Group makes trek from Market Drayton to Newport for Royal Naval Association Club

By Rob Smith | Newport | News | Published:

A hardy group of shipmates walked 12 miles from Market Drayton to Newport to raise money for a naval club.

Gareth Hickman, Fiona Lloyd, Tony Matthews, Alison Hickman, Mark Southerton and Ian Edwards

Six members of the Market Drayton Royal Naval Association Club made the trek, raising money to help save the latter town's club.

They raised £400 in sponsorship and took £125 with a donation bucket on the way, and it will go towards the appeal to help Newport's association buy its club from the owners, who want to sell up.

Navy veteran Gareth Hickman is a member of the Market Drayton club and was one of the walkers.

He said: "We go over to Newport now and then, and they are always very welcoming.

"Some of the Newport members were saying they might have to shut, we thought about what we could do.

"We thought we hadn't got enough money in our coffers to donate, so we decided to do a sponsored walk to try and help Newport out.

"It's a good club, it's good for the community. They have open mic nights and that kind of thing.

"When we go over there they're always more than welcoming."



The band of six travelled the rural roads between Market Drayton and Newport, stopping for refreshment at the Wharf Tavern.

Gareth went on: "It was a lovely day, it was very enjoyable and they made us more than welcome.

"We didn't walk back, we got a minibus. I wouldn't do it again tomorrow but maybe another day!


"There is a big navy contingent in Shropshire, it's good to keep it going.

"These clubs are important, if there is a way to help Newport out we will.

"It's a hub of the community, lots of things go on there. It would be a shame to lose it."

Newport club members Patricia Brown took a picture of the walkers on their arrival, and said: "What a tremendous thing they did for someone else to benefit."

The Newport club has an online fundraiser to support its campaign. To donate visit

Rob Smith

By Rob Smith

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based at Ketley in Telford.


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