The Eagles' Sponsored Bicycle Treasure Hunt

On Saturday, 17th July, 2010, the Eagles, noble friends and family gathered in the St. Johns Church Car Park at 1.00 p.m. - ready to embark on the Treasure Hunt. Most of the cyclists had gathered sponsors for the MND Association and were cycling in memory of Jane Crowdey.

In spite of fears to the contrary, it was dry if rather windy as the 21 cyclists, divided into 5 teams, set off at 5 minute intervals.

The route took them from the church Car Park via Carnarvon, Kirklees, Dunbar and Sandon Roads to Waterloo Road. They then travelled up past Hillside Station, Greenbank High School and the Royal Birkdale Golf Club before tuning left, down the cycle route, to the Coastal Road.
They continued along cycle route 62 until they met a marshal at the Weld Road junction.
After turning down Rotten Row they entered Victoria Park.
Leaving the park they crossed the caravan site and passed the Eco Centre before joining another marshal who ensured that they crossed Marine Drive and joined the cycle path on the sea wall.
Fortunately the strong wind was behind them as they cycled all the way along the wall to The Fairway.
Eventually they passed the Municipal Golf Links before finally entering Hesketh Park. Their quest ended outside the Conservatory in the park.

We were exceptionally blessed with the weather as the teams only experienced a sprinkling of rain during the whole 6 mile journey! As they reached their destination the sun came out and shone for the rest of the afternoon.

The results were extremely tight with two teams, "The Penwortham Peddlers" and "The Ryders" tying in first place with a score of 49. "The Wright Stuff" were very close with a score of 48 points. However, as Tim (who did not win) repeatedly pointed out "it was not the winning but the taking part that was important". In this case that adage is particularly true as it was the MND Association that were the real winners that day. The Eagles, their families and supporters will have raised over £1,000 for the charity when all the money has been collected. (If you wish to know any more about The MND Association you can visit their website at

When everybody had arrived safely we all moved to a grassy area where we were joined by more supporters. At this point some collapsed in the sunshine ,whilst the more energetic played football on the grass.

Added bonuses for the afternoon were the band playing in The Conservatory as everyone arrived and the visit to the Observatory that Dave arranged for us.

Over the last few years the Park has undergone £3 million of improvement works, funded from a variety of sources including the Heritage Lottery Fund. These improvements have included the refurbishment of the Grade 2 listed Fernley Observatory building and the restoration of the telescope.

Dave told us that the observatory opened in 1901. He showed us how the telescope, and the rotating dome, worked. He also explained that, although John Fernley had had the lower, brick, section of the building built the upper wooden section, together with the telescope had actually been donated by the Baxendell family. This occured after the death of Joseph Baxendell who had originally had them in his garden.

Thanks go to all the participants in this event - cyclists, organisers, marshals, supporters who came to the park to offer their encouragement and, perhaps most of all, all the lovely people who have given money to this worthwhile cause. I feel sure that Jane would be, indeed is, proud of you all.
Well done everybody!

P.S. If for any reason you missed out on the chance to sponsor someone it's not too late. Rachel will be delighted to receive a donation from you!