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Description

Four-times Victorian era Prime Minister, W E Gladstone, lived in Hawarden North Wales. The residential library, dedicated to his memory and located in the heart of the village is an enduring tribute to the Grand Old Man's erudition and outreach to ordinary people. But Mr Gladstone was also a man of the road! Walking, often significant distances, was one of his great relaxations.

The 2009, bicentenary of Mr Gladstone's birth was the perfect excuse for me to hawk my camera around Hawarden village. I sought something of the echoes of his presence. That brought me to the grounds of the Gladstone Memorial Library (then known as St Deiniols) where, each week, local people assembled to commence a structured, "walk and talk".

I've always been impressed at how the efforts of just a few individuals can be a force for good in any community -and how the leadership and drive of a few might inspire and motivate the many. In this clip, I use the Hawarden Community walking group as an example of sound, community leadership.

Hawarden Community Walks was started sometime in 2005 by a volunteer group , all of whom trained as walk-leaders. By such example, there are now many walking groups up and down Britain -all doing a great social-service with undoubted benefits for the health & well-being of ordinary folk. The, free to join and participate, Hawarden Group, was the first of its kind.

This group remains very active (2019). Anyone can go along and join 50 or so locals as they gather each Friday morning to walk the streets, footpaths, and countryside around Hawarden, Ewloe & Mancot.
Nowadays, the group assemble and commence their walk from Hawarden's "Institute" building. But in 2009, the fun and companionship began at car-park at the side of Gladstone's Library.

So let’s fasten-up our boots, step back in time -and find out who’s who -and where we’re walking today…

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