Time & Tide wait for no man

At the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII the Duchy of Lancaster acquired (amongst others) the Cartmel and Conishead Priories. With them went an obligation to appoint guides for travellers over the sands of Morecambe Bay, one over the Leven Sands, in the Estuary of the River Leven between Ulverston and Cark and the other over the Kent Sands in the Kent Estuary under the Cartmel Priory between Kents Bank and Hest Bank.

The Bay walks have become extremely popular as the walk itself is a truly unforgettable experience.

Year in Year out Charities from all over the UK walk the bay with our Guide fundraising for their chosen Charity.

Interested in walking the bay?


CEDRIC ROBINSON

The Guide over Sands Trust is sad to announce the death of Cedric Robinson on 19 th
November aged 88. Cedric died peaceably at his home with his family around him.
Cedric came from a long line of Flookburgh fishermen and having been brought up in the
village, his life revolved around the Bay and fishing. In the early days this involved going out
onto the sands with horse and cart and gradually moved to tractor and cart over the years.
This fishing life gave him a firm understanding of the Bay and how the tides affected the
sands and where was safe and where was not. Therefore when the vacancy of Guide for the
Kent Sands became available in 1963 Cedric seemed an obvious choice for the Trustees of
the Guide over the Sands Trust, the charity responsible for the appointment of the Guides.
Cedric and his wife Olive moved into the house at Grange over Sands that traditionally goes
with the appointment. This consists of the farmhouse and barns, together with 12 acres of
land.
Cedric remained a full time fisherman, but began taking groups of people out on to the Bay
by request, mainly on the weekends. He devised a crossing of the sands between Arnside and
Grange. This became more popular and soon he was getting charities and other organisations
who were using this as fundraising events. In time he would set dates for the walks early in
the year to take place throughout the summer months when the tides were suitable. He was
meticulous about the safety aspect, as he could be taking up to 500 people at any one time.
The crossing of the channel of the river Kent is the difficult part of the walks and Cedric
would always go out on the day before the walks and check the most suitable route across
that did not have any soft or quick sand and also was sufficiently shallow to allow the
walkers to cross without difficulty. There were often occasions when he felt the walks could
not be carried out safely and so would have to cancel the walk, but he would rather do this
than risk the safety of his walkers, despite their obvious disappointment.
Cedric built up a group of loyal helpers who would assist on the walk days and Olive was
always a good support with taking any bookings. Over the years the charities would have
raised considerable sums for their good causes and many of them used this as one of their
flagship fundraising event. Cedric was recognised for his work in this respect and was
awarded an MBE. He was also recognised by many local organisations and was held in high
regard. There are several books about Cedric and his life and a Guide and fisherman. He was
never happier than when telling stories of what he got up to on the sands and sharing his
experiences.
Cedric retired as Guide in 2019, when he was succeeded by Michael Wilson, another
Flookburgh Fisherman. Cedric remained on at the Guide’s Farmhouse and acted as an
ambassador for the Trust. He would still come out on the sands for the walks on his tractor.
During this time Olive was sadly unwell and so he spent much of his time caring for her. She
passed away in August this year and this had a devastating effect on him from which he did
not recover.

The Guide over Sands Trust
The Trust is a charity and is registered with the Charity Commission under the name of The
Charity for the Guides over the Leven and Kent Sands. It was formed in 1877 and set up by
the Duchy of Lancaster, who owns much of Morecambe Bay. The guides have been
appointed since the Dissolution of the Monasteries and probably earlier than this too. When
the Charity was formed, it was endowed by the Duchy with a house for each of the Guides
and also some land. The Guides were appointed and were expected to reside in the houses
provided and apart for some very small retainer, this remained the reward for the
appointment.
Three Trustees have always overseen the affairs of the Trust and the Trustees today are Lord
Cavendish of Furness, DL, Mrs Shirley Cahill and Richard Stokes. All are local to the area,
having been brought up in the area and an affinity for the Trust and the Bay.
There are two Guides. Raymond Porter who oversees the Leven sands and Michael Wilson
who oversees the Kent sands. Both are active fishermen.

Dickon Knight,
Clerk and Agent
Guide over Sands Trust


The Morecambe Bay sands are renowned for their quick sands and fast flowing tides. Crossing the sands has always been dangerous. The Guide over Sands Trust is a charity which provides two guides, to offer safe passage across both Kent and Leven Estuaries.