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Cambridge photographers will walk the length of the country, starting with nothing but their pants

By Ben Comber

Toby Roney is attempting to travel from Lands End to John OGroats, starting only in his underwear and hoping to aquire all he needs during the journey. Pic - Richard Marsham
Toby Roney is attempting to travel from Lands End to John OGroats, starting only in his underwear and hoping to aquire all he needs during the journey. Pic - Richard Marsham

They're doing the trek from Land's End to John o' Groats for charity, asking strangers for help and donations along the way.

“The plan is – and it’s a very rough plan – we’re going to go to the Land’s End sign fully clothed and we’re going to then strip down to our boxers.”

This is the start of a three-week journey traversing the 811-mile length (the shortest distance by foot) of the UK mainland, but it’s not as ill thought out as it sounds.

Toby Roney and Clement Hodgkinson will be making the journey to John o’ Groats accepting the help of strangers they meet along the way, all in aid of charities that are close to their hearts.

“I’ve been thinking about it recently and I’m quite concerned about when we have nothing,” said Toby. “But I’ve been to Land’s End before – I know there’s a hotel and I’m really hoping their lost property is stocked up. And I think a few people might be kind enough to give us some old clothes or an old sleeping bag.

“If the worst comes to the worst we will rough camp it if we do find ourselves in the middle of nowhere. Our main priorities are to get clothes, shoes and a bike. Or two bikes, preferably. If we don’t get that we’ll settle for a child’s scooter or a skateboard. Anything with wheels!”

He and Clement are 19 and setting out on careers as photographers and visual creators from Cambridge. Both are keen campers, but Toby said they’re usually well prepared and head off in their converted campervans laden with gear and photography equipment.

“We’ve decided that this time we really want to do something a bit different,” he said. “This time we want to do it very freeflow. If something happens we’ll have to deal with it or move on.”

The duo are doing the trek for charity: Clement for Protect our Winters and Toby for The MindEd Trust. “Having experienced mental health issues before, both myself and loved ones, I feel like I need to help others who are suffering as much as I can,” Toby said. “I think the work that MindEd supplies to schools in Cambridgeshire is a brilliant cause that needs much more support.”

The trek will start on September 1 and donations can be sent to justgiving.com/crowdfunding/GingerandFrenchyHeadNorth.

“I’ve tried to warn people in Land’s End that we’re doing this – I don’t want to get arrested for public nudity or anything like that. And then we’ve reserved three weeks of our time to walk to John o’ Groats, so we’ll head down the road the way we think we’re going to be going.

“We’re taking just our phones: a) for safety, and b) for social media. So we’ll be able to take a few pictures along the way on both of our Instagram accounts, as well as our Facebook page, just to keep everyone in the loop about where we are, and warn them that we’ll be coming!”


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