Walk Schedule

We have a schedule for the long walk north.

Below are some dates with towns and details of what we are doing. Should you wish to appear or have contacts that want to be involved in events on these days, then please do let us know. Note: the timings when the team arrive into locations are estimates.

Sunday 28th July    Stand up Soldier show and presentation. 1830

Monday 29th July  Big depart Windsor Castle. Short Walk from 0745

Monday 29th July    arrive at Bletchley Park. 1830

Tuesday 30th July    depart Bletchley Park 0600

Tuesday 30th July    arrive in Coleshill at the Social Club 1900

Tuesday 30th July    Stand up Soldier comedy show and presentation.

Wednesday 31st July    depart Coleshill 0600

Wednesday 31st July    arrive in Derby 1900

Wednesday 31st July    Stand up Soldier comedy show and presentation.

Thursday 1st August    depart Derby 0600

Thursday 1st August    arrive at Doncaster Racecourse 1900

Friday 2nd August    depart Doncaster 0600

Friday 2nd August    arrive in York 1830

Saturday 3rd August    depart York 0600

Saturday 3rd August    arrive Catterick 1830

Sunday 4th August    depart Catterick 0600

Sunday 4th August    arrive in Sunderland 1830

Monday 5th August    depart Sunderland 0600

Monday 5th August    arrive in Otterburn 1830

Tuesday 6th August    depart Otterburn 0600

Tuesday 6th August    arrive in Kelso 1830

Wednesday 7th August  arrive Edinburgh Castle 1530

Battles Over – A Nation’s Tribute

CastleTrek is playing its part in Battle’s Over, an international commemoration marking 100 years since the guns fell silent at the end of World War I.

Organised by Pageantmaster Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR, Battle’s Over takes place on November 11th 2018, with events throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, and at scores of locations overseas, including New Zealand, Ireland, Australia, Bermuda, France, Belgium, Canada, the United States and Germany, to name but a few.

It begins at 6am with lone pipers playing Battle’s O’er, a traditional Scottish air played after a battle, outside cathedrals in the country, following which a specially written tribute will be read out. At the same time, over 1,000 pipers will be playing the tune in individual locations within their local communities.

At 6.55pm buglers will sound the Last Post at more than 1,000 locations, where at 7pm beacons will be lit in a tribute called Beacons of Light, signifying the light of peace that emerged from the darkness of four years of war.

Then at 7.05pm over 1,000 church and cathedrals will ring their bells as part of Ringing Out for Peace organised in association with the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, which represents 65 societies of ringers from the British Isles and overseas. Also at 7.05, more than 140 town criers will perform a specially written Cry for Peace Around the World, the first of them in New Zealand and then across the globe through the various time zones.

Both our CastleTrek Pipers are taking part, playing at Temple Newsam and Holmfirth in Yorkshire.

Semps said: “We are proud to be playing a part in this historic international event to commemorate the centenary of the end of the Great War, and to recognise the contribution and sacrifice made by the men and women from our own community.”

Battle’s Over – A Nation’s Tribute has been devised and planned by Pageantmaster Bruno Peek. He has organised major royal celebrations and international events for more than 36 years and has been working on Battle’s Over for more than four years.

“It’s wonderful to see the event being embraced by so many organisations and communities in this country and around the world. The centenary of the end of the Great War is an opportunity to acknowledge the enormous sacrifice made the millions of men and women who died or were wounded, as well as those who worked tirelessly at home in our fields and factories. It has been a privilege to work on this project with the support of so many amazing organisations said Peek.”

Battle’s Over – A Nation’s Tribute also features special tributes to two groups of unsung heroes – The Chinese Labour Corps and the WW1 Tunnellers.

About 95,000 volunteers made up the Chinese Labour Corps, who dug trenches, repaired tanks, laid roads and tracks, transported supplies and assembled shells to free up British soldiers for the front line. Their work was a vital part of the war effort but is rarely acknowledged in the history of the 1914-18 conflict. The official guide to Battle’s Over dedicates a page to the work of the Chinese labourers, most of whom were illiterate peasants.

Tai Wee Kuang, a Director of Hong Kong-based L Holding Limited, said: “It is hugely gratifying to see the work of the Chinese labourers recognised in this way. They made a massive contribution to the British war effort and I’m sorry to say that this has not always been recognised or appreciated, so am delighted to support this unique commemoration and have the unique opportunity to pay tribute to my fellow countrymen”

The work of the WW1 Tunnellers has been acknowledged in a Lamplight of Peace, commissioned by Bruno Peek and lit at a special service at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior, Westminster Abbey, London, on August 4th 2018. It sheds light on a special breed of men who fought on the Western Front, digging tunnels and laying explosives beneath the German trenches.

The Lamp is currently being kept alight by the events four official charities – Royal Naval Association, ABF The Soldiers Charity, Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund and the Merchant Navy Association, before being returned to the Grave of the Unknown Warrior, Westminster Abbey for 6am on 11th November where a lone piper from the Air Training Corps will play Battle’s O’er.

The British Army had about 25,000 trained tunnellers, mostly volunteer coal miners, but they operated in such secrecy that little was known of their exploits for years after the war.

The Lamplight of Peace includes a miners’ lamp from the period, a replica Victoria Cross, British and German barbed wire, coal from a Yorkshire coal field, trench post fragments and a soil sample from the trenches, and ballast from the railway line where the WWI Armistice was signed.

More information on Battle’s Over can be found at www.brunopeek.co.uk/battles-over.

RAFBF Pipes and Drums – Brize Fest RAF100

2018 is the year for a couple of big anniversaries with the end of WW1 being marked in November. But before then there is the celebration of 100 years of the RAF. As part of a series of events being organised this year marking RAF100, our guys travelled to RAF Brize Norton to take part in a massed band event, under the banner of RAFBF Pipes and Drums, for the RAF Benevolent Fund.

A 6 am start saw the lads travelling down the M1 from Leeds to RAF Brize Norton. On arrival, they met Pipe Major Mark Bissett and the rest of the team. 

They joined around 40 other pipers & drummers from across the UK and as far away as Hong Kong. With so many pipers it was necessary to split into smaller groups to allow the Pipe Majors present to divide and conquer the tuning.

The main event was a parade of the massed band through the event site playing Scotland the Brave, Roan Tree, Lochanside and Wings. We made our way to the arena to play Cock O’ the North and Farewell to the Creeks as a circle formed. A brilliant rendition of Highland Cathedral was then played whilst a fly-by took place. We left the field playing the great tunes Green Hills of Tyrol and Battles Over.

RAFBF Pipes and Drums display
RAFBF Pipes and Drums on display at BrizeFest

The band then moved over to the static display for us to capture some pictures before assembling in the belly of a C-17 Globemaster.  From there we marched out playing a last set of Scotland the Brave and Roan Tree. Check out the video below – you can see our guys at the front left!

RAFBF Pipes and Drums, RAF100 Brize Fest 2018, A big thank you to everyone. Raised so far as follows: RAFBF Total £13890 SSAFA Total £1733 Combat Stress Total £79781 GRAND TOTAL £95404 what will the total be by the the next Brize Fest 31st August 2019?

Geplaatst door Mark Bisset op Zondag 2 september 2018

Little run out…half a marathon later

Now in its 33rd year, the Leeds Half Marathon takes place in May each year making it one of the oldest major road races in the UK. Around 9,000 runners took part in this ever-popular event, and this year Semps tagged along in a bid to get some miles under his feet.

The race

Enjoying a city centre start, Semps was quickly out onto the challenging route through the city and its suburbs. The course takes in some of the highlights in Leeds, from Kirkstall Abbey to Millennium Square, but requires you to cover 21km in the process. Once on the Castle Trek, the team will be covering three times the distance of a half marathon, each day.

Semps is no stranger to the half marathon distance, having completed four other races at that distance. Leeds gave him a good opportunity to gauge his fitness level and start raising awareness of the Castle Trek project.

A half marathon is a reasonable distance for folk to target, it has a bit more about it that than 10km, you know you have done it, but doesn’t place the same stress on you as a full marathon. Beyond the distance another key element is the weather, the race day was warm, research has shown that a runners pace slows down above 12 degrees Celsius and they start to suffer above 18, which was the temperature in Leeds. And Semps suffered. Lots.

Taking a strategy of using even pacing, Semps crossed the line with a smile of his face and a time on the clock of 2hr 11mins.


Being the trooper Semps is, back at work the next day he was still putting recruits through their paces on fitness tests. More members of the team are looking to be taking part next year.