Cornwall Earth March Day 9: Callington to Tavistock
March 20, 2019 by Dasher
Having enjoyed a really warm welcome last evening with Callington and Calstock XR Rebels and their supportive Community, we gathered outside St. Mary’s Church in Callington, ready to continue on our way to Westminster. This was an extremely significant day, as we were completing the March through Cornwall and crossing The Tamar into West Devon. We were about to set off when I was asked to give an interview to The Western Morning News, a seminal newspaper for Devon and Cornwall. Things have been going well on the media front and this felt like another step in the right direction. The article looks pretty good in this morning’s paper (20th March, 2019) and shows Rebels on the West side of the bridge at Gunnislake, just as we were about to cross the County Boundary.
The progress of the march that morning was fairly slow, but we were able to make quite an impact in relative safety along the main A390, using the cycle path and pavements that run most of this Leg’s distance on the Cornish side of the river. We were around 15 in number and were able to fly our striking black and white banner as the wind had dropped over the past 24 hours, making us powerfully visible and strong on the high ground above the Tamar Estuary far below.
As we approached the river, down the long and winding hill that descends through Gunnislake, we ran out of pavement and things started to get more hair-raising in terms of safety and welfare. However, we reached the bridge, astir with excitement and anticipation. A great photo opportunity both on either side of the bridge and as we crossed, nipping in and out of the pointy pedestrian recesses along its narrow span. On the other side, the ascent was fraught with hazards; cars racing up the short cuts and bearing down on us from higher up. It’s a sign of our times when getting anywhere as fast as possible means more than the safety of one’s fellow beings. The two iconic Toll Houses at the bottom of the narrow road and the granite quoins of Gunnislake Bridge must have witnessed so many changes since they were first built in this formerly peaceful valley.
Once at the top of our climb out of the gorge, the walking group continued along a mixture of roads and stony track-ways whilst I went on in the safety car to Tavistock.
We were welcomed by a wonderful group of local supporters in Bedford Square, Tavistock; there were some there who had walked with us on Day 8 from Liskeard to Callington, local Quaker Friends and other folk who were keen to discover just what we were up to, how Earth March was formed and whether we needed anything. Again the press were there, two reporters from The Tavistock Times. It was good to feel so held and supported. Our beautiful Quaker Friends took us back to the Tavistock Quaker Friends Meeting House who had laid on hot soup and rolls and nurtured us with true, loving warmth and generous hospitality.
The time came for some of our courageous Rebels, who had walked all the way across the length Cornwall, some 90 miles or more, to leave and travel home to Helston and London. Sad to see them go, but good to know that they would be joining us once again as we approach Westminster.
Later, the three of us that would be staying on in Tavistock until morning were given shelter by Peter and Magi in their lovely house in town where we rested in all the love and warmth they poured upon us.
Blessed Be, People are just so kind and we give gratitude for all that Community and Friendship is giving to this Pilgrimage for The Planet.