This picture shows David & Liz (in the green waterproofs) handing the Cumbrian Miles to Silvia & Jon from the World March for Peace and Nonviolence (UK Base Camp Organisers) at the end of six days of Dusty Clogs.

I have just completed the most exhausting yet exhilarating week of my life. Dusty Clogs, based upon the Dusty Sneakers for Peace Programme in Canada, took off and assumed a life all of its own. Dusty Clogs was a recognised part of the World March for Peace and Nonviolence. You can imagine the weeks of preparation for any event with all the meetings for risk assessment, policy documents and public liability etc etc…yawn…which we had to enter into…most done for us by the local Council bless them before their officer was told not to have anything to do with something as political as Peace (True by the way he was warned off)…which left Liz and I as two grey haired pensioners to organise the whole thing ourselves.

With our computers steaming hot we produced all the mass of publicity for TV, Radio, Press, Health Journals and other magazines as well as networking all our various groups and friends from Amnesty International onwards through all the Diversity, Multicultural and Interfaith groups that we belong to…also we got U3A Walking Group involved(University of the Third Age…for oldens like us). I spent some time talking to groups from Diabetics to Amnesty, Probus and so forth) meantime our hallway was getting fuller of the signs we would use on the designated route in a central park in Carlisle…we kept it simple by printing with PowerPoint and laminating and stapling onto little stakes. We also ordered some big vinyl banners with our logos on it. We had two Logos…the World March and the Carlisle Clogs Image with permission of the local museum, who said that we were not to use the Welsh Clogs I had previously found and gained permission to use.

Then we went mad and invited the UK organisers from the UK World March Base Camp to our final day…what if no one came?

The first two days we were based in a large Garden Gazebo in the park which we put up and took down each day…to act as the lap counting house, certificate giving point, somewhere for people to sign up for future events and of course our fist aid post…but the wind all but blew it away…so we asked the park Keeper if we could fetch in our Caravan…which we stripped out and kitted out over night as our daily base…again we took it home each day.

The idea was for people to walk laps of the park which was a measured distance in kilometres which we would then convert to miles…we had six days to walk the equivalent miles for North to South of the County (68 miles)…and everyone got a Certificate of Achievement neatly rolled up with an elastic band to keep it in place.

The first day I was being interviewed by the media but the people who turned up walked 24 laps which was 21 miles. The next day people came because they had seen us on Telly…so we did 30 laps which was 26.5 miles…and on the third day we achieved our first target and completed the 68 miles…so we set a new challenge…to walk the equivalent of the 84 miles of Hadrian’s Wall…and ancient line of division between England and Scotland.

On the final day (day 6…Saturday) when we had the World March Organisers with us we stormed through both targets and walked a few extra miles for love. The World March not only passed through Cumbria but it also wiped out the ancient line of division on its way…and Silvia and Jon will take our miles to Argentina with our love to present them to the President of the World March Organisation in January.

The weather was the very worst that Cumbria has seen for years…with severe floods and high winds (you may have seen it on the news) but we battled through it all. In all 62 walkers took part over the week with ages ranging from seven to seventy six. Most of our friends came and did a lap…some stayed and did more. One dedicated soul came and walked each day. They walked a total 181 laps which gave us a total of 158.5 miles…with each person averaging 2.5 miles.

Carlisle has never had a Peace Movement event before this year’s Peace One Day. Dusty Clogs was only its second event. We have been on a steep learning curve but know it will only get better from here on in…even if we do have opposition from within the council…it is good to rattle a few cages for Peace and Nonviolence. As John Grogan from Dusty Sneakers wrote to me “Peace is contagious…let’s make Peace a Pandemic…remember to pass it on.”

…And we have a lot of new friends who we know will support Peace Events in the future…And Carlisle is now on the World Peace Map.

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Comment by Lyndal Anne Bale on December 20, 2009 at 4:45pm
Hi David
I applaud your idea for the World March for Peace and putting Carlisle on the map of it.

Something here sticks out for me - the local authority not allowing an employee to be involved in such a political movement! How the politicians and local councils divorce themselves from the ordinary people! How can it become so? Politics is only about doing what ordinary people want and Politicians are ordinary people who put themselves up for election to represent their peers. What has happened to common sense and reality?

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