TWO friends have taken on a gruelling hike in memory of a Hawkshaw community stalwart, who died last year.

Chris Caldwell lost his short battle with cancer last August, aged 75.

As he was a well-known figure within the village community, friends Chris Hornby and Tim Couchman decided to take on the 177-mile Offa’s Dyke walk from Chepstow in South Wales to Prestatyn in North Wales recently to raise money for the Christie Hospital, where Mr Caldwell received treatment.

The pair set out on the arduous route, which interweaves the Welsh and English border, on Sunday, May 12.

They completed their trek last Thursday, after which they held a celebration at the Waggon and Horses in Bolton Road, Hawkshaw.

Mr Couchman, aged 65, said: “Chris was a very good friend of ours.

“Villages have these pillar of society characters and that was Chris and his family.

“He was one of those personalities that everyone knew and loved.

“We decided to take this on because it was a big challenge, and it certainly was in parts.”

With the help of family, friends and members of the community, Mr Hornby and Mr Couchman hope to raise a total of £3,000.

That figure should be boosted by Mr Caldwell’s daughter, Kate, who is making a separate donation after undertaking a skydive earlier in the month.

A further fundraising celebration evening also took place at the Waggon and Horses on Friday.

To donate, visit or