East Lancashire Royal Arch Presentation Team Leader John Cavanagh walked the length of the Berlin Wall for his nominated charity Diabetes UK during the early part of September.
“I have wanted to do this since the wall came down in 1989 and have never had the opportunity for it, so when i had a few days free in September I booked a trip and started walking home the 8 miles from work as training. It was never intended as a sponsored walk but a friend of mine found out and sent me a donation, when I asked what the money was for he said for sponsorship, cos you can’t be doing this for fun.” Little did he know.
The Berlin Wall surrounded the whole of West Berlin for some 100 miles, but it was 30 miles or so that divided it from East Berlin that people are familiar with, that twin wall strip filled with watchtowers, automatic guns, dogs and land mines known as the Death strip. It passed through roads, railway lines and cut communities and families in half. It was erected overnight in 1961 and remained until 9th November 1989 when the checkpoints opened and the people were free. The wall was taken down and almost no trace of it is left apart from a few yards that has been preserved. The East German Border guards path that ran between the walls is still there and has now been turned into the BERLIN WALL TRAIL which runs along the path of the former wall. It was this signposted path that John walked stopping at the historical information boards that are sited along the path at points of interest and the memorial “Steel Posts” to mark that site where escapees lost their lives trying to escape.
His walk was completed in 11hr 43min and so far John has raised £1600 for Diabetes UK.
Any donations can be made via John’s Just Giving Page
or via John at:
15 Wolverton Drive, Wilmslow, Cheshire. SK9 2GD