Anti Racist Cumbria walk Hadrian’s Wall to celebrate hidden histories.
A walking challenge hosted by Anti Racist Cumbria whose mission is to make Cumbria the first anti-racist county in the UK is taking place this weekend. Eight members and supporters of Anti Racist Cumbria will be walking the full length of Hadrian’s Wall from Bowness-on-Solway to Wallsend over three days, with the team walking more than a marathon a day. The purpose of the walk is to celebrate 1900 years of the wall, raise awareness of the charity and celebrate the contribution Black and Brown people have made and continue to make across the wall. Stories shared include showcasing Black-owned businesses, highlighting exhibitions such as Black Memories Matter, celebrating the significance of Black and Brown contributions both past and present, the group hope to visit the studio of Li Yuan-chia, a China-born conceptual artist near Brampton and plan on visiting the site of the first recorded African Community in Britain. Anti Racist Cumbria have partnered with M-Unit on this project who are part of the team behind the Black Memories Matter exhibition. The group of walkers will be supported by volunteers along the way, and people are welcome to join them for parts of the walk to find out more about what Anti Racist Cumbria do. The best way to find out where there up to is to follow their social media stories on Instagram as they will be posting and sharing throughout the trip.
Niall McNulty co-founder of M-Unit and Trustee at Anti Racist Cumbria has been one of the
key organisers of the challenge, he said; ’Hadrians wall is an incredible piece of history that lives amongst our local communities. But it has a hidden heritage which does not get shared enough. I wanted to do the walk to research, share and celebrate some of the black and brown people who have lived, worked and walked the wall now and in the past. It’s also a tough physical challenge to walk over a marathon a day and one I’m looking forward to doing with fellow Anti Racist Cumbria members and supporters!’
Patrin Watanatada recently moved to Ambleside and explained her reasons for undergoing the challenge and what it meant for her;
“I’m Thai American and new to Cumbria, after half a lifetime in big cities. Joining Anti Racist Cumbria has given me an early window into the vibrant diversity that does exist here, and a wonderful opportunity to learn from a passionate group dedicated to making Cumbria an anti-racist county where everyone can thrive and feel they belong. I’ll be joining part of the walk with my husband (who has Cumbrian roots) and our little boy, and we’re all excited to learn more about and help raise awareness of the many people from all backgrounds who’ve contributed to the fascinating history and culture of Cumbria.”
Robert White, an engineer from Whitehaven is a new supporter of Anti Racist Cumbria; “Last year I walked the Coast 2 Coast with a close friend and his brothers. The difficulties of the walk made him eulogise his earlier trip across Hadrian’s Wall, and whenever I’d have the chance to do it myself, he urged that I do it. Recently I have been admiring Anti Racist Cumbria’s work and met some of their number at a TUC gathering. That these two vital sides to life, anti-racism and exploring the countryside by foot until the cows come home, were coming together in such an interesting package, I was more than eager to join! This week’s walk will be an experience and opportunity to learn that could be defining.”
The eight walkers set off on Friday 1st July and aim to arrive in Wallsend on the evening of Sunday 3rd July.