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Rob from Hoddesdon’s Story - Not Lacking in Ambition

Updated: Aug 23, 2022

The courage possible in camaraderie is extraordinary and certainly reflected in these stories. This one demonstrates an energy and sense of humour from Hertfordshire where ideas come big, brave and funny!

Starting with the notion of sailing a peddalo across the British Channel, the team were forced to revise their plan slightly when the French Authorities refused permission. Maybe the prospect of a peddalo carrying four big blokes across one of the roughest and busiest shipping channels in the world at a very sensitive time was not the wisest of choices.

Undeterred Table 695 reviewed their options and came up with another “workable” alternative! To Peddalo the Thames, navigating water and locks to break a world record. Lechlade to Teddington Lock – a 128 mile stretch.

This may not seem such a challenge until you factor in members of the team not being allowed to leave the boat once the challenge has begun and the average speed of a peddalo being just 3 miles per hour.

So, did they break the record? Well of course!

But it really was a huge challenge and involved lots of members, partners and family support. In truth the task was both gruelling and painful for the on-board team, taking a massive amount of commitment and energy to complete.

Day one started at 4.30 am and ended at 11pm while the next day was an even greater challenge. The peddalo Team (Rob, Andy, Stephen and Mark) set off at 5am and they didn’t stop until they reached their destination and completed their task at 5am the following morning. Taking 48 hours and 40 minutes to get the job done. “It’s just what we had to do if we were going to break the record,” Rob said.

It would have been impossible if it weren't for all the brilliant support, teams of people from our Table and the surrounding area who kept us fed, watered and motivated. The encouragement was what made the difference, people appearing at 3 o’clock in the morning to open lock gates, bring refreshments and give us the boost we needed. The banter and laughter were amazing and made up for all the pain and discomfort. It was a brilliant experience!”

“The world record was icing on the cake though, the real reason we did it was for a fantastic local charity we wanted to help, The Mudlarks, and we managed to raise over £6,000 to support their work.”

The Mudlarks is a charity for young people and adults with learning difficulties and mental health problems offering meaningful learning and work opportunities in the community. They offer pocket sized allotments, fresh food and cookery lessons as well as a café supplied with the fresh produce. Also, gardening support to people in the community no longer able to do it themselves (their Special Branch team) and a forest school supporting open play, learning and awareness in the young. The Tablers identified it as an amazing organisation they wanted to support.

“We were all just so moved by their kindness. They reached out to us because they really appreciated what we are doing and wanted to help. They came down and met with us, they helped with all the social media and press releases, they wore our T-shirts to promote our charity. It was just wonderful and of course the money makes a big difference, helping us all to continue what we are doing.” Sarah Milton from Mudlarks

Building Other Bridges

There’s another amazing outcome from this challenge that’s also worth reflecting on. When putting their plans together they found another crew had recently completed the run which included Alex Gibson, a previous UK Olympic athlete who now suffers from Motor Neurone Disease. Andy, another Table and team member, reached out to them to try and learn a bit more about the experience. “Alex was great and their team gave us loads of great advice and encouragement. We feel a bit bad because we took the record from them, but we were all there doing our best to raise funding and awareness and the friendship and support from them was amazing”

Just another example of the wonderful bridges and connections built across communities through the Table approach and attitude and another perfect reflection of the motto of “Rooted in Community”. In the Mudlarks case, quite literally!

Round Table (RTBI) is a young man / men's club for those aged between 18 and 45. RTBI supports charities, the local community and its individual members through friendship and brotherhood. As part of the Round Table Family, RTBI is an inclusive organisation open to all individuals no matter their age or gender identification. To find out more visit our FAQs page or Contact Us.



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