Within the Green Party I sounded out a few people to see if they were up for the challenge.
In response to the email from the Green Party we had Louise Galvin from Huddersfield who I knew as one of our leaflet deliverers in the area I represent on Kirklees Council. Louise's Facebook feed was full of pictures of her on various runs and fell races looking terribly energetic. Her bandana proudly declared 'vegan runner'. If I had to get a suitably descriptive bandana it would have to say 'omnivorous slob'.
George (Georgina) Perry was from Leeds Green Party and worked in the health sector. For a while I'd got her mixed up with the George (Georgina) from Lancashire who had helped us work out the route. I'm easily confused.
So we had a magnificent 7 walkers plus Ann Forsaith in the support vehicle. I christened us 'The Fellowship of the Frack'. There were 8 of us, just like in 'The Lord of the Rings', we were being guided by a tall guy with a beard (Tom). I of course was the moody, good looking (self deluding) Aragorn. I would have to be careful about how far I should take the analogy because that would mean we would be equating our final destination in Lancashire with Mordor, the home of the army of Orcs and that
were seeking to seeking to send.
The day of the walk drew near. We were to assemble in Scarborough at a 'kick off' meeting in the towns Central Library on the Tuesday night. After a leisurely trip I met up with Louise in Scarborough she found a Vegan Friendly cafe on her Vegan eating app and we strolled towards it. I remember thinking it was a bit of a long walk to the cafe (it wasn't) and then thinking If you think thats a long walk Cooper what sodding chance will you have of completing this walk you fool!" I can be a bit tough on
animal unfriendly burger and chips. We strolled towards the Library. I remember feeling stuffed and unenergetic "No backing out now Cooper you idiot!" I thought. The hall in the Library was beginning to fill up a bit for our 'send off' event with about 40 or so in the audience and a panel I was on with representatives from the Green Party, Frack Free Scarborough, the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats and me for the Core Team of Walkers. All good earnest stuff from all the speakers about why Fracking was such a bad thing from different perspectives. I stood up to talk about the walk itself and it occurred to me that I didn't know who Carolyn Popple was or Georgina Perry. I knew Nigel Corser was meeting us the next day at Kirby Misperton Protection Camp where he was camping. In a moment of inspiration I said " Can
to applause! Ah! Carolyn Popple doesn't always wear reflective sunglasses. She must be George. Right got that! I then went on to explain that we were the 'Fellowship of the Frack' and that every Fellowship should have a 'precious'. I revealed an old battered Harrogate Toffee Tin which had been the repository for our tea bags back home before I liberated it. I explained how soil would be dug up from Kirby Misperton Protection Camp and carried all the way to Preston New Road where Lancashire and Yorkshire soil would be mixed together. Then the soil would be used to help plant a self seeded oak tree sapling that Ann Forsaith was bringing with her from Yorkshire. This was to be a symbolic act to demonstrate that an attack on land in Lancashire would be an attack on land in Yorkshire. Our soils were mixed, our fates entwined.
The meeting ended, we did some photos and went off to our respective beds for the night. We were to set off from Kirby Misperton at 7.00a.m. The next morning we would be on the road. Here we go.
|The Fellowship of the Frack assembles (minus Nigel Corser)|