Jarrow to london People's March for the NHS march arrived yesterday (and so did we!)

Jarrow to london People's March for the NHS march arrived yesterday (and so did we!)

Amazing day - we met friends at Clissold Park, Stoke Newington (N. London) and cheered the arrival of the marchers including the "300 milers" - those who'd walked the entire route. Some looked exhausted. Everyone brought food for them, reflecting the original 1936 Jarrow march, when out of work marchers were fed and housed all along their route to parliament.

The march moved off towards Islington at quite a lick - slightly uphill gradient alongside heavy traffic. I was gasping by the time i'd walked about a mile so we decided to hop the open topped campaign bus which accompanied the march and stayed on it for another mile. It was fun but shocking pollution on the open topped deck far worse than on the ground, so after a rest and chance to get rid of trapped air, we got off and walked on more level ground to Red Lion Square (about one and half miles) where there was a big welcome from huge number of londoners and others, with a stage, stalls, banners and great atmosphere. Speeches from the stage where some of the DarloMums (the original organisers) were pretty choked up at the numbers who'd shown up and the appreciation they expressed. Several of the mums made moving speeches about the importance of a free unprivatised NHS and how life changing planning and walking the route had been for them. Then Billy Bragg sang us off on our way to the Trafalgar Square rally - another mile and a half and we were there.

Picnic and hot dogs restored us, during which a young woman asked to take our photos (and tweeted one of them). The one here is myself centre with Rita my partner on the right and friend Alison on the other side. It felt wonderful being part of it all, and from a personal point of view meeting with so many like minded old friends from when we lived in london. It was a privilege to see these young women who had organised the whole thing, ordinary people who had never thought that much about politics but whose lives, after taking on this challenge for the sake of their children, will never be the same again (last bit being a quote from one of their speeches).

Lastly, having found walking so much harder this year and having had my FEV1 go from 45% to 37% in one year, I was pretty nervous about doing the march and amazed to realise afterwards that I'd walked four miles and some quite fast. Hard in parts but I remembered lovely messages here which helped. Thanks also to friends who texted encouragement yesterday, especially Peeg. It's nice to think that every person there, whether the 300 milers, those who rode the bus and those who made donations, may have made a difference for the NHS. There was finally some reasonable coverage on the BBC news last night, interviews with the DarloMums in the morning and a pic in the Observer today. Time will tell how much effect it will have, but it was good to be there and express gratitude for the NHS.

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  • You are looking very stylish there 02 - I am loving the hat :) Most of all though so proud of you!!! That was some trek - the mileage alone is something to be proud of, but along with the traffic fumes, weight of your oxygen and the dreaded inclines I think you did amazing! I am glad to hear you enjoyed it and hope you have the chance to put your feet up today - you deserve it. And yes - I finally saw it get a mention on BBC News yesterday :) Well done to all those ladies!

  • Thanks Van, thank heaven for the bus is all i can say. yeah great re media coverage. Hope you're having good weekend xxx

  • Great photo O2Trees and what a great thing to do. It sounded as if there was great camaraderie amongst everyone which is lovely. Well done to you and everyone else who took part. Take care. xxxxxxxxx

  • Thanks sassy, my soul lifted! It was fab :)

  • Well done O2. And you look great. Love the hat!

    Bobby xx

  • Ta Bobby - you ok? haven't seen much from you for a while, but then I haven't been on the forum so much recently.

  • I haven't been about much Trees. I still pop in from time to time just to make sure everyone is keeping out of mischief. lol

    Bobby xx

  • Hahaha! Some hopes ;)

  • Well done you what a fantastic achievement, I'm worn out just reading it.

    Kim xxx

  • Thanks Kimmy. And what I'm impressed with is the DarloMums. Amazing role-models for their generation. :)

  • I am bursting with the pride I feel for you and everyone else there. A very well done to you all. xx

  • Aw Toci - means a lot, thank you. Everyone did great :)

  • Well done O2 I thought of you yesterday. Love the hat and the smiling faces of achievement. Everyone involved thank you and congratulations.

  • Cheers Suzy, I must have felt your thought ;)

    The hat which has been mentioned a few times comes from a Donegal weaver we visited a few years ago. Still my fave :)

  • Thanks Toci and Suzy. Your good wishes have meant a lot. And yes congrats to everyone. :)

  • I meant to say we marched behind the Save Our Surgeries banner, which felt the most appropriate (we don't have a Kent Keep Our NHS Public banner yet). Also - as of course each bloc would pull ahead of my pace, then we could catch up at traffic lights* - behind one with the famous Aneurin Bevan quote that the NHS will survive while there are folk with the faith to fight for it.

    *We were marching on the pavements up to Red Lion Square, after which we had the whole road and the pace was better.

  • Well done o2! Love the hat! Great picture xx

  • Cheers Porche!

  • Well done ! Sounds like a great and historic occasion and day to remember. I'm really impressed at how far you walked and interested in your comment re. open top buses. In Tallinn earlier this summer, just like you, I took an open top bus because of sob and ended up that evening with breathing that was scary. BTW, how did you get rid of trapped air ? Are you referring to your lungs ?

  • Thanks Argana. I was proud to be there.

    The bad pollution was when the bus had pulled up to busstop - maybe we were directly above the exhaust, i don't know. There would be several other buses at most stops too.

    Trapped air: Im not 100% sure about this, but a physio once told me that stopping and resting meant some of the air that gets trapped during exercise will expel from the lungs. If anyone has info about how precisely this works id be interested.

    However much air comes out, there's still lots stuck down there all the time. Im skinny but i have the stomach of a 6 month pregnant woman :(

  • You are Fabulous, Amazing, Terrific, Fantastic, Incredible,just a few words to describe what you are for doing what you did yesterday. Well done 02, your efforts to support what we all believe in has been a very real inspiration to us all.

    Great pic, three very happy smiling faces and that 'hat' :) say's it all. :) :) :) .

    Tony xxxxx

  • Tony: just in case you don't recheck there's a msg from Sohara lower down, and see edited reply to you below (I hd to rush out to do fit to fly test in london (back in the smoke, but back home now!)

    Im also glad to see you back as Sohara says :)

  • I echo every word Tony and everyone else has written.

    O2, you are absolutely amazing, an inspiration and I'm so proud to know you.

    Hope you're lavishing yourself with TLC now and relaxing a bit (if you can, you never seem to sit still)!

    Have the most wonderful holiday with Rita, see you when you get back and we can make plans for our trip to Cornwall with Sohara - yes Van, we haven't forgotten!

  • Thanks so much peeg. Hope you got my reply to your so appreciated text on the day.

    Not much chance to relax as after i came home on sunday i had to return yesterday to Homerton for a fit to fly test for the flight (it went fine, i need just 1 lpm to keep O2 up).

    But just this minute I've had call from my dearest friend here in Whit that her throat cancer has come back and is now in the tongue. Im feeling devastated and not sure if we will go on holiday now. We share a dog and I look after Dora half the week. Now its likely to be full time for a while as Yve has to go into hospital as soon as possible. Im in shock but that's a tiny fraction of what she must be going through.

    Wont write more here but i want to know how your packing up is going and where you will be moving to. Bit of a hobo, you, at the moment. xxxx

  • I bet that was a great moment seeing history in the making. I am behind the marchers all the way and thoroughly admire their guts and effort. Well done to you for being part of it and managing so well. x

  • Congrats on such an awesome effort,mind boggling!

    How fantastic to have such support,with all the marchers.

    Loved the pic,of the 3 of you,you all look so chuffed,& so you should!

    Lovely informative post,really felt I was there,

    Love to you all, xxxx

  • Hi Tony, coughalot and Wendells - thanks for lovely messages. Its catching up on me now, bit achy this morning but worth it. Thanks so much for all your support. :)

    Just edited: had to rush out earlier so sorry no personal messages but very much appreciated yours :) :) :) (one each)

  • Hi Trees,glad you managed to get there and enjoy it.Due to getting some bodies cancelled appointment for Monday,required some management over the weekend,I could,nt make it so could only contribute a donation.Well done ,keep up the fight,I,m with you all the way!D.

  • Sorry you didn't make it FD. You were with us in spirit though and donation is cool!

  • O2. What a fantastic photo O2. You look beautiful in it. You are an amazing & inspirational lady. I am very proud to have met you and know you.

    I wish I could have been with you on the march. Let's hope it does some good

    On another note I am so delighted to see DALL. It's good yo have you back again Tony. We were all worried about you

    Love to you all Sohara xx

  • Yeah, wish you'd been there too Sohara, that would have been grand.

    And right about Tony who left such a sweet message. Good when folk are safely back again.

    You take care Sohara :)

  • Hey no need to worry Sohara, it was nothing an increase in steroids couldn't sort out. Things are back to normalish on this roller coaster ride of having dodgy lungs. :)

    02 did a great job for us all didn't she. :)

  • Congratulationd Trees, you should be proud of yourself.A very nice photograph also of you and your partner. Regards Malk.

  • Cheers Malk. :)

  • Well done 02

  • Ta onamission!

  • OMG soooooo proud of you and of everyone who took part. Love the piccie and thank you for sharing both the photo and for bringing the whole experience to life.

    Love Stokey btw - my daughter used to live there before moving back up t' Yorkshire.

    Love cx

  • Thanks cofdrop.

    We used to live down the road in Dalston until my lungs went tits up and we headed to the coast in Kent. I miss it a lot.

    My partner rita comes from near Barnsley but Yorkshire is a big place.

    You take care cofdrop :)

  • What a fantastic achievement and post, our very own roving reporter "on the march" in the stunning beret !

    Well done O2

    Su x

  • Thanks so much Su. It was privilege to be there.

  • PS I love the photo, you all look so happy :D

    Love that you have the blue cockerel in the background and how there's a sheet of water behind you. No mistaking that YOU MADE IT xxxx

  • :) :) !! How do you do that smiley?

  • : and D = :D

  • well done to you all would have liked to have been there with you you did us proud and yes we have to keep fighting the young uns don't know what it will be like without a free health service serviced by the state we have to keep going

  • You're so right eastridingbigden - but hopefully lots of them will know now due to the efforts of their mums :)

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