George Taylor's 40-mile Honour Walk

Posted: 17 September 2012

Blog category: Charity

Eleven-year-old George Taylor recently decided to walk from Gravesend to Canterbury in aid of the Royal British Legion and felt that it would be appropriate to dedicate it to the Honour of Ryan Fletcher, his Dad’s cousin who died while serving in the Royal Navy.

We were pleased to be able to help by providing accommodation for the night in Faversham as George took on his 40-mile task.

Here is his account of the weekend:

The walk took place on the 25th & 26th August. We decided that as we are a new branch the starting point should be as local to us as possible. Shorne Country Park was chosen as the footpaths here as suitable for all abilities, follow the one mile walk at Shorne the Taylor family plus one friend headed for Faversham. Joined initially by a Kent Commissioner Candidate.

As we entered Strood the weather took a turn for the worst with heavy drizzle and rain. We pushed into Rochester, and as we entered Chatham the weather started to improve. Chatham was our first big challenge; we reached the top and as the road levelled out another downpour soaked us.

After sheltering under a tree we pushed on towards Rainham following the A2 it become quite testing as the stretch from Rainham to Sittingbourne is a long straight path next to a busy road.

Encouraged by passing motorists sounding their horns we finally come into Sittingbourne. So far it had taken us six hours and we were starting to get hungry, a chip shop came to our rescue.

Bellies full we were ready for the final push along the A2 to Faversham. A wrong move brought us into Faversham the long way via the Bank Street car park. As we spotted the rear of the Sun Inn, George saw the familiar faces of our Branch Presidents and Standard Bearer there to greet us with a pint of Whitstable Bay for Dad. A warm welcome from the staff at the Sun Inn was followed by a welcome shower in the rooms kindly donated by Shepherd Neame.

A chance meeting with a member of the Faversham Branch who had heard of our walk came to find us was followed by a superb meal and a welcome nights rest.

Sunday the 26th started with a full breakfast before leaving the Sun Inn at 0900. Legs still aching from Saturday we attacked the A2, a pleasant walk through the villages was spoilt by Boughton Hill, one and a half miles of misery!

That completed it was downhill into Canterbury, encouraged by some supporters at Dunkirk we entered the city. At which point we hear the sound of bag pipes.  Met at Canterbury Westgate Towers by the City Mayor ; members of the Gravesham and Ebbsfleet and Canterbury Branch we were led through the City centre by a lone piper. Displaying our banner and wielding our buckets we managed to collect £150. Then joined by our MP Adam Holloway, we carried on up St Martins Hill to Howe Barracks. The aching legs no longer seemed to matter as a sense of pride and achievement was much stronger. A 50 meter sprint finish from Dad and I led us to the gate, where we were met by Sgt Mgr Charlie Moore and Cpl Gary Gracie of 5 Scots wearing full Scottish uniform. After posing for photos we were escorted to the NAFFI. Job done!

The total raised for this walk so far is around £800 a huge thank you to all our supporters.

If you wish to donate please go to http://neverforget.tributefunds.com/ryan-fletcher-2

Thank you

George