Barrel of laughs as 500-mile trek rolls into Coldstream

Rob Edmond received a warm welcome at Coldstream Community Centre on Tuesday afternoon, after completing the second leg of the 500 mile barrel roll
Rob Edmond received a warm welcome at Coldstream Community Centre on Tuesday afternoon, after completing the second leg of the 500 mile barrel roll

The Proclaimers declared they would walk 500 miles, now an army of comedians, veterans and famous faces are going one better and rolling a whisky barrel 500 miles for charity.

Bell’s Barrel of Laughs rolled into Coldstream this week, during its epic journey from Blair Atholl to the Help for Heroes recovery centre at Tedworth House, Wiltshire.

The Coldstream community was out in force to see Rob Edmond, ex SAS and the personal trainer from the television programme ‘The Biggest Loser’, arrive in town with the barrel, having used a combination of pulling it or cycling with it from Edinburgh.

“This was the first reception where we felt we were getting a lot of support and hopefully it will build as people realise what it’s all about,” said a team spokesperson.

Early on Wednesday morning Rob was stretched out on a physio table behind Coldstream’s war memorial on the High Street, preparing for the next stage which took him over Coldstream Bridge, down through Northumberland and on to Newcastle, the next stopping point on their way south.

Joanna Lumley set the barrel rolling at Blair Atholl on Monday, March 23 and it should arrive at its destination on March 31.

Along the way it will have witnessed a number of one-off barrel of laughs comedy gigs and hopefully will also have added to Bell’s mission to raise £1 million for Help for Heroes. That total has already been passed but they are determined to build on momentum and keep the barrel rolling.

“At Bells, we have made it our mission to raise £1 million pounds for the charity Help For Heroes, the British military veterans’ charity that supports our heroic men and women when they return from military service abroad,” said a spokesperson for Bells.

“Their strength of character, sacrifice and dedication to our nation inspired us to do our bit and we’re hoping you will too. Together, we can work to give them one million reminders that heroes are never forgotten.

“On October 17, we revealed a battalion of statues on London’s Trafalgar Square to show our support for those servicemen, women and veterans who are injured or become sick serving our country.

“The 20-strong battalion was made up of sculptures of injured armed forces veterans and launched Bell’s campaign to raise £1 million for Help for Heroes.

“Sculptor, Stuart Murdoch, created the statues to capture the greatness of character and determination shown by each individual as they rebuild their lives.

“Marking the start of our mission to raise £1 million for Help for Heroes, each statue told the inspiring story of its model. The veterans, many of whom were deployed in recent operational tours duty, stood alongside their statues as they were revealed. This celebration of our forces heroes coincided with the anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, with the battalion on parade in the the very square named in honour of the famous victory.”

So, if you want to support the Bell’s Barrel of Laughs and pledge your donation, TEXT ‘Bells’ to 70900). Text messages cost £5.