THEY VISITED all 42 English cathedrals in eight days. That was an average of
five a day, and only about 25 minutes spent in each, says Tony Smith, 61, who
planned the tour with his friend, John Hudson.
They travelled in a Peugeot motor home, hoping to raise awareness about the
Make-A-Wish Foundation UK, a charity that grants wishes to children with
They started from Lincoln, escorted for the first few miles
by the local Harley-Davidson bikers and the Lincs wing of the Honda GoldWing
Club. Mr Smith tells me he had always wanted to see all the cathedrals, but
even on this trip he missed out on one — Chester — where they could find no
legal parking-place, and, just as he was making for the cathedral door, he saw
a traffic warden looming, and had to sprint back.
He and Mr Hudson talked to many members of cathedral staff, and presented
each cathedral with a copy of a poem specially commissioned by the Make-A-Wish
Foundation. Disappointingly, the publicity that was supposed to accompany their
visits broke down, as did Mr Smith’s hope that money would be raised by getting
people to guess how many miles the pair would cover on their tour. “As nobody
did try to guess, I can tell you,” he said. “It was 2010 miles.”
But he did get some sponsorship money, and he paid all the expenses of the
tour himself. Mr Smith has worked for the charity for about nine years, and has
helped a number of children’s wishes to come true.