Posted by: ezraezra7 | January 19, 2014

Thank you

Grandad pic“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain

Expeditions don’t just happen, they start with an inkling, an idle thought, a ‘what if?’.  And then there’s a hell of a lot of hard work and endless setbacks.  But, with lots of people’s belief and support (and inevitably a few detractors along the way), the expedition struggles into life.  And that’s all before you even set off.

Lewis and Carl’s ambitious expedition to the South Pole couldn’t have happened without the help, encouragement, generosity and enthusiasm of a lot of different people. So this is a big thank you to the many individuals and organisations who have shown such belief in Lewis, and to those who through their generous donations to The Prince’s Trust (via Just Giving online), will now help other young people to overcome fears, or difficulties, to get out there and achieve their goals.  Please keep donating, you really can change lives.

Thank you to:

Mo and Harry Johnson (Harry pictured above): Lewis’s grandparents who recently passed away but who loved to travel and without whose generosity this expedition would never have happened.

Carl Alvey, ANI Polar guide, veteran of many Greenland ice cap crossings and several shorter Antarctic expeditions, who guided Lewis to his goal so expertly.  He also completed this classic Hercules Inlet coast to pole journey for the first time himself.

ANI (Adventure Network International)/ALE (Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions) who provided flights and logistics which got Lewis and Carl where they needed to be and helped keep them safe.

Jon Bradshaw, 1st Irish Team to the South Pole 2008, English Channel Swim supporter and seeder of the idea

QEH school, Bristol – who have supported Lewis all the way, including helping him to take his GCSE maths exam a year early and teachers who have provided extra work for him to do through the holidays and will help him catch up on his return.

Dan Snow who loves an adventure and helped fundraising for the expedition

Hannah McKeand who, at 6 expeditions, holds the record for the person to have journeyed to the South Pole more than any other, and also prides herself on inspiring and mentoring young adventurers like Lewis

Sol Clarke (aged 11), Lew’s little brother.  Who endured endless trips to Weston Super Mare, where Lewis practised his tyre pulling, and did lots of media interviews on his brother’s behalf with great aplomb. And who put up with inevitable questions about following in his brother’s footsteps.  Sol is his own person and will no doubt make footsteps of his own, most likely not in the snow.


Val Iles Lewis’s nursery nurse and surrogate Grandma who loves an adventure and clearly read him too much Dr Seuss

Icon Films, Bristol, for fundraising and technical support

Tom Creed, Lew’s mate, who donated money to the Prince’s Trust not once but twice from his paper round

Our Honda car (1999) which showed, and continues to show, great endurance of it’s own as it should have been retired 3 years ago.  191,000 miles on the clock.  Thanks for keeping going.

All of Lewis’s family, friends and teachers – for the messages of support that kept him going

… and finally, to the man in the pub who saw Lewis’s story on the news; the lady in Trinidad and the grandma and grandson from ‘The North’, and everyone else, who were inspired by Lewis’s story and donated to the Prince’s Trust on his behalf, thank you.


  1. What a lovely piece. I’m the lady in Trinidad who donated but I’m also Carl’s Aunty and a very proud one too! The boys have done an amazing job and we have watched their progress with the greatest admiration! I hope they have enjoyed a much lazier day today and look forward to hearing more about their journey when they arrive home. X

  2. Congratulations Lewis on your absolutely amazing achievement – we knew you would do it! Uncle Robin, Auntie Jane and Meg

  3. You missed out two very important people to thank here, yourself Stephen (Lewis’s Dad) and Sarah (his Mum), as a parent myself I cannot comprehend how difficult it must have been to say goodbye to Lewis when he left. Your support for him has been amazing. There are times when I wish my teenager was at the South Pole!!!!!, but the reality is very different and I know it’s been tough for both of you. The last 48 or so days must have been extremely stressful at times, and the relief now must be immense. I am sure you cannot wait to see him, no doubt he will feel the same way.
    So Mr Hall, I think the parents need some merit points too please.
    My very best congratulations to you as a family, not only is Lewis pretty amazing but his immensely supportive parents are too.
    The Creeds xx

  4. Many congratulations to Lewis for his amazing achievement & kudos to his parents & Sol for the love, support & encouragement that helped him get where he is! Truly inspiring!

  5. He’s done it and safely back now. I know he’s only 16 but I think he deserves a knighthood. That would look good on his university entrance application. What a fantastic example he’s set. Its people like him you hope one Day run the country.

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