Day 11 - Road to Riccall, South Yorkshire
Good Friday, 14th April, started with a rainbow. That must be a good sign as the walking continued to go well.
A very nice supportive lunch with UKIP MEP Mike Hookem. We seemed to be in agreement that expansion at Heathrow would be a disaster. Taxes from the north sent down to pay for infrastructure in the South. Near London, people are wondering why those living in the north of the country, aren't making a fuss about the imbalance in investment.
At 1.45pm, Neil and Ray were in Snaith, 175 miles from Harmondsworth and originally intended to be the night camp, However, Neil has been adding a few miles to the daily schedule so was planning to press on to Selby, which is 7.5 miles away. It was a good time to check the mileage as
Snaith is 175 miles from Harmondsworth and YorK is 195 - so very close to the half-way mark.
No wonder Ray looks worried: Drax Power Station and Heathrow Airport are the UK's largest emitters of carbon and he's standing near one and lives close to the other.
The Heathrow Villages have a link with Drax Power Station. In 2006, climate activists created the first Climate Camp at Drax, which was a week-long camp protesting about the need to take action against climate change. The second Climate Camp in 2007 was created on the border of Sipson and Harlington villages and gave an enormous boost to the No Third Runway campaign (2002-2010), which fought the Labour government's proposals for expansion - and won!
A lovely photo taken by a well-wisher. The woman had passed in a car with her daughter and her friend and they'd had a disagreement about what was on Neil's hat. To resolve he argument they turned round and drove back to find out. Was it a fish or a plane? The hat had blown off in the wind that day and temporarily only had one wing (before some superglue was bought) so it did look a bit fishy. Supporters always provide a great opportunity for Ray and Neil to be photographed together. I thought it was a brilliant photo of the two of them and conveyed their teamwork, with Neil placing his hand on Ray's shoulder. It was no surprise to learn that the lady who took the picture is a professional wedding photographer. I think we'll be using that shot again.
Selby Gardens, North Yorkshire - 5.30pm and pushing on before dark.
Every day Neil takes photos of the signs he passes - no problem but a little samey. At the Selby sign, Neil decided to take a jokey shot lying on his back with his feet in the air - as you do. Suddenly he was aware of a police officer who wanted to know what Neil was up to. After a chat it turned out that the policeman had followed him for five miles because he'd photographed Drax Power Station. Neil was hardly incognito with a model aircraft on his hat and a support van emblazoned with signs, including the website address and Twitter hashtag (#walktoscotland), which would tell anyone all they needed to know.
The final stop of the day at 7pm was Riccall, about 8 miles from York. Neil has been asked to take plenty of pictures of his stops to show where he's been (digital photos also give us the time). As a result we have quite a selection of signs for towns and villages along the way - too many for our pages. This sign is one of the more unusual ones - a cross between a brick mantlepiece with a hearth and a grave with a massive headstone! (Ray demonstrates that its the perfect height to strike a casual pose for the camera. Ray is proving a natural.)
Whatever the shape, it's nice to see it full of flowering plants and local residents clearly take pride in their village and their Neighbourhood Watch. Looks like Riccall is a good safe place to pull up for the night and prepare to break the 200-mile barrier on Easter Saturday.