Magical mystery tour challenge for pals

Blindfolded and dropped miles from home, a pair of intrepid Pendle pals had to rely on their wits to return home in the latest of a year long set of challenges.

Thursday, 22nd June 2017, 4:22 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:43 am
Josh and David in Saltaire

A brave New Year's resolution saw singer John Hindle (25) and nurse David Smith (30) ask the people of East Lancashire to provide them with a challenge for every month of 2017 to raise vital funds for Pendleside Hospice.

And April proved to be the toughest so far when the pair were dropped in Saltaire, near Bradford, with only the shoes and clothes they were standing in, and the instruction "make your own way home".

Josh said: "This was our hardest challenge to date – we started at the Thatch and Thistle pub at Barrowford and met our friends who offered to drive us to an unknown location.

Josh and David do ballet

"We got in the car and were blindfolded immediately. After what felt like a never ending journey, we arrived at our location which was a church and cemetery. Our friends left and that was it, we were on our own!

"We quickly had a look around and after a short walk to the main road we discovered we were in Saltaire, near Bradford. We knew this was going to be tough, not only to walk back home to Barrowford but to actually find a route.

"We decided to ask some local people who happened to be watering plants in their garden where we were and for some advice. They had a map and showed us where we were in comparison to home.

"After a quick study of the map we decided to choose the canal route. It was long and seemed to go on forever. The walk took us eight hours to reach home and even though we could have hitch hiked from Saltaire we decided to keep the challenge challenging.

Josh and David do ballet

"However, as we reached Colne, some friends drove past us and because we had blistered feet and aching hips, we hailed them down and they took us back to the Crown Hotel where my car ironically was from the night before."

But the Pendle public were not prepared to let the pals put their feet up for long, for May brought a fresh challenge - a ballet lesson, which left the pair in a spin.

Helen Cheung, of Encore Dance School, and her young pupils put the boys through their paces, ensuring they were also dressed for the occasion.

Josh added: "We were taught a range of movements and routines from some of the students and then had to perform in front of the class, it was like going back to school. We really enjoyed it and got a bit too comfortable wearing our tu-tu!"

Having recovered from their ballet exertions, a very different challenge sits on the horizon for Josh and David - and there won't be a tu-tu in sight.

Sunday will see the pals tackle Total Warrior for their June challenge. July won't get much easier either as a trek along Hadrian's Wall awaits.

Meanwhile Josh, an award-winning wedding singer, was in more of a comfort zone when he organised a Big Band Boogie night.

He said: "This wasn’t a challenge as such but linked in with our fund-raising and it was an incredible night to be remembered. We managed to raise £2,723 for the hospice which was added to our amount raised so far.

"We had a full line up including saxophonist James Bell, the Swing City Big Band, the Flat Cap Pack and the amazing Vegas Divas. It was such a special night and everyone had a blast.

"We are encouraging the public to really get behind us with donations as these are our toughest challenges and we will really need their support."

If you wish you can sponsor Josh and David by visiting their Just Giving page and donating using your credit/debit card –