So long, Didge (12 miles in fact)


bunny and val (1)

     David Laws and Valerie Bolcina near the Zetland Arms at Kingsdown on the Dover-Deal walk


Friends of the late great Daily Express sub-editor Bill ‘Didge’ Reynolds took to the Kentish cliffs on October 11 for a long walk from Dover to Deal.

The trek was in memory of Bill, who died in August 2015. It was one of his favourite walks.

As well as David and Val, Express journalists attending included Tony Boullemier and Brian Izzard plus a few non-Express friends of Didge.

Bob Smith, who was unable to make the walk told me:  "I would really loved to have been there as it's a route Bill and I knew well. We used to train for marathons on that stretch. We'd drive down to Deal, change in his micro-cottage near the seafront, then run to Dover and back. A long haul, but we took it steady and loved the scenery. Couldn't run it now, of course, but I'd love to walk it again.

I walked the 12-mile route with Bill too and of course he also used to canoe along the coast from Deal to St Margaret’s where he would have a coffee and then paddle back.

After a pint at the Zetland Arms, Kingsdown, the day ended with dinner with Didge’s widow Margaret at Lord Nelson’s pub, the Royal Hotel, at Deal, just round the corner from Bill’s cottage in Market Street.


Dover trio

THEY’RE OFF: David Laws, Ray King and Brian Izzard leave Dover Castle in the background

TEA BREAK: Four Expressmen with, second and third left, two of Didge’s friends

THIS WAY CHAPS: Tony Boullemier points the way to Deal … and the pub

ON THE EDGE: David Laws admires the view from the White Cliffs of Dover

JOURNEY’S END: The walkers sit down to dinner at the Royal Hotel in Deal

LATE NIGHT LINE-UP: From left, Valerie Bolcina, Brian Izzard, Ray King, Margaret Reynolds,
 David Laws and Tony Boullemier at the Royal Hotel

THAT’S ALL FOLKS: Brian Izzard and Ray King and, er, a beer bottle

© 2005-2022 Alastair McIntyre