The annual CWU pilgrimage to the Long Mynd in Shropshire for a 21 mile walk including a climb to above 1500 feet in support of CWU Humanitarian Aid (CWUHA) took place on the 5th September.
Once again organised by The Mid Wales the Marches and North Staffs Branch it attracted CWU activists and members from around the country.
The walk had additional poignancy as the fate of Syrian refugees made the headlines across Europe. The value of the fund raising and convoys organised by the CWUHA over the last 20 years was drawn into sharp focus by the suffering of people fleeing the war zone.
Branch Chair John Turnbull of said “The suffering so vividly displayed on our TV screens puts the 18,000 plus steps on this walk in perspective, we are proud of the CWU and it’s fine tradition illustrated by the CWUHA of seeking to alleviate the suffering of those less fortunate.”
Executive member Tom Cooper started the walk early and was inexplicably joined by a stray sheepdog for eleven miles. The pedigree dog soon became Tom’s chum as he took an early lead on the walk. He dogged Tom’s steps to the halfway mark until, according to bushcraft expert Tom, he handed him over to a local. Tom had a hangdog expression for the rest of the walk and started to have colly-wobbles by the end.
First timer on the walk Brian Kenny from The Mersey Branch not only walked for 21 miles, but he also undertook a personal challenge to ensure everyone appreciated Everton football club before the end of the walk.
The walkers were joined by the late Ian Mason’s family making their annual visit to the tree planted in Ian’s honour on top of the Long Mynd. Walkers halted at the tree for a moment of personal contemplation on the compassion and civilizing role Trade Unions continue to play in an often too harsh world.
A fun but tiring day ended in true CWU style with a BBQ and drinks tirelessly administered by walker and burgermeister in chief Sue Edge.
If you wish to join the walkers next year contact John Turnbull on firstname.lastname@example.org and he will put you on his correspondence list. The just giving charity site for CWUHA is: www.justgiving.com/cwuha/donate if you would like to donate to the CWUHA.