Walking Hadrian’s Wall

Walking Hadrian’s Wall                                               125 logo


I had the chance to walk along Hadrian’s Wall eight years ago when Stewart Simpson, retire Chief Executive of CACDP invited me – but I was already booked for a holiday.  Eight months ago John, a fellow walk leader for “Walking for Health,” asked me to join him.  We both wanted to fundraise but were afraid of asking for sponsorship – as at 68 we have weak knees and ankles.


Now we’ve achieved the walk please make it more memorable by donating to the NDS’ “125 year fundraising appeal”.


We started on the west coast at Bowness of Solway and walked 16 miles into Carlisle.  I met Philip and Jane Kilgour for an evening meal and to reminisce – as Philip was Chief Executive of Leicester Deaf Society at a similar time I was with Nottinghamshire Deaf Society.


Second day we set off at 9am and walked until 4pm.  Sadly it was windy and wet although it was the middle of June!  Luckily the wind was mainly westerly – so behind us.  It rained 6 out of 7 days so we had to wear waterproofs and dry our boots etc. every night.  The other weather problem was the mist which spoilt the tremendous views from the top of the crags, as I imagine you could normally see 30 miles in all directions.


Each day we would stop to talk to people we passed.  The questions were always the same – “where did you start from today?  What is it like?  Where is your home?”


We met people from all over UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada.  One day I counted that we spoke to 55 people and one was a Deaf Sign Language user.  I noted he had 2 hearing aids and although he was walking with 2 other people he did not join in with the conversation.  I soon put a smile on his face when I signed to him.


We stayed each night in a different B& B and having so much fresh air and pub dinners (with a few beers) we were going to bed fairly early.  In the morning we would have enormous full English breakfasts.  Yet, even with all the exercise I put on half a stone in weight.


The most impressive aspects of the Wall was the design, thought, and strength to build 84 miles – mostly 9 feet wide and high over an undulating height of 1,132 feet with 16 forts, 80 mile castles and 158 turrets.


We were so pleased to arrive at Wallsend and especially on a dry day, our first one in seven days.  We were also pleased to be able to use our ‘Bus Passes’ to go back to our car at Bowness.  It was a long tiring journey, but a worthwhile achievement.


Please give generously to the ‘NDS 125 Campaign.’ I can associate with the last 40 years, as I joined the NDS on the 1st of August 1975.


*Currently, £240 has been donated to the NDS 125 Campaign as a result of this fundraising effort.

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