Youngsters help to save Walking Day

PHOTO. KEVIN McGUINNESS.'Chorley Churches Walking Day, St. Laurence's Rainbows
PHOTO. KEVIN McGUINNESS.'Chorley Churches Walking Day, St. Laurence's Rainbows
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Chorley children are taking the battle to save the town’s threatened Walking Day to the Prime Minister.

A brownie group has put pen to paper and written to Number 10.

The youngsters are urging the PM not to let the the much-loved tradition be lost after police warned they did not have the manpower to marshal the event in future.

And Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle has added his weight to the campaign.

He has written to Police Commissioner Clive Grunshaw asking him to intervene to save Walking Day.

Pauline Barnes, brown owl with the 4th St Peter’s Brownies, Chorley, revealed the children had this week written letters to PM David Cameron, the Chief Superintendent of Chorley Police, the Mayor of Chorley, Chorley Council and the Bishop of Blackburn asking for their help.

Pauline, 63, said she wanted leaders to hear the save-Walking-Day-plea simply from a child’s perspective.

She said; “I’ve walked for the last 60 years – it’s something close to my heart.

“We’re really appalled at this funding being pulled.

“It’s the oldest, religious, celebration of your faith, just to walk through town peacefully, saying we believe in Jesus Christ. It’s just a reafirmation we are Christians.

“For the young people, just to stop now, it’s a sad thing.”

Walking Day event took to the streets of the town centre at the weekend, and though organisers have had offers of help, the future of the is still in serious doubt.

Chief marshall Brian Addison said he had been touched by all the support it had received and declared: “My gut feeling is there will be one in some form.”

He said there were “three or four” offers of help to discuss.

“I think the reaction is, one way or another, they will walk next year, how, I don’t know. But we have a couple of offers to be firmed up.”

He said oganisers of Chorley Carnival had offered to provide marshals and a traffic management company had come forward too.

“I didn’t expect the support I got. We are going to fight and do it again.

The Rev Tim Wilby, of St George’s Church, spoke to the congregation in church on Saturday.

He said: “I thanked the police for the excellent work they do in marshalling and hoped in working together, a solution will be found so Chorley’s longest church cultural event can continue in the future.”

Mr Hoyle said: “I am extremely disappointed the police have said they are no longer willing to marshal road closures.

“Community events such as Walking Day are extremely important.

“In the case of Chorley Carnival, thousands lined the streets and a police presence is required to ensure that we can close roads safely.

“By delegating this responsibility to event organisers will place extra pressure on voluntary groups and lead to many events being cancelled.”