Nancy Powell-Brace is just days away from setting off on her Monumental Walk from Cleopatra’s Needle in London to the Wellington Monument to raise funds for and awareness of the importance of the local landmark. To record her journey each day in her inimitable style she has set up a blog. Around Wellington will be following Nancy’s progress via her blog but here is her preview:
“I may not be Zoe Ball but…here we are, just four days till my mammoth, epic, monumental walk from Cleopatra’s Needle on the bank of the River Thames to Wellington Monument in Somerset.
“There are lots of records of the whys and wherefores about doing this walk but really there are only two that really count.
“The first is the seemingly disgraceful behaviour of our national agencies to do something about saving the TALLEST THREE SIDED MONUMENT IN THE WORLD. You may find that I say this quite often but it is rather more significant than people seem prepared to acknowledge.
“I am aware that the National Trust are doing what they can in the present economic climate but I feel that they and other national agencies, charged with preserving those things that are significant to our heritage, could be doing more. More of that later I am sure.
“Secondly, I am a firm believer in DOING not talking. I want to make this walk (I refuse to use the word journey) to prove a point: to prove that if we really care about something we can make a difference and we can do something about it. Truthfully, I do care about the Monument and I do care that it is preserved, but mostly I care that not enough people care… Not enough people are making enough noise about the Monument, what it represents and the fact that it is THE TALLEST THREE SIDED MONUMENT IN THE WORLD. Not just in England, not just in Europe, not just in the Northern Hemisphere but in THE WORLD. If the monument were in London, do you think it would be allowed to get in it’s current state of disrepair? I doubt it; I doubt it very much.
“The £4 million would be found pretty darned quick if you ask me. And how much IS £4 million? An unreachable target for one old lady walking from London to Wellington but for the like of, well, let’s think, Deborah Meaden, Paul McCartney, Richard Branson oh, and the Duke of Wellington, a snip in the ocean.
“I had hoped the walk might generate a little more publicity. Perhaps it is because I am not Zoe Ball that the media are not interested in my walk and what it stands for. Does this make it any less valuable? I don’t think so.
“So here we are, four days to go. I am starting my list of things I need to get/remember:
– a rucksack – the one I bought is ridiculously small and will not hold three pairs of shoes
– blister plasters – no expense spared on these!
– Nurofen – I am not supposed to take them due to a tear in my stomach lining but they are the only things that work on my arthritis and plantar fasciitis…. Did I mention that? No, well, hmmmm. For the last three months I have had acute plantar fasciitis in my right heel (look it up) but I am ignoring it until the 24th September.
– Phone charger – essential
– Phone – even more essential
– Knickers x 9. A friend said take two pairs and wash them through and hang them on the back of the back pack to dry – um – no. I shall take nine pairs and throw them away day by day (too much information)
– Socks – lots. Two pairs of socks inside the shoes seems to be the word on the street.
– Water bottle
“I heard an article on the radio a few months ago about a man who, one day, was walking through London and ended up walking to Canterbury. It took him three days. He then decided to walk from Canterbury Cathedral to Jerusalem. That took more than three days but he did it. And a friend said to me just today over breakfast, lots of people go on walking holidays and walk for days and days.
“It’s not that scary. It is daunting yes, but scary no. People used to walk everywhere (I’ve seen ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’) (the original of course) and people HAD to walk. So I shall walk.
“It has been humbling the support I have had from many people in the town. Considering there is some contention about the Monument I have been so heart-warmed by the donations that have been coming in. Including the accommodation donations the fund is at just under £4500. And we are not finished yet.
“So. Watch this space. This is where I shall be writing up the days of the walk and my thoughts, experiences and sights I see.
See you here, Nancy”