Grove House runners get ready as the midnight hour approaches...

HUNDREDS of women and men in skirts will congregate at Westminster Lodge on Saturday night to take part in the 2010 Midnight Walk in aid of Grove House.

Most of them will have already signed up to take part in the 10-mile walk around St Albans which it is hoped will raise �100,000 for the St Albans-based hospice.

Walkers who have taken part in the event before say it is a truly magical night and the sight of the women - and men in skirts - all together with their t-shirts and in some cases, glowing fairy wings, is an amazing sight.

The route takes walkers up Holywell Hill, along Verulam Road, up through Marshalswick and then cutting down to London Road where there is the ‘Pleasure Zone’ stop at the fire station with chocolate and other treats awaiting.

The walkers then end up back at the Abbey Theatre so if you are on your way home after an evening out, give a wave to the walkers or better still, make a donation.

This year the Midnight Walk will be started by Joe McGann hot foot from the West End Stage. Joe is best known for his role in TV Sitcom The Upper Hand and will also be taking part in the walk along with his wife Tamzin who teaches yoga in the city.

There will be refreshments available along the route with the chance to stock up with some tasty treats to have along the way as well as purchase such last-minute additions as fairy wings and glowing necklaces.

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To get the Midnight Walkers in the mood the traditional warm-up is being replaced with specially created Popdance routine.

So this year instead of doing a few star jumps walkers will be strutting their stuff to the strains of Here Come The Girls’. A link to a video of the dance routine can be found on the Midnight Walk website.

At the end of the event every walker will be presented with a gift from Rachel Jeffery Jewellery and a goody bag as well as a flower as an extra thank you.

Walkers who have not yet signed up can check in from 10.30pm on Saturday. Registation on the night costs �20 and includes not only the goody bag, gift and flower but also the striking Midnight Walk t-shirt.

Paul Parrish, fundraising director of Grove House, said, “This is my favourite event of the year; the view of the women snaking their way up Holywell Hill is really moving especially when you realise that many of the people taking part have either been patients at the hospice or have had a family member or friend who have needed the support of Grove House Hospice.”

He added: “This year we are urging as many people as possible to come along and support their local hospice.

“We know that there lots of other walks and runs around but for the people of St Albans and the surrounding areas this is the walk that makes such as huge difference to their hospice and the level of support available for people suffering with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.”

To find out more about the event visit