‘You’ll Never Walk
Liverpool Football Club to the Pretty Pigs Pub, Tamworth
‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’
Anfield, Liverpool Football Club to the Pretty Pigs Pub, Tamworth
Walk4Louis 6 saw their highest walking participants to date with 4 people doing the full distance. The four walkers were:
Paul Taft - Hi my name is Paul and I'm 44 and live in Cramlington, Northumberland with my wife Julia, daughter Lily and step kids Michael & Michelle and also have a granddaughter; Priya. Apart from my family my other big passions are Aston Villa Football Club and horse racing. I work as a warehouse operative for a drilling company called Vaston. It is here I met my boss and Kirsty's father Bob and after seeing the heartache and devastation that the family went through when Kirsty gave birth to their Sleeping Angel Louis and hearing of how the family wanted to try and help other families who went through this upset I felt compelled to help. So after enlisted Phil's help in setting up Walk4Louis we were in a position to do something to help other people who suffer the same devastation as I couldn't imagine what it would feel like to go through. So with every walk and every penny we can raise to help 4Louis provide keepsake memory boxes to bereaved parents I know I'm helping parents.
Phil Barker - Hi my name is Phil and I am 38 and live in Tamworth with my wife, Charlotte. I have 3 sons Liam, Ben and Tom and 1 granddaughter Mia. I work as a Project Manager for Sainsbury's Supermarkets, which sometimes involves working away from home, because of this I like spending my free time with my family. My other passions in my life are supporting Aston Villa Football Club and enjoy watching my home national team Wales playing in football and rugby. My reason for helping Paul do Walk4Louis was my sister-in-law Nicola gave birth to Holly in September 2009 but unfortunately she was only with us for 12 days before she joined the sleeping angels. So I agreed to help Paul in Holly's memory and to help raise some money for a charity that helps towards a subject that is rarely spoken about. Since we founded Walk4Louis it has gone from strength to strength.
Mark Deleon - Hi my name is Mark I'm 41 and live in Tamworth with my partner Sheila. I have 2 children who I love spending time with. I am a community care worker which I thoroughly enjoy doing as I feel like I am giving something back by helping people of all ages to do their day to day duties. When I am not working or spending quality time with my family I enjoy playing snooker and darts, which allows me to get out and socialize with lots of people, which I love to do. I also like getting out into the fresh air to walk my dog. The reason I decided to get on board with the guys and the charity is really a continuation of the buzz I get from doing my job I want to give something back and helping a worthy charity and help people who have unfortunately gone through what must be one of the most painful ordeals that anyone can go through. I don't do it for any kind of acknowledgement I do it purely to help people because I know I can.
Julie Ridley - Hi my name is Julie and I am 50 years old and live in Birmingham with my family. I have 2 teenage daughters who I love and I have been a police officer for the past 25 years. In my spare time I am learning to ride a motorbike and my other loves in my life apart from my family are Birmingham City Football Club and German shepherd dogs. I want to be as active as I can while I'm still lucky to have my health so that is what is inspiring me to join the guys. I can't begin to understand the heartache for the families of stillborn babies and those unfortunate to have miscarriages. I have been so impressed by the people who are doing the walk already as they have so much enthusiasm that I want to be part of it and raise funds for the campaign and awareness.
This year for the first time Walk4Louis had a 3rd spoke to their wheel, as joining Paul and Phil was Mark Deleon who had done Walk4Louis 5 with Paul the previous year and was an old friend of Paul and Phil’s when they all lived in Tamworth. Walk4Louis6 Paul wanted to put a new twist on the walk and include something that he had wanted to do for a couple of years and that is to visit some of the hospitals, hospices and units that 4Louis provide Keepsake memory boxes for. With this in mind Phil got a list of all the hospitals from Bob McGurell and set about trying to find a viable route that finished in the Tamworth area. Phil found that a route that probably worked the best, which had the potential to visit a few of the hospitals, was one that started at Liverpool. Initially the route would have the walkers following the route of the Grand Shropshire Canal but this had to change after Paul struggled to find accommodation in the Nantwich area so after a bit of map studying Phil found an alternative solution. With the new list of stopovers Paul set about finding accommodation for the 3 walkers and after some hard work managed to get the accommodation sorted. With the hotels booked Phil could then get on with plotting the routes for all 8 days. After a lot of map studying Phil had nailed the routes, which worked out to be a total of 155 miles. With these two essential pieces in place the group could then concentrate on getting sponsors and sourcing media coverage. While Paul was using Twitter to try and get awareness for the walk out there he got talking to a lady called Julie Ridley a police officer from Birmingham and after a short while speaking to her. Paul managed to convince her to join the cause so 3 became 4 as Walk4Louis welcomed their fourth member. After months of rigorous planning everything was in place and the walk was to begin on the 27th June 2015 from Liverpool Football Club’s ground Anfield and be finishing at the Pretty Pigs Pub in Tamworth.
June 26th - The Eve of the Walk
It was agreed that the walkers would get the train to Liverpool, so with tickets booked in advance Paul’s train would be departing Newcastle train station at 14:00 and Phil, Mark and Julie would be leaving Tamworth train station at 14:10 but where Paul’s train was direct to Liverpool the other 3 would have to change at Stafford train station and have a half hour wait for the next train.
Julie had arranged with Mark to leave her car at his house for the week and that Mark’s girlfriend Shelia would drop them at the train station to meet Phil. Julie was running a little late getting to Mark’s so Phil was the first to arrive at Tamworth station. He took a seat to wait for the others to arrive. Whilst this was going on Paul had caught the bus to Newcastle Train Station and was taking his seat after boarding his train. With about 5 minutes to spare Mark and Julie arrived with Mark carrying a rucksack pulling a suitcase and carrying a holdall. Phil laughed and asked Mark if he had been kicked out. Mark explained, apart from the rucksack it was all Julie’s stuff, Julie was standing there holding more clothes inside a suit cover and also a large handbag. Julie told them this was her travelling light; the others would hate to see how she normally travels. Their train was announced to be arriving so they went out on to the platform and got on to the train unfortunately it was standing room only; luckily they were only going 3 stops, which would take about half an hour.
Meanwhile on Paul’s train, he was unlucky enough to have someone sitting next to him who had dropped off to sleep and had started to snore but as he had the window seat he had nowhere to go. He just had to sit there and endure it. While he was sitting there he had a message come through on his phone from Phil to let him know that the other 3 were on the train and on their way but had to stand. So Paul texted back to let them know that having a seat isn’t everything and told them about the man sitting next to him. Phil texted back saying “it could have been worse; he could have his head on your shoulder and drooling on you.”
Julie, Mark and Phil’s train arrived in Stafford, as they were disembarking an announcement was being made about a delay to a train going to Liverpool, Phil hoped this wasn’t their train as it was a half hour wait anyway without it being any longer. They checked which platform they had to go to and then walked there. When down on the platform Phil realised that upon checking the departures screen it was an earlier Liverpool that had been delayed and it was due in anytime now so they wouldn’t have to wait long. Just then a train approached but it went past; it was a freight train so Mark joked he hoped they weren’t travelling in the cheap class and they didn’t have to go on that train. Mark then decided he needed the toilet and went to try and find them, he soon returned, as they were right over the other side of the station so decided to wait till he was on the train. After one more freight train went by, the Liverpool train arrived so they got on and this time they were able to find a seat. After they set off from Stafford and Mark had been to the toilet the 3 of them got talking and decided to play a trick on Paul. Instead of telling him they had managed to catch an earlier train and would be getting there before him they told him that the train had been delayed and they weren’t sure what time they would be getting there. When Paul got this message he could believe it and wondered what he was going to do to pass time until they arrived.
After a good chat getting to know each other better they were soon arrived at Liverpool Lime Street station and got off the train. They went and found a place to wait for Paul. After a little while his train arrived and they saw him dawdling along the platform, it wasn’t till he was virtually on top of them that he noticed them and told them all where to go when he realised they had played a trick on him. With the group now together and in good spirits Phil checked his phone to see where the hotel was and discovered it was about a 10 minute walk away. So instead of getting a taxi the group decided to walk and made their way out of the station and to the Richmond hotel.
Once arrived and checked in they went up to their room, which was a very posh family apartment. It had 2 bedrooms with two single beds in each, a lounge area, a kitchen area and two bathrooms. Phil said as there were 3 men and one lady then the lady should have the one bathroom and the other 3 would share the other one. Julie thought this was very sweet and chivalrous. She told them that she wanted to share her room with Phil because he was such a gentleman. Once they were settled in and had time to relax they decided to go and find somewhere to eat before it got too late. After a little wander round they came across a Weatherspoon’s which Phil told them normally do good food at reasonable prices and the drinks were cheap, that sounded good to the group so they went in and found a table and sat down. After deciding on what to have Paul went and ordered the food and drinks. Following a good meal, a few drinks and a good talk the group decided to head back to the hotel; they need to start sorting things out for in the morning.
Once back at the hotel and in the room they all sorted the bags out so there was less to do in the morning and settled down for the night all ready for Walk4Louis6 to begin in the morning.
June 27th – Day 1 Anfield, Liverpool Football Club to
Bebington House, Bebington
Via Liverpool Women’s Hospital & Arrowe Park Hospital
Via Liverpool Women’s Hospital & Arrowe Park Hospital
Day 1 had arrived and the first to rise were Phil & Mark who got themselves and the bags ready and made their respective room companions a coffee to help them wake up. Eventually Julie then Paul got up and got themselves ready to go downstairs for breakfast. They picked their entire luggage up and took them down and asked the receptionist if they could store them till Cathy arrived to move them. The receptionist opened up their luggage storage cupboard and they placed their bags inside before going for breakfast. They fetched what they wanted to eat and asked the waitress for 3 coffees and a tea but only got 1 coffee and 1 tea. Phil got cheeky and asked the waitress for 3 straws for coffee, she realised her mistake and apologised and fetched another 2 cups of coffee. Paul was first to finish, so while he waited for the others to finish he went to speak to the receptionist who the group had nominated to christen the angel bear they had brought with them to take photos of them on their journey. She asked whether the bear was male or female. Paul told her it was a unisex bear and the receptionist decided on the name Alex, as this was a unisex name. So that was it; the fifth member of the group had been named Alex, the Walk4Louis Bear ‘That bear gets everywhere!’ As Paul finished talking to the receptionist Cathy arrived to move the bags, Paul took her through to introduce her to the other walkers and after a brief chat went to help her fetch the bags. As they were picking the bags up Cathy asked how they were getting to the start and they said they were going to get a taxi. She said she would give them a lift rather than them getting a taxi and she would come back for the bags afterwards. After relaying this to the receptionist, they got into Cathy’s car and set off for Anfield.
After a 5-minute car journey they arrived at Anfield and Cathy pulled into the car park by the Kop and they all got out. They decided to take some photos of the stadium and there was a statue of Bill Shankly one of Liverpool Football Club’s famous managers, they had their photo taken with it. Phil explained that they needed to get to the other side of the stadium because that’s where the Shankly Gates and the Hillsborough Memorial was and where they were scheduled to start their walk, the walkers thanked Cathy for her help and they would see her again in the morning as she had agreed to move the bags for the group the next day too. The walkers set off but hit a problem when the side street where the map said they had to use to get to the other side of the ground was blocked off due to the football club extending one of their stands. They walked down to where a couple of stewards were standing and asked them how to get to the Shankly Gates, but they told the walkers that due to the reconstruction work taking place on one of the stands the gates had been taken down and put into storage. They went on to say that the Hillsborough Memorial had been moved to the stand behind them but the Eternal Flame had been relocated in the Cathedral. They let the group go up to the memorial and while taking some photos the stewards came back and told them they could take them into the stadium to take photos of the pitch and stands This pleased Mark immensely, as he was a Liverpool fan. The all agreed it would be fantastic and went into the ground and took some photos. They thanked the stewards and left the ground. After some gentle limbering up they set off for Liverpool Women’s Hospital.
Around 45 minutes later they arrived at Liverpool Women’s Hospital and were greeted by a group of nurses and midwives. They had laid on some refreshments for the group. After a short meet and greet with the nurses and midwives and something to eat and drink, they all went outside for photos in front of a statue. The walkers thanked the nurses and midwives for all their help and support and were ready to set off on the next leg of the day’s walk. Two midwives accompanied them from the hospital; Sarah Martin and Pauline McBurnie, who were going to guide them through Liverpool to the ferry port. First stop on this leg of the walk was St James’s Mount, where the Anglican Cathedral stands. After they took some photos of the outside Sarah and Pauline asked them if they would like to go inside to have a look at the Eternal Flame from the Hillsborough Memorial. The group said they would so they went down to the cathedral and after a couple of photos outside with the ‘Welcoming Christ’ statue situated above the entrance they went in to have a look. It was a very big and impressive building inside with a few interesting facts such as; the bells are the highest and heaviest in the world, the pink neon sign inside that reads ‘I felt you and knew you loved me’ was designed by Tracey Emin and the cathedral is the longest in the world. Whilst inside the cathedral they found the Hillsborough Eternal Flame and took a picture of Alex and the flame. Soon it was time to leave and they headed up Hope Street towards the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral a.k.a ‘Paddy’s Wigwam’ after some photos outside they moved on and their guides took them towards Liverpool City Centre.
After taking more photos at St George’s Hall they carried on round St John’s Gardens and headed towards the Cavern Club. The Cavern Club is a famous music venue in Liverpool made most famous because it is where The Beatles played during their early careers. Artists like Cilla Black were also discovered there. Outside the group took some photos of a bronze John Lennon statue with Alex and of a plaque on the wall. The wall was made up of bricks with the names of everyone who had played at the Cavern Club on them. From the Cavern Club they carried on past the Hard Nights Hotel; a Beatles themed hotel and on to the Liverpool One shopping centre, getting its name from the first shop, which is an Official Liverpool Football Club shop. Phil found it quiet ironic and funny that the second shop along was an Official Everton Football Club shop and commented that it will always be Liverpool 1 Everton 2. After coming out of the shopping centre they walked past a live music stage outside the Hilton Hotel before heading down to the Albert Dock.
It was Armed Forces Day and down at the Albert Docks all the armed forces were there, so as the group walked around they thought it would be quite good for Alex to have photos with all 3 armed forces. As they were doing this one of the men from the navy commented ‘The bear that gets everywhere’ would be a good tag for Alex and the group liked this and it stuck with him for the rest of the walk. Whilst taking the pictures, the Mayor of Liverpool arrived and Alex even got his picture taken with him with the Royal Liver Building in the background. As the group carried on they noticed they had lost Paul and he was last seen talking on his phone. They stood and scanned the area and noticed Paul walking towards them talking to some bloke. When he caught the others up he introduced his friend as Patrick Monoghan, a comedian off the telly who has appeared on shows like Mock the Week. Paul had got him to agree to walk with them for a couple of hours he wanted to do more but had a gig to do that evening. So the group headed off towards the ferry port to get the ‘Ferry Cross the Mersey’.
The group went into the ticket office and once at the front of the queue Sarah and Pauline asked the assistant if he could sort out the group complimentary tickets for what they were doing he said he would have to fetch a manager to make that decision. The manageress came out but would not give them complementary tickets but did give them a concession ticket each which was 50p cheaper, not a lot but every little helps. Outside before joining the queue they said their thanks and goodbyes to Pauline and Sarah who were going to head back, once they had left the group boarded the ferry. The ferry had recently been repainted with a design from Sir Peter Blake, the man responsible for the design of the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover. They then had a welcome rest on the 20-minute ferry journey across the Mersey to Bebington.
Once off the ferry they headed to off to Bebington but soon stopped off at a newsagent to get some sandwiches and a drink. They set off again towards their next destination, Arrowe Park Hospital. As they walked along Phil noticed a building in front called Patrick Monoghan, which was a fantastic coincidence considering the building’s namesake was walking with us. A few photos later and Patrick doing a short selfie video of him in front of the building to post on his social media, it was time to carry on. Approximately after an hour’s walking they came to Prenton Park, home of Tranmere Rovers Football Club. They took a few photos with Patrick and they said their goodbyes as he had to head back to make sure he caught a ferry to get him back in time for his gig later. As they carried on up the road Phil started to become a little concerned about where they were according to his map. When he started seeing signs for Clatterbridge, the destination for one of the places they were due to visit tomorrow he knew something was wrong. So Phil got Google Maps up on his phone and after cross-referencing with the route he had on his map realised they had taken a wrong turn about just over a mile back. When he relayed this to the group they were very disappointed as they were starting to feel the day’s exertions in their legs. After a bit of studying Phil re-routed them and got them back on track but this would add about 2 miles to their day. Once back on track they decided to stop off for a break in a pub called the Halfway House to have a drink and to try and regroup.
After a nice drink and rest the walkers left pub but a mile further up the road Phil realised they had left the map behind. The group definitely didn’t want to go back so Phil told them he would use the map on his phone for directions to get to the hospital. As they went along a car pulled up alongside them and wound down their window, inside was a man with three boys. The driver reached across and gave Mark £5 and then the 3 boys also gave a couple of pound each. The walkers thanked them all for their generosity and the people in the car wished all the walkers well and good luck on their journey.
After a nice drink and rest the walkers left pub but a mile further up the road Phil realised they had left the map behind. The group definitely didn’t want to go back so Phil told them he would use the map on his phone for directions to get to the hospital. As they went along a car pulled up alongside them and wound down their window, inside was a man with three boys. The driver reached across and gave Mark £5 and then the 3 boys also gave a couple of pound each. The walkers thanked them all for their generosity and the people in the car wished all the walkers well and good luck on their journey.
Following a weary walk they reached Arrowe Park Hospital and were met by Hannah Horne, her husband Phil and their two very lively young sons. Once inside on the ward they were taken to a side room where there were drink and cakes waiting for them. They enjoyed their refreshments and were entertained by Hannah’s two boys. They had a good chat with Hannah and some of the other midwives who popped in to say hi, including Heather who orders the Keepsake Boxes from 4Louis for the unit. Heather asked if Paul was Bob as he had told her on the phone that he would be there as he was doing the walk as well. This came as news to the group! They had to apologise on Bob’s behalf for his non-appearance. In what seemed like no time at all it was time to carry on and make their way to the final destination of the day, the Bebington House Hotel, they took a few photos and said their goodbyes and thanked Hannah for her time. They set off back the way they had come and back towards Bebington.
On the route back a boy racer type car pulled up and the driver gave Mark £5 towards the cause and wished them good luck before shooting off. They carried on down the road and came across the Halfway House again and Mark went back in to see if he could find the map but came out empty handed. They had to use Phil’s phone to plot their route back to the hotel. At 19:30 the weary walkers finally reached the hotel and were glad that day 1 was over. Jo Vaghena greeted them and showed them to their room, where the walkers collapsed onto their beds and took off their trainers to let their feet breathe. After a rest and refreshing shower for each of the walkers they got changed and agreed to go to a pub up the road for something to dinner.
At King’s Arms they perused the menu and chose their meals and got a drink. While waiting for their food a couple of lads came round to ask if they wanted to take part in their raffle to help raise funds for the pub football team, they had a strip of ticket each. They asked the guys if they would return the favour and they made a note of the Text number and said they would donate and try and get some of the other players to donate as well. They’d had an enjoyable meal then went and sat outside to relax with a drink and to have a chat while they waited for the raffle draw. Unfortunately none of them won so they drank up and headed back to the hotel and climbed into their beds for a welcome night’s sleep.
June 28th – Day 2 Bebington House, Bebington to the Crowne
Via Claire House & Countess of Chester Hospital
Via Claire House & Countess of Chester Hospital
After a good night’s sleep the group woke up feeling refreshed and a whole lot better than the night before. They got up, Phil made everyone a drink, and they got dressed, sorted the bags out, took the bags downstairs and went and sat down for breakfast. Jo came and took their orders for breakfast and asked them if they had slept well to which they all said they had. She then asked where they were walking today and which route they were taking. After hearing the first leg of their journey was to Claire House Hospice and which way they were walking she offered them a shortcut through a golf course, which would shorten their route a little. Cathy and John turned up to pick the bags up and take them to Chester for them. The four walkers had a chat with them and while doing this Cathy went and fetched some drinks and sandwiches, which she had made for them to have during the day. They all thanked her for her kind gesture and she wished them all well on the rest of the walk. She asked them to keep her updated on how things were going. The group then had a photo taken with Jo outside of the hotel before they said their goodbyes and set off.
They walked out of Bebington and found the short cut Jo had told them about and set about walking across the golf course avoiding any stray golf balls along the way. On the other side of the golf course they got back on the road and were now only a short distance from Clatterbridge Hospital where Claire House was situated. They soon arrived at Claire House but after pressing the intercom to get in, the lady who answered didn’t know who they were and there was nothing in the diary for the day about Walk4Louis visiting. She let them into reception while she went to investigate; she soon returned and told them that it had been put in for the following week. She then took the group through to a kitchen area where they made them tea and gave them some biscuits while she went to organise somebody to come and talk to them. While they sat there the heavens opened and it started to rain quite heavily, the walkers thought they timed that well. A lady called Laura came and took them round the unit on a tour showing them the teenage wing including The Den, sensory rooms, water therapy room, infant and baby wing, butterfly suite and music therapy room. Laura talked about how they use Makaton, a type of sign language they use to help the kids communicate. The group found Laura very engaging and was very passionate about the work she and the other people do at the unit for children less fortunate than them. The group found it all very touching and emotional and brought home to them the importance of hospices like this one and the support they offer families. After the tour the walkers got themselves prepared to go again, luckily it had stopped raining so they were able to go outside and have some photos with some of the workers from the Hospice. They thanked Laura and the staff for their time and hospitality before hitting the road again for Chester.
The group headed out into the sticks and with the feel good factor in them from their time at Claire House. They made good progress and with the rain holding off and sun coming back out it started to warm up. A couple of hours after leaving Claire House they decided it was a good time for a break so wanted to find a spot where they could eat their sandwiches. Walking down a public footpath took them through a farmer’s yard where there was a farmer working in his tractor. There was a grass verge along the side that was tidy. The group decided this would be a good place to stop so took off the bag and sat down before getting the food and drink out. As they sat there in the sunshine enjoying their sandwiches and their rest the farmer came over on his tractor and moaned at them for sitting and eating on his land without permission and told us he didn’t want loads of rubbish left. Paul and Mark explained to him what we were doing and once he realised that he felt quiet sheepish and soon drove off back to his farm. After finishing off their food and making sure they had picked up any rubbish they were ready to set off again.
They carried on walking out in the country for another couple of hours before they started coming back into civilisation and signs pointing them towards Chester. On the outskirts of Chester and not far from the zoo they saw a sign at the side of the road for an ice cream shop so decided to stop for some refreshments. Paul and Julie had a drink while Phil and Mark had an ice cream. While they sat having a break a lady came up to them asked what they were doing and once Julie explained she gave a donation. Fully refreshed and after consulting the map they hit the road again towards the Countess of Chester.
As the group were starting to tire it seemed to take a while to get to the hospital but they finally made albeit a little weary legged. At the hospital they found their way to the neo-natal ward and were met by Yvonne and Cathy who made them a cup of tea and had a little chat with them before having a photo outside the unit. The walkers thanked them for their time and asked them how far to Chester to which the midwives told them it was only another couple of miles. Outside the hospital Julie finally volunteered to carry the rucksack and once she got it on she couldn’t believe how heavy it was and how the guys managed to carry it. They told her the rucksack was now at its lightest for the day as all the food and drink had gone out of it. Once she was comfortable(ish) they set off for the final couple of miles.
They arrived in Chester and walked past all the old buildings and down past the town hall and cathedral before turning down towards the hotel. The hotel took a little bit of finding but eventually they located it and got checked in. Julie and Mark were happy as they were given separate rooms as Phil and Paul had volunteered to share. The lads were quite looking forward to using this hotel because it had spa facilities. As soon as they had dropped the bag in the room they changed and went down for a chill in the Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and pool. Julie didn’t fancy joining them; she wanted to just relax by herself in her room. After a relaxing hour in the pool area they showered and changed so they could meet up with Julie again and go and get something to eat.
They met downstairs in the lounge area and after a short perusal of the hotel menu decided they would go out and find somewhere else to eat as the hotel was very expensive. After a little look round they found a Bella Italia and all went in. Once they’d been fed and watered and all a little tired they took a slow meander back to the hotel before crashing out for the night to try and get a good night’s sleep ready for the next day’s exploits.
June 29th – Day 3 Crowne Plaza, Chester to Dodington
Lodge Hotel, Whitchurch
Day 3 the walkers woke up in their respective rooms got themselves and their bags ready before going down for breakfast. Mark was the first out of his room and knocked on Paul and Phil’s door but got no reply he knocked again, still no reply so he assumed the guys must have already gone down for breakfast. He thought about knocking for Julie but kind of knew she wouldn’t be quite finished making herself look beautiful so left her alone and went down for breakfast. It turned out he was actually the first one there so he got a table for four and waited for the others to join him. A few minutes later Paul and Phil arrived and sat down with Mark who told them he had knocked on their door but got no reply and asked why they couldn’t have just said they weren’t ready instead of ignoring him. They said they hadn’t heard him knock, he replied that he had knocked room 203 a couple of times and wasn’t sure why they hadn’t heard him. Both Phil and Paul smiled and told Mark they were in 211. Mark didn’t believe them and thought they were winding him up until they showed him their room card. Mark was so glad that nobody answered the room he knocked on. After about 20 minutes Julie arrived so they all then went to get something to eat from the breakfast buffet. A woman serving the breakfast asked them what the t-shirts were about so Paul explained to her and after listening she wished them all good luck. After they had all finished breakfast they went back up to their rooms and fetched the bags and each took them downstairs to reception. The 3 lads got down first so while they waited for Julie to arrive they checked out. After about 10 minutes Julie arrived and asked Phil to put her handbag in the day bag. Phil took Julie’s handbag and placed it inside the day bag and when he had done that he couldn’t believe the weight difference just from the handbag being placed inside. He wondered if she had borrowed the bag from Mary Poppins and carried everything around including the kitchen sink. Phil then proceeded to show Paul and Mark the weight difference who were just as shocked as he was. Julie checked out and the walkers and Alex had several photos taken with the receptionist but struggled to get a decent one; it was quite a dark reception area. They finally got a good one, said their thank yous and goodbyes then set off for Chester.
As they walked along the high street Paul rang the local radio station, Radio Dee to get a shout out. While he was doing this Mark spotted a policeman and a police woman walking towards them and after Alex’s first day photo shoots with the armed forces thought it would be a good idea to get Alex to have his photo taken with the emergency services as well. He approached them and they were only too happy to oblige, the policeman even gave Mark his hat to wear. Afterwards the police wished them well and Mark thanked them for being good sports. As they carried on down the high street Julie chirped up that it wasn’t fair as Alex had had his photo with the armed forces, the police and with Cathy who was wearing her paramedic uniform the only emergency service Alex had not had his photo taken with was Julies favourite, the fire brigade. Julie had always had a thing for firemen She was determined to get a photo with one so the guys to promised that the next fireman they saw, she and Alex could have their photo taken with them. Phil noticed a large-scale toy fireman outside a toyshop and got Julie to have picture with it to wind her up, she wasn’t impressed and said it didn’t count; she still wanted the real thing. As they got to the end of the high street Phil wanted a picture of Eastgate clock, which was the second most pictured clock in the UK after Big Ben, but unfortunately it had been closed off for renovation work so they couldn’t get a proper photo of it.
he group proceeded to head out of Chester and followed the River Dee out into the sticks. As they walked they entered a 40 zone and Phil took a photo of Mark, Paul and Julie as they walked past the sign indicating this and made a comment that he was the only one under the limit being 38 years old. Arriving in the village of Alford they decided to take a toilet stop and short break at the village pub called the Governor’s Arms. When break time was over, they carried and just outside the village they left the road and went down a public footpath and onto a bridleway. Paul and Mark steamed off ahead while Phil and Julie were enjoying the views and taking photos. When they caught back up to where Paul and Mark were waiting Mark asked which way and commented that they needed to speed up and keep up. Phil took exception to this comment and spat his dummy and had a hissy fit and threw the maps to the floor and told Mark to read them himself and stormed off in a mood. The other 3 had a breather for a few minutes while they sorted maps out by which point Phil had gone ahead and was making his way down a very muddy path. The bridleway wasn’t the best but Phil still forged ahead ignoring all the midges and other flying insects. When he got to the other end of the bridleway he had calmed down a bit so decided to wait for the others to catch up, giving him time to gather his thoughts. Once they all had managed to negotiate the muddy path and they were all back together Mark apologised and all was well again between the merry wandering walkers.
It was back to road walking for a while and as they went round a corner they came across an over turned tractor trailer which had been full of grass cuttings but was now all over the road, path and someone’s garden. Farmers were trying to sort out what to do and there was a sheepish looking young lad standing to one side, which the walkers surmised, must have been the driver of the tractor when the trailer over turned. While walking away a tractor with a forklift arrived to try and get the trailer up right again. A little further down the road away from the incident they heard the approaching sirens, which they assumed, was the police going to help sort things out.
As they carried on they came into a village called Tilston where Phil had told them there was a pub. The group decided this would be a good place to have a break and get a nice cold drink. Unfortunately when they reached the pub it was closed. A family opposite who were doing some gardening told them the pub doesn’t normally open at lunchtime during the week but there was another pub in the next village about 3 miles further down the road in Malpas. Phil asked them if there was a shop in the village they told him there was a village store just around the corner and gave him directions. Phil went back to the others who were sitting in on the patio area of the pub on some picnic benches and gave them the two options. The group, in need of a break, unanimously decided the store was a better idea than carrying on to the next pub. So they all went to the shop, inside the store they all got some food and were served by a man who looked miserable for some reason and didn’t speak only to say how much they owed, seemed like he needed a charisma transplant. After the group had bought what they wanted they headed back to the beer garden and sat down to eat their lunch. When they’d finished eating they put their rubbish in the bin and thought about setting off. A couple of miles before getting to the pub Phil’s right foot had started hurting him and he decided to take his shoe and sock off and take a look what he had done before they set off again. Unfortunately he had quite a bad blister between two of his toes so he got the first aid kit out of the bag but looking in the first aid kit he couldn’t find any plasters, Paul had forgotten to pack them. Phil being the ex-boy scout that he is had to improvise and managed to strap up his toe as best he could to try and stop the rubbing. While he was doing this Julie heard some loud mooing in the field next to the pub and went to investigate she ended up talking to a cow hidden behind a hedgerow. After Phil was all sorted they were ready to hit the road again. A police car had pulled up to the house opposite so Julie, to keep up internal relations went over to speak to them and ask them about the incident up the road. Once she’d finished talking to them and their ears had stopped bleeding, they asked what they were up to and Julie explained. Mark asked if they would have a photo with Alex. A little lad who had been whizzing about on a mini motor cross bike then came up and they asked if he wanted to hold Alex and have his photo taken with the policemen so he did. The policemen then donated some money and wished them well for the rest of their journey.
They carried on to next village and about an hour later arrived in Malpas where Paul wanted to make a pit stop to check his compression shorts; he was starting to feel a bit sore around his groin. They stopped off at the Crown Hotel. When in the toilets Paul found that he had chaffed his testicles and asked if Phil would fetch him the Sudocrem. Phil went back outside where Mark and Julie were waiting, to get the cream out of the bag but on found it must have been put in the overnight bags by mistake. Phil went back into Paul and told him the bad news, so Paul had no choice but to get himself has comfortable as possible and carry on with a very sore ‘Phil and Grant’ as he had now christened them. With Paul sorted as best as he could be they set off again but a little further down the road Paul was in real discomfort and was getting no sympathy from the others, who just kept taking the mickey out of ‘Phil & Grant’. Paul then decided to ring his mum for advice. Julie couldn’t believe had candid Paul was with his mum over his small issue but the advice she gave him was to put some Vaseline on them. The only Vaseline they had between them was the small tub Mark used to keep his lips from going sore so wasn’t very willing for Paul to use it on his testicles.
As they reached the top of a steep hill a lady came out of her house with two small boys, she was carrying a jug of lemon squash and four glasses. She said she had driven past them coming up the hill while returning from the school run and thought they looked in need of a drink with it being quite warm today. They enjoyed a very refreshing drink the lady and her children gave a donation and had a photo taken with Alex, unfortunately Julie was managed to cut Alex out of the picture. They thanked her for her random act of kindness and she wished them well for the rest of their journey.
When group got to Dodington they walked through the town centre along to the Hotel. They were very glad to get there, go to their room, rest up, shower and change out of their sweaty clothes. Went it was Paul’s turn for the bathroom and he’d had his shower he finally got to rub some Sudocrem into ‘Phil & Grant’ and sooth the burning feeling. With everyone ready they went down for dinner in the pub. The owners had agreed to do some washing for them so Mark went and fetched all the dirty sweaty gear and took it down to them.
When they had had their dinner and a drink or two the owners asked if they could have a photo with them to try and get it into the local press. They told them the best place for the photo would be along the back wall in the function room. A local book club were using the function room and were in mid-debate about a book they had been reading when the motley crew of walkers invaded. They got a few stern glances from the group as they went past to the back of the room. They quickly had their photo taken before apologising and going back to the bar. On the way back through Julie and Paul got speaking to small group of elderly people who had come out for one of the couple’s anniversary. They were very interested in what they were doing, gave a donation and wished them well on the remainder of their journey. Towards the end of the evening Paul went outside to ring Cathy to give her an update on how they were doing and was on the phone quite a while. He started to lose his marbles while speaking to Cathy as he started to run around in circles on the grass. After an enjoyable evening the group were ready for their beds so went back up to their room got into their beds for a well-earned rest. Before going to sleep Julie rubbed cream into Phil’s sore toes and commented how hot and swollen his two toes had gone and that they need to keep an eye on them. The other two took the mickey saying they were like a walk husband and wife.
June 30th – Day 4 Dodington Lodge Hotel, Whitchurch to
Norwood House Hotel, Newport
The walkers all woke up fully refreshed from a good night’s sleep. Mark was the first one to be dressed and ready so went to fetch the previous days washing but when he asked for it he was told it was still wet. They gave Mark a clothes airer; he took it outside where the sun was already shining and hung the clothes out to dry. Outside was quite warm already they had forecast today was going to be the hottest day of the year and possibly the hottest July day on record. Not the ideal walking conditions but nobody was going to throw in the towel. Mark returned to the room and explained about the clothes so they all got themselves and the bags ready then went down for breakfast. After breakfast had been ordered and eaten Jason the hotel owner wanted some photos so he could send them to the local press. They had some photos with Jason and afterwards he fetched them some sandwiches and water for the day, which they placed, into the bag. While they were doing this Peter Scott turned up to move the bags for them today. Mark and Phil went and fetched all the washing from outside which was still damp but had no choice but to pack them into the bags and worry about getting them dried later. Once Peter’s car was loaded they said their goodbyes to Peter and Jason and thanked them both. It was Julie’s turn to have the bag first today and with the water and sandwiches in the bag Julie realised how heavy the bag was and realised what the others had endured the first 3 days. With everyone stretched and warmed up they set off for Newport.
As they went out into the sticks water jets were spraying the farm fields and as the day was getting quite warm already and they could see the road was wet up in front they thought they might get a quick shower from one of them but the farmer must have just moved them as they would not quite reach the road. Today was planned to be the longest day of the walk at just less than 25 miles, not ideal with the predicted heat wave. They made good progress and made it to Calverhall but with the sun beating down on them they started to get hot so decided to call into the pub they were passing called The Olde Jack and have a drink. After they had bought some drinks the owners gave them a donation. There was a stuffed deer’s head on the wall something you don’t see every day in a pub; before they set off Alex had a photo with it.
As the day got hotter and they walked back out into the sticks, what looked like two police helicopters kept flying around and Julie commented that something must have happened somewhere. As they walked along Paul needed to stop to apply some more Vaseline to his private parts to stop them going sore again in the heat. They stopped at an entrance to a farmer’s field so he could do it behind the hedgerow but had to wait between the helicopter fly-pasts to do it.
They got onto the main road (A41) and a short distance along they found a shaded piece of grass just off the road and thought this would be a good place to have a break and something to eat. They ate the sandwiches and cake that Jason had given them and had a drink and enjoyed it immensely. With all that out of the bag it made a big difference to the weight and made it easier to carry as the heat was starting to get quiet suppressing. After disposing of their rubbish in a bin they stretched, loosened up and set off back out in the sunshine. As they carried on down the A41 they went past The Royal Irish Regiment army barracks and realised that the helicopters that kept going over were on training exercises with the army as there was one that just taken off and another one that was hovering to land. As they carried on down the road they stopped off at a takeaway so Mark and Julie could use the toilet, Mark also got an ice cream and Julie got some more sparkling water.
After walking for a few miles down the A41 in single file because there were no paths, they were glad to head back out into the sticks. A little while later they came to the village called Winstanwick and had a break under a tree to try and have a breather in the shade. Paul, Mark and Julie had had enough by this stage and were ready to throw in the towel but after a little rest Phil manage to motivate them to get up and get going again. They carried on walking out in the sticks and finally ran out of road to walk along and so went down a bridle path, which took them into Hinstock. Paul wanted to stop to convert his trousers into shorts. Once he had unzipped them they carried on and were soon getting on to a busy main road (A41) they had to walk single file again and with the trucks whizzing by they had to step in sometimes so as not to get hit.
After a few miles Mark, Paul and Julie went over to a shop but Phil had dropped a little behind as he was struggling with his blister and wanted to carry on as it was his turn to carry the bag. He shouted to the others that he was going to carry on, as he didn't want to stop until his stint with the bag was over. The others did not hear him properly and thought he was in another strop. When Phil had done his stint with the bag he stopped in a lay by and waited for the others to catch up. Paul had bought Phil a drink from the shop so Phil thanked him. While at the shop Paul also got a carrier bag to put his zipped off sections from his trousers in; has he was fed up with carrying them but it made him look like Roy Cropper from Coronation Street. They carried on along the busy road but Phil soon dropped back again; he was now really struggling with his right foot. After a few more miles and they had finally left from the A41 they were on the road to Newport. Phil was unable to catch the others up, he had a low moment and texted Paul saying to say he had had enough and was throwing in the towel. About 5 minutes of sitting on a wall at the side of the road however, Phil pulled himself together and carried on and eventually caught others up. They had waited to see what was wrong with him and to check he was ok. Everyone was hot and agitated and tempers were frayed a little; a few harsh words were exchanged between the lads, Julie took over the situation as a peacemaker and after a few stern words to the lads order was resumed and a peace treaty signed.
Eventually they made it to Newport and stopped at the Kings Head for a drink. Having enjoyed their drinks and with time ticking on, the last few miles were a bit of an uneventful blur. Everyone was exhausted and walked with their heads down just looking forward to the hotel. They finally got to the hotel, found the key that had been left for them and went into the hotel to find their rooms. The hotel was currently under renovation but the owner had let them use the hotel as it was for such a good cause. So after an exhausting day’s trials and tribulations the walkers were glad to get to their two rooms. Mark and Paul were sharing one room and Julie and her walk husband Phil were sharing another.
After a welcome rest, the lads got showered, changed and then walked down to the local restaurant / pub, The Fox. In the pub the lads had to wait for Julie to arrive before they could order something to eat. While they waited they took a sweepstake on when she would arrive Paul said 21:10 Phil said 21:20 and Mark said 21:40. Paul was closet when Julie turned up just after 21:10 so he won. They had a hearty meal and afterwards Mark went back to the hotel early while Paul, Julie and Phil stopped for a drink in the beer garden. After a couple of drinks and a chat it was time to go back to the hotel to sleep off the day’s exertions. On the way back Paul and Julie noticed how much Phil was struggling to walk and asked if his foot was really that painful. Phil said it was hurting him quite a lot so Julie said she would have a look when they got back to their room. Once back in their room Julie had a look at Phil’s right foot and said it looked and felt infected as his toe was quite swollen and hot. She rubbed Sudacream into it and said if it was no better in the morning he would have to go with Peter, the latest bag mover, to be taken to hospital to have it accessed. So after walking just under 25 miles on the hottest July day on record the walkers were asleep as soon as their heads had hit their pillows.
July 1st – Day 5 Norwood House Hotel, Newport to
Wheatsheaf Hotel, Wolverhampton
They woke bright and early feeling a little refreshed but with legs starting to feel the miles they had done. They got ready and went down for breakfast. As the hotel was being renovated there was nobody there to serve them breakfast but the owners son had called in first thing in the morning to put some cereal and orange juice out and set up a toaster. The walkers helped themselves to breakfast and afterwards went to get the bags ready. They brought them downstairs ready for when Peter turned up to move the bags again for them. Phil’s foot felt a lot better and was able to walk on it but he took so Ibuprofen to help reduce the swelling and to keep the pain and discomfort at bay. Peter arrived and while they were helping him load up his bags Peter suggested Paul ring BBC Radio Shropshire as on his way over to them the DJ was asking to hear from anybody who was doing something extraordinary in the heat wave. Paul rang up and told the DJ about their walk and got a shout out. Peter asked them if they had enough fluids with them. When they told him they didn’t have a lot; only the couple of water bottles they carried, He said he would pop down the shop and get them some more. When he returned they put the water he’d brought, in the bag, which made it very heavy. They would be grateful for it later in the day though. Paul took the key into the hotel to find the man who had just turned up and gone inside, but when he came back out he said he couldn’t find the man, so he’d just left the keys on the bar. They hoped it was somebody who worked there and wasn’t an opportunist burglar robbing the place. They said their goodbyes to Peter and after a bit of stretching and warming up they set off.They went out onto a main road where there was queuing traffic; they walked along getting a few beeps of support from some of the waiting motorists who must have heard Paul’s shout out on the radio. Soon they were turning off the main road and heading back out into sticks. The day was starting to warm up and they could see the sprinklers out in the farm fields but again their hopes of getting a shower would be dashed again. While they walked along, a foreign lorry went past and they thought it was slightly unusual for a lorry of that size to be driving down a country lane. A mile further on they caught back up with the lorry, which was trying to turn back round; he must have realised his mistake but this wasn’t going to be easy on such a tight road. The driver had to reverse in to a farm entrance to turn around. During this, cars were starting to queue waiting to pass. The walkers had a joke with some of the drivers telling them it would be quicker to walk. Once the lorry had got
As they walked along they got their first sign that they were getting closer to the finish line as they passed a sign say they had entered Staffordshire. They carried on down the country road and they went past a little country cottage that sat back off the road. The entrance to the drive had an archway, which the group decided would be a good photo opportunity, as they had not had one yet so far that day. Photos taken, they set off again walking in the countryside along a long, winding road going up and down hills. They came out onto the A5 Watling Street which they all knew, if they followed it, it would take them all the way in to Tamworth. Tempting as it was, as much as their feet were hurting and the heat sapping their energy levels, they knew they had to carry on to complete their goal. They were not on the A5 long before they turned off again and heading back out into the countryside.
Paul took over on bag duty and typically when it was his turn he had to carry the bag up biggest hill of the day. When they finally got to the top they went over a bridge that crossed the M54. Paul decided he needed a breather so they stopped and sat down on a crash barrier the other side of the bridge. After a short break and Paul had gotten his breath back Mark said he might as well take over with the bag, as it was virtually his turn. So with the bag on Mark’s back they set off and were soon entering Codsall Wood. Roughly 10 minutes further down the road they came to The Crown Inn, a pub in Codsall Wood. They decided to stop and have a break and have something to eat. Unfortunately pub only did main meals and not any sandwiches. They didn’t want anything that substantial so they just had a drink before deciding to carry on to Codsall to the next pub, just over a mile away. Just as they had set off down the road they went passed a couple who had just come out of Pendrall Hall Country House, They asked if there was a pub just up the road and how far it was it. Mark said it was about a 5 minute walk which the woman said was a good job as her shoes were not designed to be walked far in, she had a fancy pair of high heeled shoes on. 10 minutes further down the road the walkers were in Codsall and came to the Crown pub. The menu was much more suitable for their needs so they went in and ordered a drink and some food each. Fully refreshed and refuelled they hit the road again but not before calling at a chemist to top up on 1st aid supplies and get Paul his own tub of Vaseline for ‘Phil and Grant’.
They left Codsall and it wasn’t long before they were in the suburbs of Wolverhampton. As they walked along the road and they were passing a school which had just finished for the day, Mark thought it would be a good idea to ring a local radio station to try and get them noticed; there were a lot of people on the school run. After trying a couple of numbers he finally got through to one and got his message across to the DJ. However as they walked along for the next hour and more into Wolverhampton, Mark was quite disappointed not to get a single beep or cheer.
When they got close to the city centre Julie started to flag and began talking about getting a lift. She’d asked Phil how much further and he told her it was about another three miles to the hotel even though he knew it was only one. Paul and Mark managed to give her enough encouragement to make her carry on, albeit a little reluctantly. Julie spotted the Molineux, Wolverhampton Football Club’s ground and suggested they detoured to there but the others just wanted to get to the hotel as they were hot and tired and knew she would be too. As they got closer to where the hotel should have been Phil got confused; his map didn’t match up to what was around him so he got his phone out to check what that said. He soon realised the map he had printed off was inaccurate but with the help of his phone he was soon directing them to the hotel, which was only around the corner from where they were.
When they arrived at the Wheatsheaf the owners Lisa and Phil greeted them and bought them all a drink, as they were all very hot and sweaty. Phil started to talk to the guys about their walking as he was into biking; he asked what they took during the day supplement wise. The guys just looked at him blankly and said they only took water and wasn’t sure what he was going on about. He explained what supplements were and suggested that they needed some electrolyte tablets to put in their water. He offered to pop to the corner shop to get them some. He returned with a couple of tubs for them to use for the rest of the walk. When they’d finished their drinks they were taken up to their rooms. Once there, they were told there was no air-con. Mark, Julie and Phil were in rooms at the front of the hotel where the sun was still shining, they were very hot even with the windows open. The hotel had three communal bathrooms so Paul and Phil decided to go for a soak in the bath first (not together though, they went into separate bathrooms) Paul shouted to Phil as he was struggling to find the hot tap but they discovered there wasn’t one. They both ended up having a cold bath, which did wonders for their aching legs. Afterwards they had a shower to warm through. When Mark went for one he also ended up shouting to ask where the hot tap was but he just had a shower as he wasn’t brave enough to endure a cold bath.
Paul, Mark and Phil went downstairs to socialise and met some of the regulars including a woman called Jo who worked and lived at the hotel and a man called Chalky, who was a regular. Chalky was very generous and after talking to the guys, donated £50. Some of the other regulars were generous too and donated to the charity including a couple of retired soldiers. After a little while socialising with some of the regulars Lisa and Phil took the lads through to the back room to a buffet so they could have something to eat. They had a good fill but there was still no sign of Julie. Paul and Mark both rang her but got no reply so Mark went up and found her asleep and had to wake her up. Once she was dressed they came down and she had something to eat. After they had all eaten they went back into the bar area for drink. Kirsty and Tracey from the 4Louis charity arrived to join the fun as they had come down for a Jewson’s award ceremony in the area and wanted to come and give the walkers some support. After a good chat with people they all gathered outside for a photo with Lisa and Phil. Jo and another one of the barmaids wanted to come and be in the photo as well but Lisa told them they had to stay inside and look after the bar. (The next day Jo said she and the other barmaid had photo bombed them and when Phil checked the photo you could see them in the window behind them pulling faces.) Once back in the pub Lisa and Phil said if the guys finished a walk at the pub in a couple of years’ time, they would put on a charity fun day in conjunction with the walk end. The guys said this was a great idea. It was a thoroughly good night but it had to come to an end at closing time and after the pub was closed Lisa gave Phil and Julie a fan for their rooms and every one retired upstairs. Lisa agreed to do some washing for the walkers so they sorted out what was dirty and left it out in the corridor by Jo’s room. Everyone then went to his or her respective rooms and it wasn’t long before the sound of snoring was echoing up and down the corridor (that Julie didn’t half make a noise when she was asleep).
July 2nd - Day 6 Wheatsheaf Hotel, Wolverhampton to
Hilton Garden Inn, Birmingham
Via New Cross Hospital & Birmingham City Hospital
Via New Cross Hospital & Birmingham City Hospital
The sun rose on Day 6 of the walk and Mark, the first one to wake up was in a dilemma. The previous night he’d used all the tea bags in his room and had woken up with a mouth like Ghandi’s flip flop desperate for a cuppa. So he got up and dressed and went downstairs to see if he could find anybody to give him some more tea bags. A quick look downstairs proved futile, there was nobody around so he went to go back upstairs but unfortunately the door had locked behind him. Thinking quickly, he came up with an idea, luckily he had his mobile phone with him and knowing Phil was normally awake at the same time as him, he rang him. Luckily Phil answered and international rescue was launched and Mark was soon back in the safe haven of his room with a teabag from Phil’s room.
Mark, Phil and Paul got up and dressed and started to pack their bags but when they went for the washing they noticed it was still in the same place where they had left it the night before. The 3 guys went downstairs and were greeted by Lisa who took their orders for breakfast and went to fetch breakfast sandwiches from a sandwich bar down the road. When she returned with their sandwiches Mark asked about the washing and she ensured them it would be done and be in their next hotel when they dropped the bags off later. Whilst they were eating Joe arrived, who would be walking the route with them today. Joe who had lost his daughter Jessica did a lot of charity work to raise money for things to do with neo natal and stillbirth death charities in memory of Jessica. He wanted to come along to support the walkers and to do some training for a long distance walk he had planned for himself. After breakfast Jo and Lisa told them they would come and join them and show the best route to New Cross Hospital. Julie, who had finally been raised from the dead and finished making herself look beautiful, came downstairs. Before they set off they went outside the pub and had some photos taken. After the photos they got their water bottles ready and put in the electrolyte supplement and were ready for the off. They set off for New Cross Hospital where they would be meeting Kirsty and Tracey.
As they walked along by Wolverhampton Station there were some photographers on top of a multi-story car park looking like they were waiting for somebody to come out of the station. The group joked they must have heard they were going to be walking past. Lisa shouted at them and did a few poses with Alex for a laugh pretending she was getting papped by the paparazzi. As they left the city centre they went past some flats and within the flats was a police station which the walkers found quiet strange but Lisa explained it was an area with a bit of a reputation.
Just half an hour of walking later they arrived at New Cross Hospital and once they’d managed to navigate around the hospital they found the ward. They were greeted by a couple of midwives with Kirsty and Tracey. 4Louis were providing money towards a new bereavement room that was scheduled to be finished in September; everyone was invited back to see it once it was completed. Some photos were taken with the midwives, the walkers, Kirsty and Tracey with a couple of the keepsake boxes the charity provide for the hospital. After the photos it was time to hit the road again so the walkers said their goodbyes to the Midwives and told Kirsty and Tracey they would see them again on Saturday. Outside Lisa pointed the way they had to go and then they said goodbye to Lisa and Jo before setting off. As they left them it started to spit with rain.
The walkers reached the canal after about 5 minutes of walking in the rain Lisa and Jo reappear in front of them. They’d decided they would walk a couple more miles with them. When they came to a fork in the canal, they said their final goodbyes and thanked them for all their help and support and said they would keep in touch. They then parted so Jo could get back to wash the clothes before the bags had to be moved. The other 5 walkers carried on along the canal and thankfully the rain soon stopped. The walkers enjoyed the relative quietness of the canal and took the opportunity to talk with Joe to get to know him better. They made good progress until lunch where Phil had a planned stop on the route at a pub on the canal. Unfortunately when they arrived at the pub it was closed. Phil checked the map app on his phone to see what was in the vicinity. Mad O’Rourke’s Pie Factory was just a 5-minute walk down the road he recommended going to have a look as he’d been there before. They served things like Desperate Dan pies and mixed grills that came out on shovels.
When they got there, Joe and Julie ordered some food and drink while Paul, Mark and Phil just had a drink. They sat and relaxed, taking in the ambience, a woman walked in with her young daughter and started shouting at the owner. She was angry about her daughter getting burnt on a radiator the day before and asked why he had radiators on when it was so hot. She was very rude and irate and was doing a lot of swearing at the owner in front of her daughter. The owner stayed calm and told the woman if she did not leave he was going to call the police so she went. A few minutes later she was back with her boyfriend in tow, who started to threaten the owner and asked what he was going to do about his daughter getting burnt. He told the owner that he was going to go outside for a fag to calm down but wanted some answers when he came back. While he was outside the owner on Julie’s advice rang the police. While he was on the phone to the police the boyfriend walked back in and heard him on the phone. He gave the landlord another mouthful of abuse, made a sharp exit and sped off in his car. At this point the group decided to do the same thing and left as the floorshow was now over.
Back on the canal Joe wanted to go one way but Phil said it was another so Mark asked a passing jogger which way to Birmingham and he agreed with the way Phil had indicated. So they set off in that direction. As they walked along the canal Julie kept saying she could see where the fish were by seeing little ripples and bubbles in the canal every now and again. None of the lads could see anything and thought she was going a little crazy: maybe too much sun over the last couple of days. They carried on along the canal with dark clouds starting to appear on the horizon, Phil said they were going to get wet and sure enough the heavens soon opened. Julie, ever the prepared woman was the only one to see the weather report in the morning consequently was the only one who knew about rain. She hadn’t thought to share this information with the others so was the only one to bring a coat. All the guys trudged on in the rain, which wasn’t letting up; they were all getting wet apart from Julie. They got their own back on her though as they kept shouting fish and pointing at the ripples the raindrops were making in the canal, she didn’t find this funny as she was sure it was fish she had seen earlier.
They carried on along the canal and with the rain not letting up they kept talking momentary shelter under bridges and in tunnels. Standing under one bridge, which had a train station on top they heard an announcement over the public announce system warning people to stay away from the edge. Paul, ever the comedian stepped right back from the edge of the canal. After a brief rest and shelter they carried on, it wasn’t far now before they had to come off the canal to get to the City of Birmingham Hospital. Whilst they marched along Julie rang a couple of her colleagues and arranged to meet them at the hospital.
Wet and bedraggled, they got to the Hospital and were glad to get into the dry. They waited in the main entrance for Julie’s colleagues to arrive. They didn’t have to wait long; only five minutes later a police van turned up. Unfortunately it was a policeman who had been called to the A&E, not Julie’s colleagues. A little pressed for time they decided to head for the maternity ward, where they knew the midwives would be waiting for them. As they came around the corner Fran, one of the midwives from the neo-natal department was waiting outside the ward. There was a display set up of the keepsake boxes on one table and some very welcome refreshments on another. The group gladly tucked in to some cake, biscuits and a hot drink to while chatting to Fran and the other midwives. While they were talking Julie’s colleagues Ali & Kate arrived and had a chat with everyone and took the mickey out of Julie. After a good rest and feeling refreshed they had some photos before saying their goodbyes so they could set off on their finally leg of the day to the hotel. It was starting to get late so Julie arranged for Joe to be taken to the nearest station by Ali and Kate. They thanked Joe for his support and wished him luck with everything he had planned.
As they walked over a bridge back to the canal Paul and Phil spotted a heron just a short way ahead, so they tucked into the side by some bushes so as not to frighten it away. Phil then got his camera out to try and get a close up picture of it. He edged as far forward as he dared to try and get the best shot possible. He managed to get a couple of shots before the heron had had enough of posing and flew off. Further along there was a group of geese with their goslings that started to hiss at them. Phil and Mark gave them a wide berth and got past but Paul and Julie were scared and a passing pedestrian had to help them get by because Mark and Phil were too busy laughing to help. As they got into the centre of Birmingham, they came off the canal and soon saw the welcome site of the hotel in front of them. They were soon checking in to their rooms. Phil was sharing with his walk wife and Paul and Mark were sharing in another room.
After getting showered and changed they went in search of somewhere to eat. Along Broad Street, a major thoroughfare and popular nightspot, they passed a few pubs and nightclubs before arriving at a Weatherspoon’s. They went in and after finding a table they chose what they wanted to eat. Paul and Phil went to the bar to place the order. While at the bar Paul got talking to a guy who had asked about the t-shirts and told him what they were up to. While sitting at the table waiting for the food to arrive the same guy came over with his girlfriend and bought a donation over and a jug of cocktail. Following the meal and a few more drinks they headed back to the hotel and on the way back they found Harry Moseley’s Star. When they got back to the hotel they decided to have one more drink, the group were astounded at the price. They went up to Paul and Mark’s room to enjoy their finally drink of the evening while having a chat. After an enjoyable evening it was time to retire to bed to rest before the penultimate and although they didn’t know it yet the most gruelling day of the walk.
July 3rd – Day 7 Hilton Garden Inn, Birmingham to Moor
Hall Hotel, Sutton Coldfield
Via Birmingham Women’s Hospital, Heartlands Hospital &
Good Hope Hospital
Via Birmingham Women’s Hospital, Heartlands Hospital & Good Hope Hospital
Well the penultimate day had arrived and the first thing the group made sure of was, to check the weather report; they didn’t want to get caught out with the rain like the previous day. However, the weather report was a lot more favourable, reverting back to being sunny and hot again. Once Phil had made Julie a cup of coffee he got the maps out to recap the route, as it was quite a complicated one. The route was to take them around Birmingham, into Sutton Coldfield whilst also visiting 3 hospitals on the way. After checking the maps and once everybody was up and dressed they went for breakfast before their two walking companions for the day arrived. One of the walkers, Ruth Waring (a regular on the annual Walk4Louis walks) contacted Paul to say her train was running late and she wouldn’t be able to meet them until 9.30am. She asked if they wanted to set off and she would meet them on route. Paul consulted the group they said they would wait for her. As they got up to go back to the rooms to sort the bags out Paulo, the other walker who would be joining them, arrived. Paul went to greet him while the others went and got the bags ready to bring down. Once all the bags were ready Paul and Paulo came up to the rooms with a birdcage luggage trolley in tow. Paul introduced Paulo to the group before they loaded up the trolley and took the bags down to reception. When they got down to reception Nigel, a friend of Julie’s arrived to pick the bags up and move them to the next hotel. They loaded his car up with the bags before thanking him and seeing him off. Whilst they were doing this, Ruth arrived and they were already for the off. During their finally stretches Paulo asked which route they were going so Phil got the maps out to show him. Phil’s route had them walking along the roads to get to the first hospital but Paulo suggested that they could walk along the canal which would make for a much more pleasant walk, although just a little longer. They all agreed to this route so with Paulo leading the way they set off.
At the canal by Gas Street Basin there were a lot of Asian tourists around taking lots of photos. The canal was a much more enjoyable walk and they were soon leaving the city centre. A short while later they were coming off the canal near the QE hospital grounds. They followed the signs through the hospital grounds and were soon outside the Birmingham Women’s Hospital. They stopped so Paul could ring his contact at the hospital to find out where they had to go. He was searching through his phone for the number when, with excellent timing Alison Rea, Paul’s contact and one of the midwives came out to greet them. She then took them through to the maternity department where they had a room set aside for them. In the room were some of the keepsake boxes and also a cuddle cot, which had been recently donated to the unit by 4Louis. A cuddle cot is a fantastic invention; it allows parents to have more time with their sleeping angels. The problem is that in a warm room the baby’s condition can deteriorate quickly. The cuddle cot keeps the baby cool, allowing the parents to spend a little more precious time with their sleeping angel. The group were very moved by hearing all this. Following a chat with Alison and her team whilst enjoying some refreshments, they had some photos taken. All too soon it was time to hit the road again to get to the next hospital. Once they had thanked Alison and said their goodbyes they headed outside. Paul asked Paulo if he knew a good way to get to the Heartlands Hospital, which was their next stop. After a quick look on his phone he said he could get them there. Paul told Phil to put his maps away and we would follow Paulo’s lead again as he had done a good job getting us to the QE. With that they set off back onto the road.
As they walked through Edgbaston along the Bristol Road by Birmingham University a fire engine came past and Julie got excited saying that she was still wanting Alex to have a photo with a proper fireman not a toy one. She got even more excited as the fire engine pulled into a fire station just up ahead. To keep her happy the group crossed over the busy road to Bournebrook Fire Station just as the crew were disembarking the fire engine. One of the firemen asked what they were doing and what they could do to help so Julie was straight in asking for a photo. They agreed and afterwards posted the picture on their Twitter feed. The fire crew also agreed to sponsor by text to show their support. The group thanked them for everything and after prising Julie away from them they carried on.
Further down the road, as they got to the edge of Cannon Hill Park the group stopped to take part in the minute’s silence at 12 o’clock for the people who had died in the Tunisia shootings. Having paid their respects they carried on into Cannon Hill Park. In the park Ruth and Phil followed the signs to the toilets only to be disappointed to find that they were locked. As they were not desperate and didn’t fancy taking a detour around the park looking for more toilets they decided to carry on. When they came out the other side of the park Paulo told the group that there was a short route, which was up a steep hill, or a slightly longer route, which was more of a gentle incline. The group opted for the short route up the steep hill. As they got to the top of the hill they passed a sign saying ‘Welcome to Moseley’. Phil thought about the route he had plotted and didn’t remember seeing Moseley on his map. Paul and Mark they said not to worry about it, as Paulo must know where he was going and he had done a good job earlier. To put his mind at ease Phil got his phone out to see how far the hospital was away from their current position. He noticed it was 12:15 and his phone told him the hospital was 4 miles away so Phil estimated that if they carried on they should get to Heartlands between 13:30 and 13:45. Phil past this information on to Paul and Mark who thought that wasn’t too bad. They got into Moseley town centre, Paulo told them this was his neck of the woods and knew a pub they could go to for a break. They went into the pub called ‘The Fighting Cocks’ while Paul got some drinks, Ruth and Phil went for a much needed toilet break while Julie and Mark went to get a table. When Phil came back Paulo said he would pop to Sainsbury’s just down the street to get everybody a sandwich. He got everyone’s order and Phil went with him to help. After their break was over it was time to get going again. As they set off down the road, Paulo met his wife and two children. They joined them for a short distance of the walk. His wife wished them all luck and said goodbye and told Paulo that she would pick him up at Good Hope Hospital at about 6 o’clock.
Roughly another hour’s walk later and the time was approaching 2 o’clock Mark asked Phil how much further was it to the hospital. Phil’s projected time had been and gone. He explained to Mark that they had stopped for half an hours break so he needed to take that into account and estimated that there would be about a mile to go. Mark queried this, saying that if that was the case then haven’t they seen a sign for the hospital yet. To confirm how far it was to the hospital Phil checked on his phone again, but was shocked by what it told him; the hospital was still 3 miles away! This meant that since he last checked they had only walked a mile, he knew wasn’t right. Phil told Paul and Mark about it but as they had no idea where they were without using Phil’s phone as a guide they decided to let Paulo carry on leading to the hospital. They did however agree to form a mutiny and let Phil take over as expedition leader after their visit to Heartlands Hospital.
As they marched on Paul rang Radio WM to get a shout out to try and raise their spirits a bit. When he got through the DJ said he would put Paul live on air but him to suggest a summer song to play after he had been on, His mind went blank so he turned to Phil, who was walking beside him and asked him for a summer song, Phil quickly came up with ‘Walking On Sunshine’ by Katrina and the Waves, a very appropriate song. Once Paul had finished, Phil found the radio station on his phone and they listened to the song. When it had finished the DJ mentioned again ‘Paul doing his ‘lone’ walk’! The song had lifted the spirits of the walkers and they carried on with a little more spring in their step.
Approaching Hall Green it was Paul’s turn to carry the bag, once he had it on his back they carried on into Hall Green. Paul wanted to cross over to take a picture of a sign for Hall Green so people could follow our route through pictures. He and Phil crossed over while the others went on ahead. The road was busy so after taking the photos, they decided to carry on walking on that side of the road so they could concentrate catching up with the other walkers. Upon reaching a junction in the road, there was a driving instructor, whose car had broken down. He was struggling to push it backwards off the junction to the side of the road with the learner trying to steer. He was struggling though because; as it was such a sunny day the car was hot to touch. To stop him from burning his hands he had got a child’s booster seat out of the car push against. Being the good Samaritans that they are, Paul and Phil couldn’t stand by and watch the guy struggle so they offered to help. Paul and the instructor went either side and put their hands on the headlights to push. This left Phil with the red-hot bonnet, after a quick touch Phil decided to use the booster seat method too. They managed to push the car to the side of the road and the man thanked them for their help. They felt good about themselves for showing off their muscles even though it had made them hot and sweaty. Paul also pointed out to Phil that he had done it all with the backpack still on. Having eventually caught up with the others, who had stopped to see where they were, they explained about their good deed.
After what seemed like a never-ending march, there were still no signposts pointing to the hospital. It got so bad that when they passed a mobility scooter shop in Acocks Green, Phil joked that they would need them for following day’s walk. Julie decided it would make a good photo if the guys got on one each; obviously they went to ask the shop owner first. He agreed so we had a photo on the scooters. The owner then generously donated some money and had his photo his taken with Alex the Walk4Louis Bear. The group plodded on with the walk although it was starting to get them down now. They knew they should have been at the hospital by now, there were getting way behind schedule so they informed the hospitals about their delay. In Yardley, they were walking up the road, where there was a sign warning motorists about elderly people crossing. Paul and Mark said they felt like the people in the sign and did a pose, copying the sign; Phil couldn’t resist taking a photo. Finally they came to the first sign for the hospital, they had to turn left and it was ¾ of a mile away. Eventually they arrived at the hospital, very tired, very hot and extremely sweaty. Nicola Taylor a midwife who was on duty apologised to them, as she was not prepared for their visit. She’d only been on duty a while and had only been told they were coming a just before they arrived. The group explained it was probably because they were about an hour and a half later that the hospital had been expecting them. Nicola took them for a walk around the unit and explained how the charity had helped them support bereaved parents. After their tour they thanked her for her time and said they would leave so she could get on with her job. They had to get back on the road because they still had Good Hope Hospital to visit. They set off, this time though with Phil leading the way.
Phil checked his phone and saw that they had covered an extra 7 miles than he had scheduled for. It was little wonder everyone was starting to feel tired. They walked through Alum Rock and into Ward End and stopped off at a shop for a refreshment break; they hadn't had a drink at the hospital. As they waited for everyone to come out of the shop Paul made phone call and he was chatting away. He thought that everyone had come out so began to walk off with Ruth, not realising Paulo was still in the shop. The others waited for Paulo but Paul and Ruth didn't notice until they had got to the end of the road, so they had to stop and wait for the others to catch up because they didn't know which way to go. Through Erdington and on to the Sutton Road Ruth’s feet started hurting and she knew she’d developed some blisters. All the walkers were getting low on energy as the days extra mileage started to take its toll. Finally they got to a sign that said ‘Welcome to Sutton Coldfield’ and decided to have 5 minutes rest on a wall. As they set off again Paul pointed out a shop to Phil, who took a photo of it. The shop was called Happy Feet Flooring Paul said this was very contradictory as his feet weren't very happy with him at the minute. Nearing the hospital, not far from the town centre Julie asked which way Phil had plotted on the map. He told her his route took them straight through the town centre but she said she knew a short-cut. Phil wasn't sure after the earlier scenic route so left it to the group to decide; after all it was a democracy not a dictatorship! Everyone was exhausted that the word short-cut was music to their ears. They decided to let Julie have her moment in the spotlight and become the expedition leader. Julie managed to successfully get everyone to the hospital without getting lost or taking any detours (who said women can’t do directions). Everyone was so relieved; they knew it would only be just over a mile to the hotel once they left the hospital. Even though it was nearly 7 o'clock the midwives, Sammy and Charlotte still were willing to show them around and answer any questions. After a tour, some photos and a very welcome drink the group said goodbye to Paulo and thanked him for his support. Just like she’d promised, his wife was waiting for him in the car park. They then said goodbye to the midwives and thanked them for their time. Before they left though Julie said she wanted to pop to another ward to visit and thank some nurses for looking after her mum recently. The other 4 walkers plodded on very wearily towards the hotel so slowly that after about 20 minutes Julie had managed to catch up with them. As they turned onto the street where the hotel was, a woman stopped in her car to ask them what they were doing. Phil explained about the charity and she gave a donation and wished them luck with the rest of their walk. Unfortunately the drive leading up to the hotel wasn't a short one. Whilst plodding along it Mark’s partner, Sheila drove by. At the top of the drive Nigel, Julie’s friend who had moved the bags earlier was there to cheer them over the finish line of that day’s gruelling marathon walk. The walkers were glad to get to the hotel, after checking in and taking their bags up to their rooms they went downstairs to have a drink with Ruth before she left. They thanked Ruth for the continuing support she had given them and said they would no doubt see her again soon. Once she had gone, they went back to rooms to get freshened up for dinner.
4th – Day 8 Moor Hall Hotel & Spa, Sutton Coldfield to Pretty Pigs Pub,
The final day had arrived, with only 10 more miles to cover before Walk4Louis 6 came to an end. The 4 weary walkers got up and dressed before going down for breakfast. Paul & Phil were the first two down so they went to get a table. Paul asked Phil if he’d heard the thunder in the night. When Phil said he’d not heard it, Paul was amazed as it had been really loud. It was so loud; it had woken Paul up and he realized he needed the toilet but just as he was getting out of bed there was an almighty clap of thunder and bright flash of lightening. Paul decided he wasn’t that desperate for the toilet and pulled the covers over his head. He stayed there listening to the storm outside before finally dropping back off to sleep. Mark and Julie joined them and they all had breakfast. As they ate, a man was sitting nearby wearing just a bathrobe. Paul said that’s what he’s going to do next year on the walk at breakfast time. The rest of the group, not wishing to be put off their breakfast hoped he was joking.
When breakfast was over they returned to their rooms and got the bags ready for a final time. Down in reception they met Shelia, Mark’s girlfriend who was going to move the bags. After saying hello they all loaded her car up with bags. Charlotte, Phil’s wife and their close family friend, Wendy were joining the 4 walkers for the final day. They were waiting in reception for them with Jenny, Wendy’s sister who had brought them to the hotel and her daughter Emily. The group thanked the hotel staff for everything. After they’d done their stretches and obviously having some photos taken outside the hotel they set off for Tamworth.
The group walked and talked and made good time as they journeyed out of Sutton Coldfield and through Bassets Pole. Then they were heading out into the sticks. As they walked down a country lane towards Drayton Bassett they were stopped by a couple of gardeners doing some work in their front garden. They were curious what the group were doing so they explained about the charity; the couple wished them well for their last few miles. Julia, Paul’s wife rang to say she had only just got to Wetherby and wouldn't be there for about another 2 hours. She asked Paul how long it would be before he got to Drayton Manor. They were supposed to be meeting there so she could drop their daughter, Lily off to do the last 5-mile with them. After a quick discussion with Phil, he said they would be there within the hour. Paul told Julia to ring once she had got to Tamworth and he would arrange a new drop off time and place with her.
They made their way into Drayton Bassett where a cyclist went past them then turned around, came back and asked what they were doing. After the group explained she was impressed with their endurance and said she had just been swimming in a nearby lake as she was in training in preparation for doing a triathlon. She didn't fancy doing what they were doing though and Paul and Phil both said they thought the same about what she was doing. She then gave them a donation, wished them well then cycled off. Charlotte knew an old lady who lived in Drayton Bassett and as they were passing she decided to pop round to see how she was. After a short chat she joined back up with the group. As they walked through the centre of Drayton Bassett they realised they make a pit stop so Charlotte and Wendy could use the toilet. But as they went to go into the village’s working men’s club they were told it wouldst be open for another 30 minutes. Once they explained what they were doing he took pity on them let them in to use the facilities. Once they girls came back out Mark said he knew the owner of a pub a little further down the road in Fazeley and would give him a ring to see if they were open for them to have a refreshment break. The pub, The Three Tuns was familiar to Walk4Louis as it was where Walk4Louis3 had finished. Mark gave him a call and was told that the pub would be open at 12.pm, which was in only 5 minutes time. The group decided to head for The Three Tuns to have their lunch break.
They walked out of Drayton Bassett and passed the entrance to Drayton Manor Theme Park, where Charlotte worked. They decided to have a 5-minute breather on the wall before carrying on into Fazeley. Arriving at Fazeley they joined the canal. Paul, Mark and Phil started pointing at the water and shouting fish, Wendy and Charlotte looked at them strangely. When it was explained to them that Julie had a secret ability to spot fish underwater, they laughed and joined in. There were some people walking along the canal just ahead of them who kept looking back and giving the group some weird looks. They probably thought they were a group of escapees from the George Bryan Unit, a mental health centre just up the road in Mile Oak. At The Three Tuns they stopped to have a break. Whilst at the bar Paul got talking to the barmaid and found out that she was also a midwife and worked at Heartlands hospital. Paul rang Claire Beesley his contact from Heartlands hospital and got the barmaid to speak to her. After they had finished their break they had some photos with Martin the owner, who then gave them a donation. They thanked him for his support and set off again once more along the canal.
As they walked along the canal into Tamworth, Bob and then Julia rang Paul to see where he was. Paul arranged to meet them both at the Gate Inn, a pub in Amington. Phil also arranged to meet his granddaughter, Mia there, she was going to walk the last mile with them. They made good progress along the canal and were soon crossing over a bridge to the Gate Inn, they met Bob, Julia, Lily, Mia and Pauline (Paul’s mum). After a short break and chat with everyone the group now joined by Bob, Mia and Lily said bye to Julia and Pauline and set off to complete the final mile of their journey. As they came over the bridge they got their first sight of the pub. Sitting outside there were a lot of people who let up a loud cheer to welcome the walkers over the finish line. They crossed the finish line and were met by family and friends including Georgina Moseley (Harry Moseley’s mum) who helped set up Help Harry Help Others charity. They group had a few celebratory drinks before the walkers were presented with trophies and medals for their achievements and photos were taken. This brought a close to Walk4Louis6; next stop Walk4Louis’M’ where the original two charity walkers Paul and Phil will surpass a thousand miles.
The Walk4Louis team would like to thank the following people who have helped make Walk4Louis6 possible without your support we would not have been able to complete this feat.
Hannah Martin - The Richmond Hotel, Liverpool
Johanna Vayenas - The Bebington Hotel, Bebington
Maxine Braithwaite-Mitchell - The Crowne Plaza, Chester
Jason Wainwright - The Dodington Lodge Hotel, Whitchurch
Anita Swindley - Norwood House Hotel, Newport
Lisa Parsons - The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Wolverhampton
Debi Gross - Hilton Garden Inn, Birmingham
Nigel Saunders - Moor Hall Hotel & Spa, Sutton Coldfield
Cathy Cubbin (Liverpool to Bebington & Bebington to Chester)
Graham Ridley (Chester to Whitchurch)
Peter Scott (Whitchurch to Newport & Newport to Wolverhampton)
Lisa Parsons (Wolverhampton to Birmingham)
Nigel Watkins (Birmingham To Sutton Coldfield)
Sheila Gadsby (Sutton Coldfield to Tamworth)
Sarah Martin, Pauline McBurnie and Patrick Monoghan (Liverpool to Bebington leg)
Joe Randell, Lisa Parsons and Jo (Wolverhampton to Birmingham leg)
Ruth Waring and Paulo Larkman (Birmingham to Sutton Coldfield leg)
Charlotte Barker, Wendy Chapman, Bob McGurrell, Lily Taft and Mia Chetwyd (Sutton Coldfield to Tamworth leg)
Sam Walker - Barrington Sports (Donated trainers and compression tops and shorts)
Jack Goldie - Bigfootshoes (Donated Trainers)
Ian MacArthur - Cloud 9 Leisure (Creating the T-shirts)
Phil Jones (Donated money to pay for the t-shirts)
To everyone who sponsored us before, after or during the walk and on our Just Giving page you have helped us raise a fantastic £5777.49 for 4Louis.
We look forward to your continuing support next year when we get over our milestone of 1000 miles.
All together now;
‘But I would walk five hundred miles
And I would walk five hundred more
Just to be the man who walked a thousand miles
To fall down at your door.’
If you want to stay in touch with us you can on our social media pages. If you would like to see all our photos from this year’s walk they are on Facebook (Walk ForLouis) and if you would like to keep up to date with the developments for next year’s walk they will be revealed on Twitter (Walk4Louis) later in the year.