Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Back to Full Strength as Injury Time Ends

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Back to Full Strength as Injury Time Ends

Article excerpt

Peter Mortimer and his band of strolling players continue walking the length of the Roman Wall ( putting on performances of his new play Off the Wall at nine village venues.

Most people who walk The Roman Wall do so from east to west. This is mainly because we've numbered the milecastles from Wallsend outwards.

I humbly suggest west to east may be better ( you get the prevailing wind, and as one veteran walker said to me: "Start at Wallsend and you've got blisters early on from the miles of Tyneside Tarmac."

By any rights yesterday's 13-mile walk should have produced glowing paeons of written praise on the Wall's most magnificent stretch ( all those splendid lochs, Sewingshield Crags, and the whole spectacular dragon's back which is the Hadrian Wall's progress.

In truth, losing two members of the cast and being soaked to the skin left us all slightly short of total Wall adulation. But hey, look! Here's the triumphant return from hospital of Bill Meeks, who'd been put on a drip to cure dehydration, and Dylan Mortimer, who had exited stage left pursued by a bull and thereby suffered a foot injury. Both survived and would be OK for yesterday evening's performance in Humshaugh village hall.

The George at Chollerford offered welcome respite. It's a posh, fairly quiet hotel whose beautifully landscaped gardens slope down to the Tyne, which is spanned by a splendid stone bridge.

Posh food too, but no loo rolls in the downstairs gents. The George's corridors are endless, bewilderingly labyrinthine and the rooms have no numerical logic. Some guests may have been wandering for years and it's likely we lot covered as many miles in these corridors as on the Wall.

Our ragbag small army sitting down for the nouvelle cuisine in the dining room may have looked slightly conspicuous. But there is some sense of relief to be back at full strength, even if Bill Meeks still looks peaky and Dylan hasn't yet lost his Long John limp. The evening before, in the celebratory atmosphere of the Twice Brewed Inn, I'd been taken to task by a Mr Gary Reed of Hadrian's Walks Ltd for being photographed in a newspaper, stood on the Wall. …

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