Walking the Wall

Two friends walked the length of Hadrians Wall in four days.

Two men stood at sign post

Anthony Shaw and Andrew Lindsay at the start of Hadrian's Wall Path.

Friends from the football fanzine ‘United We Stand’ Anthony Shaw from Oldham and Andrew Lindsay from Prestwich, hit upon the idea of a walking challenge after their friend Andy Mitten completed a cycle ride from Barcelona to Manchester to raise money for an adult Hospice.

Anthony, a Special Educational Needs and Disability manager at Oldham Council, decided to raise funds for Francis House – the children’s hospice that cares for families from across Greater Manchester.

“Francis House does so much for the young people and it’s not just a place of relaxation. There is psychological help and support for the families who receive the worst possible news – that their child has a life-limiting condition. They support people in so many different ways,” he said.

Anthony and BBC Sport broadcaster Andrew funded their own trip on the four-day, 88 mile, coast to coast Hadrian’s Wall Path.

Anthony Shaw stood by Hadrian's Wall

Anthony Shaw at Hadrian's Wall.

Ups and downs

On July 23, fellow fanzine member Anthony Murphy drove the pair to Cumbria and the start at Bowness-on-Solway – the western end of Hadrian’s Wall. From there they walked an average of twenty miles a day.

Carrying all their kit, supplies and food for the journey, they encountered blistering 30-degree heat, torrential downpours, stinging nettles and were even chased by a herd of cows.

For the first three days the landscape was remote and rural – passing Roman forts and settlements. In contrast, the final day followed stretches of the River Tyne and through the urban environment of Newcastle city centre.

“It was a quiet walk, because it’s a trail I expected to see more people. But we did the walk back to front so anyone we did meet were going the other way.

“Day three was the hardest as you’re walking up and down hills at altitude. But we wanted to finish in Newcastle so we could have a beer at the end.”

The pair even walked a further mile and a half than they needed – missing the Segedunum Roman Fort and Museum in Wallsend that signalled the end of their adventure.

With little fanfare, the duo raised almost two and a half thousand pounds for their respective charities. Sponsorship totalling £1,500 has been donated by Anthony’s friends and family to Francis House.

“I’m giving this amount, but it will only make a dent in what is required to keep places like this running. Whilst every little helps I’d encourage everyone to set themselves a challenge and do something that you’ll find hard. You’ll feel better about yourself when you’ve pushed yourself and raised money for a great cause.”

Anthony Shaw

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