Blazing a tr-ale: Manchester brewery veteran hops across Morecambe Bay to mark The Christie anniversary

Manchester brewery Joseph Holt are getting everyone on board as they look to mark 100 years of supporting The Christie – from pint-sized PA to beery boss.

Anne Berry – who has been personal assistant to Sir Edward Holt’s great grandson Chief Executive Richard Kershaw for 17 years – and husband Philip will be taking on the Morecambe Bay walk today in aid of the specialist cancer unit at the hospital.

In 1914, Sir Edward raised £20,000 to help build the Christie fore-runner Holt Radium Institute, one of the first cancer treatment hospitals in the UK.

With the water set to be deep on the ground as well as falling from the sky, Anne admitted that she’ll be stretching to wade through.

Anne said: “It’ll be tough walking on the sane but we’re both good walkers.

“We’re walking through all the water but I don’t mind getting a bit wet.

“But it’s alright for Philip, he’s 6 foot 2, but I’m only 5ft 3.”

Anne will be braving the sand, sea and, with heavy rain forecast, sky in the journey accompanied by the Queen’s guide Cedric Robinson.

Setting off from Arnside, the couple will be walking the route in four hours from 9.15 tomorrow morning and are scheduled to arrive at Kents Bank around quarter past one.

CENTENARY SPECIAL: Anne and Philip will be taking on the Morecambe bay walk together

“It’s the first physical thing we’ve done for charity but we’ll have the t-shirts on and the camera taking pictures all the way,” said Anne, whose husband runs more musical charity events for St Stephens On-The-Cliff church in Blackpool.

The company, founded in 1849, are hoping to brew up £300,000 for The Christie this year and their two charitable trusts – the Edward Holt Trust and the Peter Kershaw Trust – have pledged to double whatever Anne raises.

Funds will go towards the building of the Integrated Procedures Unit at the Withington facility.

Currently, Fleetwood-based Anne reckons she has raised around £500 to add to the kitty, with the final count to be completed over the weekend once her husband’s total has also been totted up.

Anne’s boss Richard has led the way for his staff by cycling thousands of miles through five countries to raise barrels of cash for the appeal.

The 120-plus pubs that the brewery operates in the Manchester area are also running a series of events all year to reach the target before the bell for last orders sounds in 2015.

And the Joseph Holt’s veteran admits that she loves working among the hops, yeast and barley at the firm’s Manchester headquarters.

“It’s a lovely family-run firm to work for and there are so many nice people working here,” she said.

Images courtesy of Sam Foles and JustGiving with thanks

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