#march4nhs – it’s growing and growing (Mansfield to not quite Nottingham)

Great to march with everyone until early afternoon when I had to jump on another train. man holding people's march banner with blue NHS letters on both cheeks of face
I haven’t had good internet connectivity on phone so not able to use punkt yet but will give it another   shot tomorrow evening.

The warmth and generosity of hosts is amazing.

Stu and Louise are superbly organised and cheerful co-ordinators, having everything laid out along the way.

I was not on megaphone for all of  this morning so briefly joined in holding the main banner which  involves several people at once. Quite a few of us have said that it’s like a bunch of kids under a big duvet  as we all shuffle along pavements of different sizes, navigating corners, traffic lights and occasionally step in each others way. Some people have stickers on faces, today it was handpainted

The #march4nhs twitter feed currently shows the huge crowds that joined the Nottingham end of the march earlier this evening. It is continuing to gain momentum. Thanks #darlomums !

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#marchforNHS Chesterfield-Mansfield

Had good train journey and caught a connecting bus with very friendly bus driver and other marchers. I saw him later on in the route and he gave us all a nice hoot. We had a send off from one of the Chesterfield Royal staff (2 mins walk down the road) but they are having a very hectic day so had to go back. Some amazing views as we made our way through outskirts of Derbyshire today.

James Eaden with high-viz jacket looking at Boslover castle in the distance

We gradually moved towards Bolsover, home of the legendary Dennis Skinner MP, including a very steep ascent, up and past the magnificent looking Bolsover Castle. Dennis Skinner couldn’t be there but had donated lunch and sent us all a personal message

“I am sorry that I cannot be with you today but I will surely be there when the march reaches parliament. After that we need to redouble our efforts to continue the campaign to repeal the ConDem Health and Social Care Act and ensure that the Secretary of State has a duty to guarantee a National Health Service which is free at the point of need / use, removes competition and ensures that private patients aren’t put before NHS patients. Then we can begin the task of rebuilding the NHS on its founding principles”

I chatted at lunch with a man who had spent several years in and out of hospital including nine months in intensive care. He remembers 1947 and remembered how Tory opposition tried to destroy the NHS before it had even begun, continuing ever since.

It was a great day, always nice to relax at tea breaks

marchers and banners lying / sitting on the grass

marchers chatting at the bottom of the hill leading up to Bolsover castle

We had a great reception as we entered the town centre of Mansfield and a wonderful speech by local councillor Martin Lee who spoke of the damage being done by the PFI at KingsMill, the impact of cuts to NHS services and said that they were all fully behind the march and what it is trying to achieve. We have had great support from retired miners unions too, everyone here has lived through the terrible impact of Margaret Thatcher’s attack not just on the coal mining industry but destruction of communities, employment. They will continue to support the fight for the NHS, not just retired miners but their sons, daughters and grandchildren.

red banners with pictures of families

 

 

 

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#march4nhs is full of people

Several people have asked whether it’s mostly NHS workers on the march. Every single day I’ve been there it hasn’t, there are a number of NHS workers but the majority every day are not.

Included in the 300 miler superheros are master of the roads, bullocks and all signs of moving danger – honorary #darlomum Craig, master of entertainment – Icarus, master of handling stray marchers – Vinny, master (mistress) of cats – Trish and many others. Here’s some marching mums and grannies too

grannies for the NHS multicolour banner Mum and baby in pram with balloon

Everyone has an interesting story as to why they see marching for the NHS as so important regardless of the distance they do. Or yesterday for example, this has happened every day I have been on the march – people came out of their houses and clapped, cheered, chatted, walked a little. A publicly accountable, publicly funded, free at point of delivery NHS matters, people have already paid and there is no need to give donations to private healthcare companies who cannot provide the same quality of improving care, because it doesn’t work with a marketised service.

Nearly every person I have spoken to mentions the NHS impact in the lives and communities beyond primary, secondary care, the impact on society; and they are more media and politically savvy to start seeing through the smokescreens and lies. They don’t think the NHS is a 66 year old mistake (which the current SoS for Health & Social Care does), they think it’s the greatest institution that this country has produced.

 

 

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#march4nhs Leeds to Wakefield

Am hopefully going to be using an punkt app when I rejoin march in Chesterfield.

It was another amazing day with hundreds of people in Leeds joining us all the way to Wakefield. Police escort  as we went out, lots of early shoppers curious as we headed down Briggate. Music all the way, indefatigable #darlomums and marchers. People coming out of houses at times to wave and chat.

We got to meet the amazing Calderdale marchers who marched a whopping 18.5 miles yesterday and just over 10 today. It was great to watch the two meet.

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#march4nhs Harrogate to Leeds

Others say it better than me:
Mark “A brilliant day today on the Harrogate to Leeds leg of the People’s March for the NHS. 

I have never been on a political demonstration where I have had to climb over about 20 styles, avoid cowpats and almost been kettled by a herd of young bullocks.

Superb reception in Headingley. Inspiring. Good to see PPC Alex Sobel on the march.

Great inspiration from Jacky Davis at the rally. Nice curry too after. Perfect end to a great day. Thanks 999callforNHS.”

There were people joining the march from the outskirts of Leeds and we nearly stretched from Headingley to Hyde Park.

As Jacky Davis said, the coalition lied, they’re selling off the NHS to their friends and we’re not going to let them get away with it

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#march4nhs Ripon to Harrogate

Great to rejoin the march, all the marchers in fine form. Once again being led by a lovely #darlomum, navigating with gps with ease.
Today involved more countryside. The a61 is not possible to march down as it was with the original Jarrow march.

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Lots of curious looks as we arrived in Ripley. The areas we are passing through have many wealthy conservative voters.

As we neared Harrogate and rejoined the a61 we were greeted by lots of car drivers with horns beeping, thumbs up.

The warmth of Harrogate hospitality was felt by all the marchers and we had a great rally in St Peter’s Church with very knowledgeable local health professionals, deeply concerned about the lies and being duped by the Coalition

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Leadership For Health | The People’s March Blog

http://leadershipforhealth.com/the-peoples-march-blog/
An amazing, thoughtful blog with daily updates

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