A Bridge Too Far: Col Simon Vandeleur Blog, Day One

Colonel Simon Vandeleur, Edinburgh Castle Garrison Commander, created a blog during the ‘A Bridge Too Far’ bike ride from London to Belgium. He rode with Baxterbear on his handlebars all the way there, and Baxterbear was TREEKLED to make a difference with him. To read a full round-up of events, click here. Here is his blog post from the first day: Baxterbear and I are on the train departing Waverley station for King’s Cross on a perfect sunny September day. Edinburgh was humming this morning as we said goodbye to friends and family who waved us off on the 1245 train. Baxterbear in fact is suspended in the air on the handlebars of my bike in the guards van, where I am sure he will have a more comfortable journey than me. We had a great send-off party in the Great Hall of Edinburgh Castle on Saturday night. The Lowland TA band of 6 SCOTS played beautiful music and finished with the theme tune of the movie a Bridge Too Far. About 120 guests from all walks of life in Edinburgh and UK came to the party and many made generous donations to Help for Heroes. I explained what H4H was trying to do by raising money to assist with the recovery of our wounded servicemen returning from operations in Afghanistan. So far I have managed to raise £8,000 from the generosity of friends and colleagues and the sponsored bike ride from Brussels to Arnhem, on which Baxterbear and I am about to embark on is part of that fundraising effort. H4H has so far raised £30m in a little over 2 years. We are looking forward to dinner tonight with the officers of Number 7 Company Coldstream Guards in St James’ Palace and a bed in the officers’ mess. Baxterbear is really excited about the re-union after his epic 350th anniversary march from Coldstream to London earlier this year to mark the formation of the Coldstream Guards in 1660, since when they have been in the continuous employ of the English parliament. That’s it ladies and gentlemen, I will send my next message from the Eurostar after we have departed St Pancras for Brussels on Monday afternoon. Subject of course to me being able to bluff my way past border controls with my expired passport and military Identity card! Best wishes Simon Vandeleur and Baxterbear For the fourth day of Simon Vandeleur’s blog, click here. For the fifth day of Col Simon Vandeleur’s blog, click here. For the sixth day of Col Simon Vandeleur’s blog, click here. h4h 1