Every story has its origin as does a river and we feel that origins are important - important to share. If you're into getting to the route of something stick around and we'll share with you the origin of the logo revealing a captivating story.
The Wye Explorer's association with the spectacular Kingfisher (Alcedo Atthis) started back in 1989 when the founders father Terry Jickells died of Cancer. He'd been retired from the world famous SAS (Special Air Service) for a few years but was still close to his former Colleagues. Author and survival expert John Lofty Wiseman was one such friend. Lofty would visit Terry often when ill and together they would speak of the Kingfisher that visited the pond outside of his hospital window. Upon his death Lofty purchased a statue of a Kingfisher for Terry's wife Pat the founder's mother. Other sculptures and images were subsequently purchased and Ex SAS Operative Jo Lock painted one all in memory of Jick. As you can imagine Kingfishers began to emerge in the household.
Image of Lofty: From Nonfictionguy on listal.com
At the time of Terry's death his sons Paul and Mark struggled with addictions and all the social and mental ramifications that came with it. They had always spent a life outdoors swimming in the River Wye and walking everywhere but it wasn't until their father died that the Kingfisher really came into sharp focus.
In recovery from various toxins they would sit near the river Wye where they would hear the bird first before seeing it fly low in resolute flight. With its brilliant Turquoise blue, it would lift their spirits bringing their father, a lifelong inspiration, close once more. Rare to many but widely known it was a motivating force in terms of healing mentally, emotionally and physically.
Kingfisher Image: All credit goes to the author. Go to 谷崎かおる
A Few Facts About the Kingfisher
As Paul and Mark continued their healing journey their affinity with the Kingfisher grew, which resulted in them adopting it as their trusted guide and totem and later as the logo for an events company they visualized. Events didn't materialize for this but a connection to the rivers of the Wye during their healing journey did. Seeking a logo for their river walks from source it felt natural to assign the Kingfisher Logo that had already been designed to the Wye Explorer. It was by default.
Emblems are powerful as Paul and Mark knew only too well having grown up with the famous Wings and Dagger of the SAS. They aimed to create something as powerful and in the Kingfisher they discovered their own message of dynamism, will, determination, beauty and strength. It's been on a journey!
Picture: Robbo Roberts Left with Terry right as part of the SAS Free fall team wearing the caps and badge of the SAS. Picture is the property of Mark Jickells and may not be used without his expressed permission. Copyright
Designed and hand painted by Kevin Kimber who illustrates for the BBC and the Frankfurt Book Fair to name a few clients it's truly a world class image that constitutes nature, a love for the outdoors and the River Wye. When in its company you know its values and are motivated to explore the Wye and its catchment in the most ethical, exciting and enthusiastic way.