Television host Anneka Rice returned to Exmoor last week to celebrate the 25th anniversary of one of her famous challenges.
Calvert Trust Exmoor welcomed Anneka to the centre to revisit the boathouse constructed by the Challenge Anneka team back in 1993.
The episode of the popular show, which aired on BBC One, saw her challenged by West Buckland School pupils Ben and Amber Gatehouse to convert a derelict barn into a fully-accessible boathouse in just two days.
Ben and Amber’s appeal included critical improvements to access so that anyone with a disability could get out to the lake at Calvert Trust and go sailing.
The challenge had been hampered by rain and patchy phone signal, but the challenge team were able to complete the project in time to celebrate with a regatta on Wistlandpound Reservoir.
On her return to the Calvert Trust, Anneka walked the original zig-zag path down to the boathouse and was able to look at the facilities that have been added since 1993.
She said: “I remember being bowled over by the beauty on that final day when we’d gone through all the rain and the project was completed, there was a wonderful regatta, the sun came out and we all had lumps in our throats just seeing all those smiling faces.
“It’s quite emotional seeing it again. A couple of decades on – and the rest – it’s still going strong. It’s amazing!”
Ben and Amber have both spent time volunteering at the Calvert Trust and also completed their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award residentials with the charity.
Ben said: “We truly hope our letter written naively to Anneka has and will continue to be an asset to the Trust in providing life changing holidays.
“We still remember vividly the shock and surprise of Anneka walking into our school assembly. At the time we were amazed by the local businesses’ willingness to help a great cause in such a short time frame.”
It’s the second time Anneka has revisited one of her challenges in North Devon.
Last year she visited Ilfracombe, joining the community to mark 25 years since the Slade centre was built for Challenge Anneka.
The show saw the former dilapidated Ilfracombe library building moved across town and rebuilt as a new community facility.