The adventures of three 80-year-olds are to focus on the Isle of Man and be published in a new book.
Former marketing consultants Geoff Hill and David Bolton, both amateur artists, and their friend Ted Yaxley have teamed up to embark on a mission to ‘remember in our older age’.
Since David’s wife passed away in 2015, the intrepid trio have completed over 100 walks around Lancashire, The Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales.
However, they have decided to set themselves a new challenge: to walk the Isle of Man before it is too late age-wise!
Geoff said: ‘As we were beginning to repeat some of our walks we decided it might be a good idea to stride further afield.
‘The Isle of Man came into focus as, logistically for us living in and around Preston, Heysham is extremely convenient and, with the new link from the M6 to the Port, is only 40 minutes away.
‘When we saw the Department for Enterprise tag line 'Giving you freedom to flourish' it resonated so we approached them.
‘Not only were they extremely receptive but also particularly helpful with contacts. The Steam Packet Company agreed to support the trip, Visit IOM helped with literature and Isle of Man Transport provided complimentary GO Heritage Travel cards.
‘Everyone we have been in contact with have been most welcoming and prepared to listen to our story.’
While We Still Can (three 80-year-olds walking, talking and sketching around The Isle of Man) is the proposed title of their book – an illustrated chronicle of their adventures with sketches and watercolours outlining their experiences, along with maps of their walks and amusing anecdotes.
The friends have set up a Twitter page – [email protected] – to chart their progress and intend to return for a longer stay to compile more material and complete the travelogue.
‘The Isle of Man has been a totally new experience for us,’ added Geoff after returning from the first visit.
‘We packed in three very different but superb walks and met up with many people who were friendly and genuinely interested in what we were trying to achieve.
‘We wanted to see as much as possible and really made full use of every day from 8am until evening. Now we have had a scouting mission we can’t wait to return.’
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward added: ‘We’re delighted to have been able to help Geoff, David and Ted on their trip and wish them all the best for the next stage of their journey.
‘I am sure the chronicle will be a wonderful showcase of our Island’s beautiful scenery and outstanding walks.’
You can follow their adventures at https://twitter.com/adventuresat80
Photograph: Geoff Hill, David Bolton and Ted Yaxley.