London Walk/Pilgrimage met at Battersea Park Peace Pagoda on Sunday 1st June 1997, a very windy day, the wind blowing southwest. King Arthur of Andover was there for the sendoff, ( I reminded him there's no feedback on his webpages - he's never seen them, and him an ex-Mensa genius)....
At 3ish Willy shouted time to go, and off with girfriend Ruth he went, some followed, some went home.
I counted 26 walkers, 4 on pushbikes, and 3 in the van.
I cycled along with them as far as Putney, put 50p in the food collection, met little Georgia, aged 4, the smallest walker, who'd only brought sandals; then cycled back to our little site at Kew, (where I played with the baby), then dug out some little trainers Roger Moon had left last year, my sleeping bag and bit of plastic, red flashing light, then cycled south to meet the walkers.
I found them at Ham Common sitting round a huge campfire but no food, no tea, the van had been captured. The cops had pulled it and the driver had leapt out and run away, allegedly he wasn't 100% legal. Willy was away in a car trying to get it back - it had everyone's bags, tents, food, etcetera in it. And we'd advertised a Vegan Meal , so Venison was out of the question.
There was actually more females than males, for the first time ever, one superbly mad Dutch or european lady sang a silly song and they played musical statues, I say 'they', the girls danced, most of us blokes shuffled embarrassingly - I did a few token jumps, remembering a Spiral rave at Longstock near Stonehenge years ago when I'd sussed 'I might look stupid dancing here like a lunatic but not half as stupid as those hippies do sitting down skinning up and watching us' ... I digress..
Musical Statues, yeah, the winner was the deaf druid
Then we played easy I spy -C- Cloud F Fire, T - Trees P - Pratt? no. it was people (the idea of easy Eye Spy is to choose a word that will be guessed in one, stream of consciousness, merging of minds, it's quite difficult actually, to set, but is automatically adjusting with children of various ages, know what I mean?
Then I played some tinwhistle and no-one complained.
Then Willy Came back in the car, followed by a police van with the tents, bags, etc piled inside.
But the water containers were empty, I blagged the car to fill them, took a while.
They set off at around noon on Monday, I stayed behind as emergency reserve driver to reclaim the van, but didn't drive, we got it back, got it to the next campsite - Walton on Thames, left it there, got a lift back to Kew, slept
They're following the Thames from Windsor, through Runnymede Magna Carta Tearooms to Reading, where they'll follow rhe Kennet and Avon Canal towpath through Theale, Aldermaston, Newbury, Hungerford, Pewsey, then south to Avebury, West Kennet, and Stonehenge (and perhaps the George pub in Amesbury solstice eve)
18 walkers and 3 pushbikes left Battersea Park PeacePagoda on Saturday the 1st of June 1996. They spent the first night at Wandsworth Bridge EcoVillage, , then walked down the Portsmouth road, through Richmond Park, and then joined the Thames towpath. They were planning to walk up river for a few days, then branch off down the Kennet and Avon canal at Reading.
Another walk left Brighton on Sunday the 2nd. And Susan e-mailed us to say she's cycling from the USA!
There's an article about the legal situations in June's newsletter, which I should theoretically receive when I log into my e-mail in NorthLondon tomorrow, and upload with this page, so you should see it now- Stonehenge news page,
New report by RevDr Scobie about how his arrests near Stonehenge June sostice 1996
Stonehenge Campaign: c/o 99 Torriano Av, London NW5 2RX
London Walk 1995 report We walked 17 miles one day- all the adults were complaining but we ran ahead every time. There were ducks, storks, eggs, and 2 weird animals by Danny and Merlin
Stonehenge Walk In the merry month of June the green trees were in full leaf 25 people did on the Stonehenge walk go along the leafy banks of the Thames through pastoral idylls which we would not usually see green sloping lawns, big old houses wooden boathouses, paint peeling and willows weeping bongoing our message on the bridge at Windsor -the town eerily silent and subdued- -a warm welcome here from the riverside pub- well-fed on tasty communal food which a few people got together with no problem every evening, people giving money or help, then music and stories round the fire all the way our tents and bags were on the trusty canal boat with three people to help us if you sat still you could sit in the bows and see all the moorhens and wildlife Jumping off to get the boats through the locks friendships forged for life or a good few years yet a chance to let your hair down and get your body in shape 10 miles a day average the children could do it, no sweat at the end of one week primed for the next week big breakfasts in the cafe at the end of the road For this year's walk, meet 1pm at Battersea Park Peace Pagoda ( by the river, midpoint between 2 bridges) leaving 3pm , see you there. Julia
the last time i walked to stonehenge was in 94.
i couldn't find the london walk so i went to solsbury hill where i found about a dozen people planning to set off from there.
i joined them and we set off for adventures across, atop hills, along tracks, across fields, in and through woods. most of the journey was relaxed as we soaked up sun and countryside.
i have always enjoyed walking with a group of people ever since i first joined the london walks in '86 & '87.
in '88 & '89 i joined the bristol walkers and london again in 90. there have been henge walks from colchester, oxford, glastonbury, . . . .
the original bristol walk was just two people hiding in hedges (so i'm told).
the solsbury walk was the most consistently small group that i have walked with. i noticed that we formed a group consciousness very quickly and formed a bond which strengthened as we shared more experiences.
as we entered wiltshire we gained police escorts. we would tread some lonely track and over the horizon a van or car would appear and follow us as far as it could. if we stopped for a break as we frequently did, they would sit there looking totally bored.
it seemed a lot of taxes spent to watch a dozen people strolling in the countryside. solstice eve, 4 miles from the stones gained us even more attention and all my new friends decided to head for a party in west kennet long barrow. so near to the stones when i had not been there for 4 years - i chose to kip in a hedge.
i overslept the dawn and strolled down to fargoe woods where i had a fire to dry myself, 2 bodrhans, socks and a hot drink, then on to the stones. there were no police and minimal sequrity. plenty of tourists.
the police had told us the stones were closed completely for the whole day.
i hung around the heel stone where a few peple came and went.
at the actual moment of solstice dice george, harlequin and i braved the winds to praise shiva.
of more recent years i have wondered why so much energy has been focused on the solstice dawn, especially if the solstice moment has fallen in the daytime.
dawn is convenient for the authorities - they can dispose of us all before 9a.m. and its business as usual for the rest of the day.
i have seen the sun rise from the road by the heel stone in '87 (lovely), the police riot in '88 by that same stone, one year the police processing was done next to henge and arrestees had the irony of being transported to the stones at rise.
other years people have been driven and dumped 4 miles from the stones.
yet for all this fuss about the rise in '84 i was too busy enjoying hawkwind (in the field next door), and there wasn't room for 20,000 in the centre.
i did enjoy the daytime celebrations both in '84 & '83 when the naked hippies did their thing after the 'boring' druids had finished (not enough colour!) there were hours of extactic being and i felt hope for the future.
my spiritual experiences with henge have increased and a rise from inside the stones is very powerfull and worth fighting for.
there are however wider issues in question. such as the right for free assembly and free association on communal space, the right to access to the countryside, to walk through it and experience it.
a walk though the countryside with a group of people, even a small one (perhaps a more wholely intimate experience) is an enjoyable way to holiday in englands green and pleasant.
they can start anywhere, a ordanance survey is a great help and you could even end up at stonehenge. the more little happy strolling groups in wiltshire the more overtime for our boys in blue keeping us company (they might enjoy being stretched).
failing that you could always join the london walk this june 1996.
To whom it may concern: on Wednesday the 19th June 1996 at 10.am. myself and two others, Richard a knight of the Loyal and Arthurian Warband, and King Arthur Pendragon, walked to Stonehenge from CaerBaden (Bath). We had a successful journey insofar as we reached Stonehenge (except for King Arthur) by 21 hundred hours on Thursday night, the 20th.
Having previously been told of the ground rules of such visits with a pieces of paper outlineing the "exclusion zone" the procession order and what a tresspassory assembly was. Upon arriving at stonehenge, we stopped at the Celtic Cross at the foot of the Fargo plantation where we stopped for a picnic and were joined by some ten to twelve others, amongst them Gallahad.
At 9.30 that evening Police Inspector John Wicken came and 'had a chat' and left perfectly satisfied that we were not a trespassory assembly, in that we numbered only fifteen (not more than 19) and were there for the purposes of a picnic.
I personally informed the inspector that the purpose of my visit was religous, not criminal, that I in no way intended to process to Stonehenge, (to be a part of a procession, which is more than one person - even a man and wife or child...) to go there on my own, to be there on my own, not to be part of any trespassory assembly and to welcome our sun god on the longest day- the transition period, to which he agreed that that was good policy.
One hour and ten minutes later he returned with 45 of his mates, with videos, still cameras and lights, our assembly, still being only 15 people. He asked us what we were doing, we said picnicing, he then told us that he had reason to believe that a breach of the peace would occur, and therefore advised us to move on towards Shrewton and Devizes. or be arrested.
I explained I was there for religous and not criminal pruposes. he asked me again if I was prepared to move, at which juncture I said no, he said "i must arrest you" to which I replied- on what grounds, and on what charge, to which he replied "potential breach of the peace"
when an arresting officer was found, he placed his arm on my arm, and cautioned me with the new caution at which point I place my hand on his arm and arrested him under articles 9, 10,11 and 14 of the Strasburg Convention of Human Rights 1953, and a cautioned him that anything he said could and would be used against him in said court. We were driven to Salisbury Police station, where after due process, we were locked in a cell, with no use of a telephone, no cup of tea, no blankets and I personally had to threaten a doctor in order to get medication for my serious back injury. at 4am 4 of us were driven to Amesbury police station where we were held until just after 6am when we were unceremoniously dumped on the street still not having had a cup of tea or a blanket with no charge.
38 others were arrested with me that night, among them 2 arch druids, King Arthur Pendragon and 10 of his knights, 33 of whom were not charged of the 6 who were charged 2, travelling on their own, were charged with Procession the other 4 having been in pairs
, ______ _________ _______ , , / Free \ / The \ / Stones \ , , \________/ \_________/ \_______ / , , ____ ___ ___ ____ , , / \ / \ / \ / \ , , | | | | o | ! ! ! , , | | | | m | ! ! ! , , , , Stonehenge Campaign c/o 99 Torriano Av, London NW5 2RX , , ,