A GROUP of fundraisers prepare to spend 24 hours walking Hythe Pier in an effort to save a vital transportation link.
Ashleigh Mutimear is spearheading an attempt to raise at least Â£ 60,000 for the Hythe Ferry, which has been hit by the economic impact of the Covid crisis.
Ashleigh and her supporters are about to embark on what they describe as their biggest challenge yet.
The Walk the Pier event is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. today, with individual walkers joining the event at specific times over the next 24 hours.
Today you will also have a day of family fun at the Lord Nelson Pub, located just a few meters from the entrance to the 700 meter pier.
This will be followed by an open house day on the structure on Monday and a fundraising event at the nearby Dibden Golf Center on May 30.
Lord Nelson’s Leighton O’Hara said: âIt will be great to see so many people supporting Ashleigh throughout her expedition and I’m sure everyone will dig deep to contribute to such a worthy cause.
âAt Nelson we will have collections throughout the day and hope to have entertainment throughout Saturday and Sunday.
“We will be open from 9 am Sunday so people can have coffee and watch Ashleigh reach the climax of this incredible feat.”
On Monday, visitors to the pier will be joined by children’s author Simon Chadwick, who will sign copies of his new book.
As reported in the Daily Echo, Simon was approached about the possibility of publishing a story for the benefit of the service.
He had previously written and illustrated a track for Hythe Library called A Seal Swam In From The Sea. The heartwarming story has now been updated and turned into a book with the aim of raising Â£ 10,000 for the ferry.
The service between Hythe Pier and Town Quay in Southampton is facing a cash flow crisis caused by the pandemic, which has resulted in a huge drop in passenger numbers.
The ship is not currently circulating and no date has been set for its return.
Hampshire County Council, New Forest District Council and Southampton City Council have given grants totaling Â£ 22,000, but more money is needed.