PEWSEY Village firefighters decided to step out to raise some cash for the village carnival - and in the process have launched what could be a new tradition.

They thought it fitting to emulate the centenary of the infamous skiff challenge from Pewsey to the sea with an epic 28 hour walk covering 67 miles.

They raised more than £1,500 with their 'to the Sea' trek towards the carnival costs and supported charities.

“We couldn't row the length of the Avon, but we wanted to set a new time on foot and lay the gauntlet down for future generations,” said Mark Lewis before setting off on Friday.

“Although we didn’t complete the walk, we nearly made it, and had to stop just a few miles short as some of the team had to get to work the next day. but that has just made us want to do it again next year - in a faster time. It was great fun too."

The troup followed the Pewsey Avon Trail and the Avon Valley Path to the sea.

Pewsey Carnival’s Carol Parsons had the carnival fundraising Cossor's Shop decked out in Pewsey Fire Brigade photos, complete with a large fire engine and flashing blue light.

"I was thrilled when the firemen suggested the idea," she said. "I have a huge soft spot for the brigade here. My father was a fireman here and I used to help him clean the engines. They have made a tremendous effort, and are extra special to Pewsey, and they have all our thanks."

It is 100 years since a group of Pewsey locals sat in the Greyhound Hotel and threw a bet down that a skiff crew couldn’t reach the English Channel by rowing down the River Avon in three days.

The tradition carried on for decades, with the last river challenge rowed 42 years ago.

So the Pewsey fireman decided to reset the challenge, and raise cash for the lockdown stricken carnival at the same time raising £900 along the walk, as people donated to a Just Giving page.

More cash was tipped into buckets and the sum was topped up by Pewsey Parish Council.

The Carnival should have taken place at the weekend. The village still managed to put on a show, with a spotlights in the sky show and the usual cartoon characters in the river.