in March they spent the first few weeks shivering down the east coast in winter-like conditions.
“It was snowing and blowing a hooley and we said we must be mad,” Mrs Crick said. “But we’d made a decision, made an itinerary and we thought if we went south it would be better. But it got worse.”
The couple suffered freezing temperatures as they made their way through Suffolk, Essex, Kent and Sussex and onto England’s west coast.
It was not until they reached the Gower Peninsula in Wales that the mercury started to rise, and as they headed further north the weather improved.
Despite the poor conditions Mrs Crick, who ran her own hospitality business before retiring, said her most memorable stop was in Cornwall, when she and Mr Crick, 74, visited the station in Newlyn
They spent all day with the crew and went with them to Penlee station, which lost eight volunteer crew in December 1981. The lifeboat Solomon Browne was lost with all hands in hurricane conditions while going to the aid of a boat, which had suffered engine failure.
Mrs Crick said she would never forget the experience. “It was so emotional, we hadn’t expected to visit there,” she added.
Other highlights of the trip included their stay in Port Issac, Cornwall where they “bumped into” the cast and crew of ITV comedy drama Doc Martin, a stop off at Berwick-Upon-Tweed, Northumberland where the RNLI crew took them out to sea, and going up the watch tower at Skegness, where they got clear views over to Hunstanton.
Mrs Crick said: “We really enjoyed it. Every lifeboat station made us very welcome. And Nell really enjoyed it because she got an awful lot of fuss from the crews and people that we saw.”
Their journey ended back at Cromer lifeboat station where they were later presented with a signed photo from the crew to say thank you for their fundraising effort.