Alumni - PMT walk the Thames (MA Publishing 2008-09)

Jonathan Davis and Gareth Watkins (MA Publishing 2008-09) write about their charity walk along the Thames in the summer of 2010.

On 17 July 2010, four members of publishing Men Together (PMT) - established on a crisp autumnal induction day at Oxford Brookes in 2007 - set off on a 100-mile, 7-day walk along the Thames Path. Journeying from London to Oxford, they raised money for and awareness of Booktrust UK ( and their programmes to support literacy at all levels of development. It also helped that their charitable activities are vaguely publishing-related, as there’s nothing better than helping support the readers of the future! As publishers we all believe in the importance of higher levels of literacy: not just to sell books, but because it is a lifelong skill that some children (and adults) never get to experience fully.

Along the way, we did or randomly saw/experienced/created a lot of memories. Here is just a small sample we’ve been asked to share:

  • the filming of a Take That video. Sadly the main group (including Robbie!) had already left
  • taking a detour (as a result of said Take That video) down the three mile London 2012 Olympic rowing lake (and nearly dying of heat exhaustion in the process!)
  • encountering a ‘Swan Upping’ ( (which is something that has to be seen to be believed - you’re strongly encouraged to click the link and watch the video!)
  • meeting a 70 year-old man who walked a section of the path (about 20 miles or so) every two weeks to visit his daughter
  • camping on our own private island
  • rediscovering a love of the English countryside and gaining a new appreciation for one of the most beautiful rivers in the world (the further you get out of London, the better it gets!)

As we are all fellow graduates of the Masters in Publishing programme at Oxford Brookes, this walk was a terrific experience (and one which we owe indirectly to our time together at school in 2007-08). The creation of our group, in the beginning, was merely a means of putting the ‘pub’ back into publishing and having a bit of a laugh, but Dave, Robbie, Gareth, Geoff, Chris and I have all come to benefit directly from what we learned and now apply in our real day-to-day jobs in publishing, thanks to the course. We’d like to thank all our former MA classmates and tutors, who keep in touch and supported and sponsored us along the way. Publishers really do stick together!

At the time of writing, our Just Giving web page ( is still active and accepting donations. So far, PMT has raised over £1,200 for Booktrust UK!

What’s next, you might ask? Well I’ll be jumping on my bike to do 50 miles for Book Aid International in Bike for Books ( on 4 September! At half the distance and less than a third of the fundraising target how can you not donate? Click here to do so now:

Finally, to get an inside look at our adventures and fundraising efforts from the walk, we invite you to read our daily blog here:

Thanks for reading; we hope you enjoy the pictures too!

Posted on 02 Sep 2010 around 12pm