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John Elliot

John O'Groats to Land's End by Foot & Train

Challenge complete

Fundraising for this challenge has ended so we're no longer accepting donations. Thanks to everyone who supported this challenge.

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p][b]A journey from John O'Groats to Land's End to raise awareness and money for Alzheimer's Research UK and to promote Campaign for Borders Rail and its objectives[/b][/p][p]The journey will be negotiated in four stages: [/p][p]* Walking from John O'Groats to Thurso on Saturday 14th July; [/p][p]* Taking the train from Thurso to Aberdeen via Inverness on Sunday 15th July; [/p][p]* Undertaking the UK's longest continuous train journey on Monday 16th July; [/p][p]* Walking from Penzance to Land's End on Tuesday 17th July. [/p][p][u]The journey is also being undertaken to commemorate the 50th anniversary of one of the worst, most short-sighted decisions ever taken by a Minister of Transport in the United Kingdom.[/u] [/p][p]On Monday 15th July 1968, Richard Marsh MP made a statement to the House of Commons announcing the closure of the railway, which ran between Edinburgh Waverley and Carlisle Citadel via Hawick, known as the ‘Waverley Route’.[/p][p]Five months later, on Wednesday, December 18th, 1968, with passenger services due to be withdrawn from operation on Monday, January 6th, 1969, I was among a delegation of ordinary people from various Borders towns who had travelled to London to deliver a petition to 10 Downing Street demanding the route be given a reprieve. My mother, Madge Elliot, led that belated and ultimately unsuccessful campaign.[/p][p]Reflecting on that campaign in a post-closure talk to Hawick Round Table in January 1969, my mother said: [/p][p][i]“My feelings against the closure of the railway were strong because of my own personal experience.[/i][/p][p][i] A few years ago, our elder son spent nine months in hospital due to a road accident. For five of these months, he was in both the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh and Bangour General Hospital situated in West Lothian. I travelled by train every Wednesday and Saturday to visit him. We did not own a car and the railway was the quickest and most convenient way of travelling… Sunday travel by train was not quite as convenient as there were fewer trains. One Sunday, my husband and I travelled by bus. It amounted to five and a half hours travelling for one hour’s visiting time. On one occasion, I was none too happy about our son’s condition and I shall never forget that two and three quarter hours journey home that day.[/i][/p][p][i] During these months of travelling by train, I met many people from the Borders who had to travel to Edinburgh for medical attention, or were visiting Borders patients in Edinburgh hospitals.[/i][/p][p][i] We were all told for quite a long time that the Waverley Line would be closed. Unfortunately, because the majority of us did not believe that any Government would actually take the final step of axing this main line, we remained completely apathetic to the situation, apart from prominent individuals who, for a long time, fought a lone battle.”[/i][/p][p][i] [/i]Today, my mother – who now suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease - and I still bear the scars of that closure, which unquestionably left Borders communities economically and socially disadvantaged for the best part of five decades. Strong feelings still persist despite the route’s partial re-opening (known as the ‘Borders Railway’) to passenger traffic some thirty miles south of Edinburgh to Tweedbank in September 2015. As life members of Campaign for Borders Rail, we continue to campaign for the ‘Waverley Route’ to be fully reinstated as part of the UK’s rail network serving both freight and passenger traffic running between Scotland and England. [/p][p]Originally inspired by a radio programme called, ‘A Journey Through English’ (first transmitted on BBC’s Radio 4 network on Saturday, 3rd September 2016), I had intended to undertake the longest continuous train journey in the UK – from Aberdeen to Penzance - last September to coincide with my 60th birthday, but thought the experience would be enhanced if I waited until longer daylight prevailed.[/p][p]Please give generously to help Alzheimer's Research UK defeat this horrendous, debilitating condition affecting more and more people and their families.[/p][p]Thank you,[/p][p]John 'Kim' Elliot[/p][p](Campaign for Borders Rail) [/p]

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Personal Challenge Date

14 Jul 2018


Aug 26, 2018

Allan McGee

£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid

Aug 11, 2018

Ian and Freda Loudon

Well done Kim

£15.00 plus £3.75 Gift Aid

Jul 30, 2018


Great effort Kim.

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Jul 27, 2018


Well done Kim great cause and good exposure for border railway keep it up,,,,watp.

£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid

Jul 23, 2018

Wendy Graham

Congratulations Kim and well done two great causes close to home.


Jul 23, 2018

Jean Dodds

Well done Kim on your challenge for the two worthy causes.


Jul 21, 2018

Kathleen Fraser

Well done Kim - really hope I can get back down to the Borders to catch up with the CBR team you are all doing great work campaigning to extend the railway line.

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Jul 21, 2018

Mr and Mrs A B Stewart Costa del Almond

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Jul 19, 2018


Great work Kim, all the best from Kenny Bell and Cameron Bell in Thailand.

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Jul 18, 2018


Well done sir!

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid