A GROUP of intrepid locals are set to walk or cycle 50 miles as part of a new expedition in memory of showman Thomas Pelling who fell to his death while trying to ‘fly’ from All Saints’ Church in Pocklington.

The annual Flying Man Festival in Pocklington, which is being held on May 12 and 13 this year, remembers Pelling, who died in 1733, and went down in history as The Flying Man of Pocklington.

In the fortnight before the festival, a new Flying Man Challenge will take place, tracing the route from Pelling’s birthplace in Burton-upon-Stather, in North Lincolnshire, to where he is buried at All Saints’ Church, Pocklington.

Around a dozen locals have signed up so far to set out from St Andrew’s Church in Burton-upon-Stather and travel 50 miles to where it all ended at Pocklington.

The route breaks down into three sections of about 15 miles – Burton Stather to the Humber Bridge along the south bank of the Humber; after crossing the bridge following the Wolds Way to South Cave, then on from there to Nunburnholme.

The plan is to cover that part of the walk before the festival weekend, then join up with families and anyone who wants to walk the final few miles from the churches at Nunburnholme (five miles) or Kilnwick Percy (two miles) on the morning of Saturday May 12, arriving at All Saints Church to a special musical welcome announcing the start of the festival.

The cyclists will undertake their route in a single day, while walkers can split their journey into three.

To join in, for the whole route or a single section, get details from Julie Ryder, phone 01759 318640 or email i.ryder751@btinternet.com.

The walkers and cyclists are raising sponsorship. To support them can do so by signing a sponsor form at the back of All Saints or by the church’s electronic giving or texting accounts, All Saints Church Giving Account sort code 77-71-51, account no 13985368, or text Pock42 £5 to 70070.

The Flying Man Festival is in its 14th year and has a programme of activities, events, exhibitions, displays and fayre for all ages based in and around All Saints, most with an aerial theme.