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Leg 20 - Redcar & Parmo!

Leg 20 of the Around The Courses in 80 Days challenge took me to the charming Redcar Racecourse, where the day began on a pleasant note. However, the weather soon took a turn, with clouds rolling in and a noticeable chill settling in the air. Despite the cold, walking the 1 mile 6 furlong course alongside Louise from BBC Radio Tees was a highlight, especially with her commitment to spreading the word about the challenge across the local network.

The crowd may have been small, but their generosity spoke volumes, with £202.98 raised for Dementia UK. Amidst the racing excitement, I had the pleasure of learning about a local delicacy called Parmo from Stuart Banks of Purple Reins Racing syndicate, a dish I'm now eager to try. For those not in the know Parmo, or Teesside Parmesan, is a dish originating in Middlesbrough, England, and a popular item of take-away food in the Teesside area. It consists of a breaded cutlet of chicken or pork topped with a white béchamel sauce and cheese, usually cheddar, it is now served in many restaurants too with many different topping options. I need to try this whilst in the area. Hold that thought!

The warmth and support extended by the Redcar team and announcer Amy only added to the day's experiences.

That was only part of the day...I needed somewhere to stay between Redcar and Newcastle. Sedgefield looked a good pick, as I have stayed there a few times and I really like the market town that it is. So I made a booking at the Hardwick Arms Bar & Lounge.

The welcome I received from Paul, the owner, was amazing. Not only did he reserve me a table right by the TV so I could watch the mighty Chelsea beat Spurs again but invited me to do a collection as it was their weekly quiz night. So during the interval of the quiz I told the pub about the Around The Courses in 80 Days challenge for Dementia UK over the mic, which was warmly received. I have to say for such a young crowd they were so generous and £53.33 was collected in cash with a further £12.50 donated online. So a total of £65.83!! Thank you so much to Paul and his customers at The Hardwick. And on top of it all Parmo was on the menu. I ordered it and really enjoyed it! I will not need food for about a week now though!

So all in all I have now raised £5,308 for Dementia UK which is fantastic.

I am off to Newcastle for Friday evening's meeting, where it is student night and I have been pre-warned that I cannot bucket collect there. It's a great coincidence that Purple Reins Racing's horse Odd Socks Havana is running there tonight, seeking a hat-trick of wins, so it will be great to catch up with friends there in the syndicate lounge.

Please remember online donations are important to the overall amount raised and will help build the momentum that is gathering force now.

I also have an interview at 8.30 am with BBC Newcastle in the morning so will post details of this across social media later.

The momentum behind the cause continues to grow stronger with each leg of the journey.

Stay tuned for updates and ways to contribute, as together, we make a difference in the fight against dementia.

Graham Arnold 2nd May 2024

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