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NEC Chairman takes on Master Cutler’s Challenge

NEC, Chairman, Vince Middleton OBE has signed up to the Master Cutler’s Challenge 2023. To raise money to support the community programmes at Wentworth Woodhouse in Rotherham, Vince will be challenging himself to swim the length of Lake Windermere in the Lake District, which is just over 18km or 11 miles long on the 2nd of September as part of the Aquasphere Chillswim Windermere End-to-end event.

A view of Lake Windermere from Loughrigg Fell in the Lake District, UK.

The route starts at Fell Foot Park at the Southern end of the Lake and after 11 miles finishes at Waterhead at the Northern end. Swimmers will keep within approximately 50 metres of the shore for the vast majority of the route guided by the Numbered Event Mile Marker Buoys.

After the start from Fell Foot swimmers will then follow relatively close to the Eastern shore for the first 2 miles before being guided across towards the Western shore and then continue to swim relatively close to the Western Shore, past the Ferry Crossing and to the west of the islands around Bowness including the largest island Belle Isle and continue North until crossing back over to complete the swim at the traditional Windermere End to End Finish at Waterhead.

Vince said “It is a long time since I swam my first mile in Windermere for the Master Cutlers challenge, I have now challenged myself to swim from one end to the other.  Somewhere in the region of 11 miles if I swim straight. It is well worth a visit and pledging some of your hard earned for the projects they do, if not for that, then just to see me suffer!! Many thanks and best wishes”

You can donate to support the cause through Vince’s Just Giving link


Congratulations to our Chairman, Vince Middleton on completing his swim of the length of Lake Windermere on Saturday in 6 hours 13 minutes 46 seconds! He has tried 3 times to do this swim and weather has prevented it previously.

A distance of 11 miles with some mind blowing stats:
– 8,139 strokes
– 24 jelly babies
– 3,887 calories

Each year, the Master Cutler of Hallamshire chooses a charity to be supported through the Master Cutler’s Challenge. The new Master Cutler for 2022/23, Dame Julie Ann Kenny DBE DL, is Chair of the Board of Trustees here at Wentworth Woodhouse and has therefore chosen the community programmes for Wentworth Woodhouse as her charity.

The challenge was launched on 2nd March 2023 at the Cutler’s Hall in Sheffield and will run until the end of September 2023, giving participating organisations 6 whole months to raise as much money as possible. The Master Cutler presented participants with a cheque for £50 towards seed funding for their fundraising activities.

Master Cutler, Dame Julie Kenny DBE DL said “Every year the Master Cutler has a theme, a cause they want to raise awareness of and take action around, and mine is diversity and inclusion. The Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust is a charity that is very close to my heart. I personally know how hard it is to be a woman in STEM – how uncomfortable it can be walking into a male-dominated room, with the ‘are you the secretary?’ comments and the lack of respect for your position. That is why I am so proud of ‘The Sky’s the Limit Programme’ and many others Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust offers for a wide range of communities in South Yorkshire.

“Wentworth Woodhouse is one of the core pillars in South Yorkshire providing community and educational programmes and delivering training in dedicated skills such as entrepreneurship, conservation, heritage, digital and hospitality. It is not only about the building but supports a wide range of people and communities in low-income households, including ethnic and minority interests and disability groups to help enrich their lives with cultural activities.”