Team Honk bloggers relay in aid of Sports Relief visits St Albans: with gallery

Team Honk members Chrissie Saunders, Jenny Soppet-Smith, Head of Mandeville School Cathy Longhurst,

Team Honk members Chrissie Saunders, Jenny Soppet-Smith, Head of Mandeville School Cathy Longhurst, Mayor of St Albans Cllr Annie Brewster, Penny Carr and Kirsty Hornblow - Credit: Archant

A relay of bloggers traversing across the country in aid of Sport Relief reached St Albans in style this week.

Team Honk will be travelling more than 2,000 miles from Lands’ End to John O’Groats between January 12 and March 23, and participants have been encouraged to come up with innovative ways of carrying the baton for their stretch of the route, including using an elephant at Woburn Safari Park and swimming in the very cold River Cam.

The baton arrived in St Albans by bicycle on Tuesday morning before being transferred to a pull-along car for the final approach to Mandeville School, where pupils created a human chain to neighbouring St Peter’s.

Local bloggers including Penny Carr, Jenny Soppet-Smith, Annie Robb and Helen Willis were joined by St Albans Mayor Cllr Annie Brewster to transport the baton to the centre of St Albans, where they received extra support from Cuthberts Toys – who donated a scooter in aid of Sport Relief – and The Bakehouse, who provided refreshments.

Penny said: “For me the whole mood of the day was summed up by the Mayor arriving in her Sport Relief onesie and chains of office. We may have all got some strange looks going around town, but we had great fun doing so.”

Jenny said: “Mandeville School were delighted to be involved from the outset, setting Year 6 mathematicians Lemar Vega, Robbie Wallace, Harvey O’Toole, Hasnat Chowdhury, Shane Arciaga and Daniel Pedder the challenge of doing all the calculations for the human chain and the risk assessment for having nearly 370 children and over 50 adults out passing the baton. The boys rose to the challenge spectacularly resulting in a wonderful morning of teamwork, enthusiasm and fun for everyone.”

Helen added: “Buzz Lightyear on a scooter was definitely a surreal moment for me. People either love it or they hate it, but if it gets people talking and donating I don’t mind looking daft for a while. After last year’s silver dress for Comic Relief, this may be my last year in costume – my daughter couldn’t speak to me on the school playground!”

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Mayor Annie Brewster added: “A huge well done to everyone organising the St Albans leg of the Team Honk Relay and the inspiring idea to involve so many of our school children in this nationwide Sport Relief challenge.

“My highlights have to be hearing each child along the route shout out their name when they received the baton and the multi-talented cross-country team from St Peter’s School who accompanied me around their all-weather running track, cheerfully singing while running. It was so much fun.”

St Albans Team Honk has already raised £800 online, and you can donate at