rick guest, gandalf frack free shires

Rick Guest, AKA Gandalf

This post was going to be about a lovely bike ride I took today along leafy back streets of London, along the river and into deepest Chiswick. However, I bumped into this wizard today. Lovely man, his name is Rick. His journey is far more interesting than mine.
I met him near the Thames in Wandsworth, ambling his way. He was in grand spirits. I’ve since learned his full story, that he was walking from Hereford to the Houses of Parliament! He was only an hour or two away from completing this epic adventure. He is protesting against fracking:
Gandalf takes ‘Don’t Frack the Shires’ message to Downing Street
A grandfather who has walked from Hereford dressed as Gandalf arrives in London today to protest against fracking.
Rick Guest (66) began his Tolkien style quest outside Barclays Bank in Hereford in August. At the time fracking licences had been issued for the Wye Valley AONB and the Forest of Dean. Guest travelled by canoe along the River Wye and met Forest of Dean protestors at Symonds Yat for a gathering of the shires where they were joined by the Lancashire Nanas.
Carrying his alder staff and a ‘Don’t Frack the Shires’ banner he then cycled across the Forest of Dean to the River Severn, which he crossed by boat, and then followed the Gloucestershire Canal to Cirencester where he picked up the Thames River Path to Oxford.
Last week Guest, a.k.a Gandalf, left the Eagle and Child Pub, where JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis would meet, in Oxford. Guest is carrying a ring which he plans to deliver to what he describes as ‘Mordor’, and post through the ‘crack of Mount Doom,’ 10 Downing Street, today.
“This ring is a tractor pin from the shires, ordinary and powerful, like the people of the shires,” said Guest. “My message to the government is that fracking is dangerous to our water systems and the climate. We don’t need it, we don’t want it, and we will resist it in every way possible.”
Since Guest began his quest South Western Energy have decided not to take up this round of fracking licences offered for the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley and the democratic decision by Lancashire councillors not to grant Cuadrilla planning permission was overruled by central government. Today Lancashire grandmother Tina Louise Rothery faced imprisonment over a protest in a Lancashire field, however the court hearing was postponed due to security issues.
Despite the no fracking ruling by Lancashire Council, the Government strong armed the opposite and have now allowed fracking to take place. So, the protest continues. Get involved. Fracking is dumb. Fracking is poisonous. After fracking, what is left o the land? Not much.
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