THESE schoolchildren were looking surprisingly cheerful, considering the challenge they faced.

They were about to set off on a 13-mile hike on country roads and paths.

A total of 140 pupils from Harlow School, Old Marston, Oxford, took part in the fundraising walk in November 1968, following a route to Woodeaton, Islip, Beckley, Headington and back to the school.

Checkpoints manned by teachers and parents had been set up at various points, where the children were given crisps and orange juice to keep them going.

The Oxford Mail reported that at the end of the walk, there were “quite a few sore feet”.

It was the first time the school had organised a walk to raise money . In previous years, it had been done by having fetes and bazaars.

Headmaster Mr C Dunsley told the Mail: “This way we get the children all taking part, and the parents, rather than with the organisation falling on to the teachers.“ The money the children collected in sponsorship – thought at the time to be between £300 and £400 – was to be spent on three good causes.

One was to give elderly people in the village a Christmas party, with a parcel of goodies for each person attending. The school also planned to give some of the money to handicapped people in the village.

The rest was to be used to buy items that the children, aged 11-16, decided the school needed.

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