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Port Authority Team steps up for charity

PLA staff take on 'Three Peak' Challenge

Snowdon, Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike – a combined height of 3,407m, a round trip of circa 1,300 miles - and the chosen challenge for an intrepid team of fund-raisers from the Port of London Authority (PLA).

Backed by the PLA as part of its 100th birthday celebrations, the team of eight took on the Three Peak Challenge, raising over £2000 for charity. The group climbed the Welsh, Scottish and English mountains over three days last week taking just over 18 hours to complete the marathon task. They flew the PLA flag at each summit.

"The weather was dreadful, bitterly cold and misty at the top of all three summits, which meant we missed out on the spectacular views - but the team had a wonderful time," said Lee Walker, a member of the PLA's Civil Engineering Department.

The group, a mixture of keen and experienced walkers, took to the road on Thursday, 18 June, for the first leg of the journey - an overnight 550-mile trip from Gravesend to Ben Nevis. The 1,344m ascent was tackled at daybreak and they beat their planned eight-hour return time by an hour.

Two hundred miles later, the team took on the Lake District's Scafell Pike (978m - taking just over seven hours) before travelling 280 miles to conquer the final 1,085m ascent of Snowdon (which took just over four hours to complete). A group photo, complete with the PLA Centenary flag in full flutter, was taken at each summit.

"That was the first time some of us had reached such dizzy heights. But it was the perfect task for a group of enthusiastic walkers, looking for more of a challenge than usual and wanting to raise money for River Thames -associated charities at the same time. As soon as we got back to the foot of Snowdon talk turned to tackling the challenge again - but in just 24 hours. That's something we need a little while to think about….," Lee added.

The intrepid team expects to raise more than £2,000 through its efforts. It will be distributed between a number of charities, including the Sea Cadets, the Mission to Seafarers, the Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre, and The Ahoy Centre (Water sports Centre for disadvantaged children).

The team
The team (left to right)
Derek, Ian (Y), Paul, Steve,
Luke, Ian (R), Mark and Lee
[click on image to enlarge]

The team

Steve Taylor, PLA Emergency & Security Planning Management and Challenge planner
Lee Walker, PLA Civil Engineering Department, Challenge Logistics organiser;
Derek Maynard, PLA Civil Engineering Department ;
Mark Towens, PLA Marine Safety and Contingency Management;
Ian Yarnton, PLA Marine Safety and Contingency Management;
Paul Arnold, PLA Marine Safety and Contingency Management
PLA invites, Ian Elder and Luke Reardon.

Further information

Click here for more information and pictures of the Challenge.

About the PLA

  • The Port of London Authority (PLA) is responsible for navigational safety and related matters on 95 miles of the tidal Thames from the sea to Teddington in west London
  • The PLA provides navigational, pilotage and other services for users of the Thames
  • London is the UK's second largest port, handling over 50 million tonnes of cargo each year.
  • London also has a busy passenger boat trade for tourists and commuters and is a popular destination for international passenger cruise ships.
  • The tidal Thames is also used widely by those with small recreational craft of many types.

Enquiries - PLA Corporate Affairs, Tel: 01474-562364