Coldcroft Shires on a Fundraising Journey


Podcast: https://www.zoomerradio.ca/podcasts/by-the-love-of-horses/coldcroft-shires-on-a-fundraising-journey/

The following is a partial transcript of the show. 

When someone does something very kind for you, or gives you something special or some assistance and then, when you try to return the thoughtfulness in some way, they say “Oh, no, no, no I wouldn’t hear of it, don’t even think twice about it. We want you to have this!” you feel as though you are genuinely and truly welcome and cared for.

There is a feeling of coming home when this happens. You feel as though you have arrived at a place as comfortable and welcoming as home is supposed to be. You feel as though you are truly valued, understood, even loved.

And, perhaps not surprisingly at all, the person or family or group that offers such hospitality, such warmth and generosity, such love, are usually the happiest and strongest of people you would ever want to meet.

There was something of this kind of generosity and care experienced by Jamie Alcock of Glouchestershire, England, our guest on today’s show. It was experienced at an extremely difficult time when his brother John, a police constable, was tragically involved in a car accident while on duty. It was also experienced by the young family of John. He never recovered and remained in a coma for 14 years before passing.

During that time John’s partner and young son received tremendous support.  In view of this, Jamie tried to give back to those charities and organizations at the time as a way of saying thank you. But his offers were declined.

In my view, those charities and organizations are to be applauded for that, as they wanted the family to feel truly cared for. This, rather than making the family feel indebted: As if the support was simply a loan until it was all repaid somehow.

As a way of saying thank you now, Jamie Alcock has determined to undertake a journey to raise funds for the police and fire charities so that they will, in turn, be better able to help families in need in the future. He wants to, as he puts it, put something “back in the pot,” to help these organizations help still others.

What makes all of this even more special, however, is the way in which Jamie intends to raise money in support of the two charities. Jamie plans to do this by undertaking a 600 mile/1000 km journey by carriage pulled by two of his Shires, named William and Millie, and he will also be accompanied by his collie named Boo Boo Beithe.

It will look terribly picturesque, I think. You can just imagine seeing Jamie making his way on June 5th through his farm, located on the lower slopes of May Hill in West Gloucestershire, England, where the horses still help him work his land.  

The scene is one of peaceful beauty. He passes sheep grazing, both Ryeland and Cotswold sheep, mind you, passes the Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs, the Gloucester cattle, and the West of England geese. You can almost imagine them all lifting their heads up from grazing briefly to notice the passing of the horses and carriage and dog. The geese always having a thing or two to say.

Jamie will then reach the end of the lane and turn onto the road heading northward, to go through Worcestershire, up to Newark on Trent. Then past Lincoln, Goole, York and Thirsk. Then towards Scotland, to Edinburgh cross the Firth of Forth over the Kincardine Bridge, then on to the north of Aviemore and end at Elgin. We will have a link on our website, Bytheloveofhorsesradioshow.ca, to a page by which you can follow Jamie’s journey. We will also have the link there to his fundraising page.

And if you happened upon him on a country road along the way, you’d see a man on a carriage with horses and his dog. Warm, inviting, peaceful. The man on the carriage tips his hat to you as he passes by. To encounter them would be like going back to an earlier, simpler time, when things weren’t so rushed. It would be a little like we are turning back the clock.

But it is also a pilgrimage of sorts that Jamie has planned. He will travel ultimately from his farm to the graveside of his brother John in Morayshire, Scotland. It will take a great deal of endurance on Jamie’s part to travel the 600 miles/over 1000 kms on a carriage, hoping to make 20 miles per day. We can only wonder what kind of experiences he will have. The people he will encounter. The help that he is rendered along the way. Let’s hear now from Jamie as he shares his vision of his journey...

 

Conclusion

There is an old saying that says “Pretty is as Pretty does.” You’ve probably heard it before. It means to me that true beauty is founded upon what one does rather than how one looks.

Jamie Alcock, his dog, carriage and two shire horses will look extremely picturesque no doubt. They will look peaceful as they make their way along country roads.

But the reason for his journey is the most important aspect of his story. Jamie’s determination to give back to the same charities that helped his brother’s partner and young son is to be admired and supported. Jamie wants to put as much as he can “back into the pot” so that there will be funds available to help others.

It speaks to the beauty and perfection of doing something good without any thought of repayment.

One gets the feeling of coming round full circle. The circle of care and support, the circle of community and of a helping hand are completed.

One wishes Jamie, Millie, William and Boo Boo Beithe, safe travels along their way.