Maybe because of the pandemic, we have become more aware of other people’s health concerns, or is it just Andrew Stuck, getting a little older, and hearing friends speak of family members living with dementia? He is on a walk in Regent’s Park in London with Marion Child, a Head of Service in the Alzheimer’s Society operations team. Alzheimer’s Society have set up walking challenges, the most recent are a series of almost marathon length, set up in part to raise money, but also to provide support for families and friends of those living with dementia. 20’11” 9.7MB
It was never going to be a gentle stroll for Andrew Stuck, walking in the company of a one-time TV fitness personality and bestselling diet books author, but it turned out to be very enjoyable, if at times, he had trouble keeping up with Joanna Hall. You can tell from her voice, how passionate she is in helping others to gain better health, through her Walk Active programme. She argues that most of us don’t walk optimally, and that by making subtle corrections, we can improve our health, our posture and bolster our confidence too. 20’10″ 9.8 MB
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Active travel and environmental activist Pam Rouquette has given Andrew Stuck a walk as a birthday present. The route that we take is around the city of Salisbury and links up places which are significant to Pam. 25 years ago in 1997, when she was still working as a community physiotherapist, she was a member of the Salisbury Walking Forum and became involved in a healthy walks initiative called the “Doorstep Walks”.
Pam has been the driving force behind healthy walks in Salisbury, ever since. She has led hundreds of group walks for different ages and abilities, devised scores of walking routes as well as being instrumental in creating a popular walking map for the city and surrounding areas. As you will learn from this slightly unusual interview, Pam has also had a hand in maintaining foot paths and in securing spaces for wildlife.
Over the years, Andrew has tried to entice Pam to be interviewed for Talking Walking and each time she has turned him down, modestly saying that she has little to tell. However, Pam is one of the most inspirational, and quietly determined people he has ever met, so as unobtrusively as he could, he took his recorder with him on this birthday walk.
The birthday walk begins on the bank of the River Nadder, we have reached this point by passing through a narrow railing-fenced alleyway between business units on the Churchfields industrial estate. We are less than 10 minutes walk from the railway station. 28’28” 13.6MB
In 2010 Jonathon Stalls walked from Delaware to California, crossing the United States on foot in 242 days. Quite an endeavour but it pales besides what he has achieved in the last ten years. He is the founder and creator of Walk2Connect walking beside thousands of people. It began in his home state of Colorado, and has expanded to several states, and even to the UK. It encourages people to walk (or roll) together, at an unhurried pace, to connect more closely with one another and their surroundings, in turn, building their appreciation of the environment and opening their eyes to the obstacles faced by pedestrians. In this extended interview – our first undertaken on Zoom, a month before the COVID pandemic struck, we explore Intrinsic Paths and Pedestrian Dignity, Jonathon’s new creative endeavours, and look into the future at what he anticipates he will be working on in the next 20 years. 32’28″ 15.2MB
As a walking artist, Jonathon sustains much of his creative work by way of patrons. You can learn more about becoming an Intrinsic Paths patron here.
STOP PRESS – buy Jonathon’s new book WALK: SLOW DOWN, WAKE UP, AND CONNECT AT 1-3 MILES PER HOUR – more details here
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Paul Kelly is a researcher and lecturer in physical activity at Edinburgh University. Working with Paths for All, the Scottish charity promoting walking and cycling, he has been investigating the measures that facilitate or obstruct people walking more. Recently he has been reviewing, from a public health standpoint, the introduction of a blanket 20mph restriction on motorists across Edinburgh, comparing it with other cities. We are on a brisk walk early in February in Princes Gardens in Edinburgh, seeking quiet spaces away from the nearby railway, commuter traffic and a contractor mowing the lawns. 23’41” 11.1MB
Ella Parry-Davies, a post-doctoral researcher at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, has been facilitating homemakersounds.org, a collection of soundwalks made with Filipina domestic and care workers employed “behind closed doors” in the Lebanon and the UK. In this interview, the ambiguity, complexity and unfairness of government immigration policy is discussed, as well as how recording and co-editing soundwalks develops an intimacy rarely found in ethnographic research. 21’12” 9.9MB
Recorded in February 2020 on a walk around residential streets in Swiss Cottage, London. Published to coincide with International Women’s Day 8 March 2020
Riccardo Marini’s accent belies his Italian upbringing. When Andrew Stuck met him a dozen years ago, he was Design Lead for the City of Edinburgh and Andrew was a researcher for the Academy of Urbanism. Since then, working first as a director forJan Gehl Architects and now as founder of Marini Urbanismo, he has worked with cities to make their commercial cores more people-friendly. They are in London’s West End, in the midst of the mid-morning hubbub on a chilly December day, so Ricardo’s cogent, forceful and passionate argument for putting pedestrians first is even more pertinent. 24’16” 11.4MB
Andrew Stuck was attending the Made of Walking gathering of artists at La Romieu in remote south west France, when Andrew was surprised to meet American walking activist Wendy Landman, an executive director of WalkBoston, one of America’s longest running pedestrian advocacy groups. She is here, on an invitation from her college friend and artist Carol Mencke.
WalkBoston walk audit in action in the snow
Wendy discovers that the walking artists at Made of Walking are grappling with many of the issues that Walk Boston has encountered too. In the blazing sun, they walk along gravel paths, seeking shade, and discuss how walking and pleasurable walkable places are now seen as key elements of quality of life for increasing numbers of Americans. And how through subtle change in vocabulary, from talking about art to talking about delight – the delight of walking and of delightful places – hearts and minds of politicians can be won over to the cause of better conditions for those of us who travel on foot. 25’21” 11.9MB
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Although quite a few inches shorter than Andrew Stuck, Richard Smith was one of the few people Andrew has interviewed who has walked faster than he does. Andrew had to stop a couple of times while recording the interview just to catch his breath! Not only a fast walker, Richard is someone who packs a lot into one life: a gynaecology cancer consultant and surgeon, internationally acclaimed womb-transplant specialist, academic author and father of four. However, it is his enthusiasm for walking long distances, chanting while walking, and discovering pilgrimage sites that has drawn Andrew to him.
Andrew was introduced to him by one of his neighbours, fellow Scot, Tim Ingram-Smith whom Andrew has also interviewed previously for Talking Walking, and who invited Andrew to the book launch of one of Richard’s books: The Journey: Spirituality, Pilgrimage, Chant.
Garroch Head, Bute: a ‘thin place’ & place of pilgrimage
Richard accompanies Andrew on a short walk along the Regent’s Canal and within the breadth of their conversation, they discuss the value to him of walking, chant and walking in silence, as well as the benefits that walking can bring to women as they grow older, whether cancer sufferers or not. 22’48” 10.7MB
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On a Skype call, Andrew Stuck talks to Bibi Calderaro, an Argentinian artist and forest therapist, living in Brooklyn, USA, who has recently devised a number of sensory walks on behalf of the US National Park Service in 2015/6. She explains her own practice and how it has evolved, and what are the key elements that she includes in her sensory walks, that tackle the urban maladies of stress and anxiety, and the reaction of participants to them. Such has been the demand for her walks, she has been recommissioned to devise more. Our conversation also explores ‘shinrin-yoku’ the Japanese healing practice of ‘forest bathing’, that as an accredited forest therapist, Bibi has been incorporating in her practice. 23’20” 10.9MB
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Maggie O’Neill is a leading academic researcher in criminology and sociology. Walking is a key element of her ethnographic research into the lives of asylum seekers, the homeless, refugees and sex workers in England’s northern cities.
Maggie walking on Lindisfarne
A recent recipient of a Leverhulme Scholarship, she invited those she had encountered through her research to walk with her, along and across borders of significance in their everyday lives.
Andrew Stuck caught up with Maggie on a brief visit of hers to London. Just as they set our for a walk, the heavens opened, and they sought shelter, so the interview took place in a crowded hotel lobby. 20’05” 9.4MB
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Imagine inventing and developing a product that will improve the lives of thousands of people. That would be an exciting and satisfying prospect. Imagine you develop two at the same time….. Andrew Stuck was lucky enough to meet and record this interview with just a such a person. Danish-born innovation design engineer and now med-tech entrepreneur, Lise Pape, with her Path-Finder and Path-Feel shoe accessories, is developing products that will help Parkinson’s sufferers,
Path Finder user test
those with diabetes, and other sensory neuropathy conditions, to improve their mobility and quite probably extend their lives. We talk as we walk across Clapham Common, early one sunny morning, with the background sounds of commuting traffic and groups trying to get fit. 22’19” 10.5MB
Download notes of items mentioned in the interview with Lise_Pape