Fire walk at The World’s End pub in Patching

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By Nicolas Pierce

Twenty-two sponsored daredevils took part in a fire-walk at The World’s End pub on Arundel road in Patching on Wednesday night.

Dozens of family and friends turned out to watch the feat, which required contestants to walk barefoot along a 500 degree path of hot coals before dunking their feet in buckets of cold water and earning eternal (well, for the evening at least) glory in the process.

Many of the participants, who had to pay £50 to enter, were raising money for Worthing and District Animal Rescue Service (WADARS), who are involved in the rescuing and re-homing of domesticated animals.

Denise Hodgson, 51, who took part in the firewalk and raised around £1200 for WADARS and Naomi House, a Children’s Hospice in Winchester, said: “I felt physically sick beforehand, and had visions of myself falling over, but it wasn’t as bad as I expected. I got a little bit of the embers in my toes, but you have to keep walking. I’m glad I did it.”

The participants felt the heat at 9pm, some of them in fancy dress, to a soundtrack of appropriately themed music, like 90s dance act Prodigy’s ‘Firestarter’ and tribal drumming.

WADARS, who are also heavily involved in the rescuing of injured wildlife, had erected a tent at the event in order to spread the word about their organisation.

WADARS employee Nikki Parsons said: “This is the first time we’ve done the firewalk here, so we hope it’ll be a success.”

Judging by the reaction of the crowd, the daredevilry displayed tonight is unlikely to be a one-off.

Onlooker Cindy Gray, 49, said: “I thought I’d quite like to have a go at doing it myself!”

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