Beating The Bounds
Later this month Ste Lingard will be walking the boundary of the Borough, 45 miles in total for St Helens Mind.
Ste told us more about why he is doing this “Back in the mists of time – before even my Dad can remember – there was a custom known as ‘Beating the Bounds’. Come Springtime, a motley assortment of local officials, children and sundry other persons would perambulate the boundaries of their parish, engaging in a peculiarly English blend of solemn ceremony and high jinks. Alcohol may have been involved.”
“The frequency of the event seems to have varied from place to place, and perhaps the type of refreshment used, but the purpose was the same: to teach the participants – especially the young ones – the boundaries of the parish to which they belonged. The ceremony also served a more social purpose, helping bring the local community together in a common, convivial experience. That perhaps seems a quaint concept today, when many of us act in communities of interest more than of geography.”
“Being a romantic fool (‘a flaneur’, a well-placed witness once alleged), I intend to revive this lapsed tradition. On Sunday 21st May I will Beat the Bounds of St. Helens Borough, following the council boundary as practically as the public rights of way permit. It is about 45 miles, and will take 15 to 16 hours.”
“I am encouraging donations to St. Helens Mind, in the spirit of the community togetherness intended by ‘Beating the Bounds’ of old. They do a wonderful job of supporting people isolated by poor mental health and receive no funding from Mind nationally.”
Ste is a research, writing and business planning consultant, a historian and a musician. He is from St. Helens and has a lifelong commitment to the borough, though he travels extensively across the rest of the UK and beyond. He has served as a ministerial speechwriter and in senior management in local government, and has a special interest in heritage matters.
His interest in mental health issues began when his best friend suffered from serious depression and schizophrenia, ultimately leading to him losing his life. In the following years he became increasingly aware of the isolation experienced by those suffering from depression and anxiety, and the importance of them receiving support and understanding from friends, family and professionals.
Ste frequently talks about mental health when performing with Flat Back Four, and his written songs about it. In 2016 he raised £1,700 for Mind nationally, by walking from York to Hastings. He also helped St. Helens Mind raise £200 through a raffle at a concert he organised.
You can find out more by finding Ste Lingard or WalktheWalk950 on Twitter or Facebook.
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