Our Version of Events

29 May

By Kirsty Herrington

Following the success of last year’s charity walk in London, it was decided that this time, the team would travel to Belfast for the next fundraiser for SA-YES,  taking in locations from Gillian’s projects The Fall and The Mighty Celt.

On Saturday 26th April, a group of eight ladies from Dublin, England, Germany and even Canada(!) gathered at Belfast’s City Hall to begin the sponsored walk. Thankfully the early morning rain soon gave way to sunshine – much better than the snowy conditions the team faced last year in London!

Our first stop was at the Titanic Memorial Gardens in the grounds of City Hall, which commemorates those who died in the disaster. Gillian attended the opening of this memorial on 15th April 2012 – the 100th anniversary of the sinking.


Next it was onto the underpass where Gillian and Jamie Dornan posed for promotional pictures for The Fall. Our route took us through the city centre when B – our resident Tiger! – paused to meet a fellow fundraiser and member of the animal kingdom!


After posing for our own photos in the underpass , we also left a lasting reminder of our day – at least until it gets repainted.


Our third stop was Berts Jazz Bar, which featured in series one of The Fall during scenes between Sarah Kay and Paul Spector, as well as Stella Gibson and Paula Reed-Smith. Unfortunately the bar was closed at the time of our visit, so we made our way onto the Big Fish, a sculpture made up of ceramic tiles telling the story of Belfast. Although the sculpture isn’t connected to Gillian’s shows, it’s apparently a must-see in Belfast, so we all took the time to pose with it!



Leaving the Big Fish behind, it was then just a short walk to Hill Street and Gordon Street, both of which featured in the promotional advert for The Fall with both Gillian and Jamie.


Our next stop was Upper Meadow Street, which made a brief but important appearance in series one of The Fall as it was the location where Stella first met – and propositioned – James Olsen in the first episode.

After pausing in a nearby park for lunch – and almost losing a few members to the playground – we continued to a mystery location, which is set to feature in series two of The Fall. We’re still not quite sure of the significance of the location provided by Gillian, but we’re looking forward to finding out!

Leaving the mystery location behind, we headed to our next stop, the Easter Rising mural featured in The Mighty Celt.


En route, B (dressed as a tiger remember?) had been attracting the attention of children – and dogs – throughout our walk, and it was on our way to the mural that a delightful resident decided to throw an egg in the direction of the walkers.  Thankfully though, the culprit had a bad aim and the group escaped unscathed, although our pace did pick up a little!

Next it was onto Spector’s house from The Fall, before we visited the internet café featured in series one, where he went to collect information on his next victim.


In series one of The Fall, viewers saw Stella take to the water swimming laps. We visited one of the pools used during filming at the Holiday Inn – sadly it wasn’t the location of the dolphin featured in the episode, but we still went inside and took a few very quick (it was hot by the pool!) photographs.


The final few stops were all within a short distance of one another – first up was the Crown Liquor Saloon, which was a location in the Mighty Celt, before we continued to the Metropolitan College, which was used in series one of The Fall as the police station along with various rooftop scenes.

At last, we arrived at our final destination – the Hilton Belfast – which needs no explanation if you’re familiar with series one of The Fall. During our stop, we paid a quick visit to the outside of the infamous Room 203 – we didn’t go in, as apparently the room is now booked out until 2015!



We ended up walking just under eleven miles and had a great time and thankfully, great weather. Despite the egg incident and the dogs, we had a great time, even taking in “Murder Mile” (without realising it at the time) and survived to tell the tale!

Huge thanks has to go to both Cathy and Clare for organising the walk and tracking down the locations, and also thanks to Gillian for supplying us with a few extra places to visit! Finally, B, Catherine, Cathy, Clare, Kasia, Lena and Nicole – thank you for making it such a fun weekend, and see you at the next one!  The team’s total amount of sponsorship currently sits at £1,820.60 and we’d like to thank everyone who has donated and supported us so far. If you’d like to contribute, please visit http://www.justgiving.com/teams/GAWalkBelfast – THANK YOU!



Attention Walkers

23 Apr

Well Saturday 26 April is nearly here and it’s nearly time for our walk in Belfast. Here is all the information you need to know.

We will be meeting at the first location of the walk which will be the Titanic Memorial Garden at City Hall. There is a statue right outside the City Hall and we will meet at the front of that. We’ll be there from 9.45am and aim to start the walk by 10.3oam at the latest. In case you weren’t sure of the significance of the first location to Gillian, she attended a ceremony at the gardens in 2012 commemorating the 1o0th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.

The walk will be approx 10 miles long, however since none of us have ever been to any of these locations before there may be a chance we’ll get lost so it may end up being slightly longer.  Make sure you have some sensible and comfy shoes and blister plasters in case you need them. Also you may want to bring some sandwiches and a bottle of water with you as we aren’t sure if we will be near any food places at lunchtime due to the route.

If you haven’t already please let Cathy or Clare (walk organisers) have a contact phone number for you in case for some reason we are late on Saturday or we get parted from someone. You can PM this to either of us on Facebook or email gacharitywalk@yahoo.co.uk.

You are welcome to join or leave the walk at any point during the day – all we ask is that you let Cathy or Clare know so they know you aren’t lost.

The lovely Cathy is currently sorting out our route for Saturday but we will definitely be visiting locations from The Fall and The Mighty Celt along the way including some that were given to us by Gillian herself which we are so thankful for.

Don’t forget to bring a camera or a good phone with a camera on as it’s always good to share pictures of our event to show what a great time we had whilst raising money for such a good cause. Last year SA+Yes included some of their photos in their newsletter as well.

Can’t wait to meet everyone on Saturday. See you then :).

We’re Off Again

15 Mar

Last year 17 Gillian Anderson fans from across Europe got together to walk 14+ miles across London to raise money for SA-YES (South African Youth Education for Sustainability a charity co-founded by Gillian).  Our route took in over 10 Gillian-related locations in London, from the theatres of the West End to Gillian’s school in Crouch End.

Continuing our theme this year we are taking the walk to BELFAST – filming location for The Fall, The Mighty Celt and upcoming film Robot Overlords.  We already have a long list of locations to visit on the walk and we are adding more all the time.

The 2nd Gillian Anderson Charity Walk will take place on April 26th 2014 and will begin and end in Belfast City Centre.  This year we will be keeping the walk route to 10 miles or less (some of us are still recovering from last year’s 14.3 mile trek!).

All we ask, if you want to come on the walk, is that you raise or contribute a minimum of £20. (If this will be a struggle for you please get in contact as last year we had some places donated by fans who couldn’t attend themselves).

If you would like to sign up for the walk please visit our justgiving page and select ‘join team’ or email us and we will add you to the team.

We have provided some suggestions for cheap accommodation and transport options to Belfast on the Travel Page, but if you have any questions or concerns about travel please do email us, we are happy to try and put together a cheap package for you.

We will continue to update the blog with more information as we get closer to the walk, you can also join our Facebook group and follow us on Twitter to stay informed.

Any questions?  Email us at GAcharitywalk@yahoo.co.uk.

See you in Belfast 🙂

Gillian Says Thanks

26 Mar

Last night we had a lovely surprise in the form of a message for all of us walkers from Gillian on her official website for all to see:

G Thanks


So exciting that we had to share :).

A Fellow Walker Writes …

24 Mar

By Kirsty Herrington

Yesterday reminded me just what this fandom is about. Yes it’s about admiring Gillian and her work, but it’s also about meeting fabulous like-minded people who share an enthusiasm. Yesterday we did that whilst helping to raise an amazing amount of money for a fabulous cause, SA-YES. For those of you who aren’t aware, SA-YES, (South African Youth Education for Sustainability, http://www.sa-yes.com), is a charity which provides support for young people making the move from care into independent living.

The idea of a charity walk in and around London came from Clare, a fellow GA fan, who emailed a few of us over Christmas and asked what we thought of the idea. Initially we thought it would be just a small group of us and so the original target was £500. In total 17 of us took part in the week and we’ve raised £2,434…so far! Of course, when the date of the walk was confirmed as 23rd March, we thought we’d be dealing with spring weather and possibly the odd shower. Instead we were faced with snow, sleet and chilly weather – not that it put us off!

Our walk began just after 10.30 with a group photo outside of the Royal Court in Sloane Square, where Gillian performed the Sweetest Swing in Baseball in 2004. Norma, a lovely lady from Wirral, who’d come all the way to London just to officially start the walk off, waved the red flag and we were off!! Our first stop was Notting Hill and Portobello Road to visit the flat where Gillian used to live (and make a brief stop off at Electric Cinema in Notting Hill where she attended the premiere of Solaris, starring George Clooney). After pausing for some photographs and accidentally buzzing through to the flat we made a quick getaway to Marylebone and the home of William Vintage’s shop. Thankfully it was closed; else I’m pretty sure the majority of us girls would have been forever lost amongst beautiful dresses.

Once we’d managed to drag ourselves away, we headed down towards Leicester Square, trying to avoid a busy Oxford Street as much as possible, for a rest stop, pausing for photographs outside of the Empire Cinema, host of both the X Files I Want to Believe and Johnny English Reborn premieres. By this point, we were just over halfway and as we set out again, the sleet and snow definitely meant it! At this point we were joined by Sheila, who had recently fractured her foot but still volunteered to walk a few miles with us (and became our official photographer!)

Our next stop was the Comedy Theatre (now the Harold Pinter Theatre), which was where Gillian performed in What the Night is For in 2002, before we continued to Covent Garden and the Donmar Warehouse, home to A Doll’s House back in 2009.

The Dickens Museum was next, where Gillian gave a reading of Great Expectations to Prince Charles and Camilla last year as part of the bicentenary celebrations for Charles Dickens. It was also our penultimate stop – from there it was on to Crouch End – the end was in sight, albeit just over four miles away! It was more or less a straight road to Crouch End, though as we neared the finish, things got a little tougher, the pace a little slower, the blisters a little bigger and the pavements a little slushier. Thankfully there were no accidents and finally, just before 7pm, we saw it – the hill leading into Crouch End! It wasn’t easy but finally we made it to what was Gillian’s primary school. Again we stopped for photographs before making our descent down the other side of the hill, all doing well to stay on our feet and not slide down (after 14 miles it was quite tempting though). Waiting at the bottom of the hill was possibly the best sight of the entire day – Budgens Convenience Store. I’m sure the shop has never received such a positive reaction, and that the staff and customers wondered exactly why we were so excited to be there, but it marked the end of our 14 mile (well, 14.34 miles to be exact) journey. We stopped to admire Gillian’s favourite bakery in Crouch End (sadly it was closed by the time we arrived, so we didn’t have a chance to try for ourselves), and then we posed for one final group picture complete with a cheque detailing donations up until that point – £2,400!

And then we turned around and walked all the way back…Kidding, we had a well-deserved rest on the bus before going our separate ways.

I’m sure I speak on behalf of my fellow walkers when I say that today I ache in places I never knew existed but we had the best day, met some great people whilst helping to raise much needed money for SA-YES and WE DID IT!!! Of course, we couldn’t have done it without our supporters, and the increasing total gave us more than enough motivation during the day. £2,436.76 (so far!) is a fabulous amount of money raised, so THANK YOU to everyone who donated and helped spread the word! A big thank you also has to go to Clare and Cathy for organising and Julie and the team at SA-YES and GAWS in helping spread the word. And Gillian too, even though by the end we were all wishing she’d been brought up in the West End rather than Crouch End!

Clare, Cathy, Lou, Cheryl, Emma, Peet, Celly, Polly, Rosie, Petra, Monika, Effie, Sheila, it was lovely to meet you and a pleasure to walk with you all. Such a fun day and an amazing amount of money raised for a great cause and I look forward to the next meet-up. Thanks to Norma too for her support and travelling all the way to London on a pretty chilly day.

Let’s just choose a warmer day for the next half-marathon ;))

If you haven’t yet donated to the GA London Walk, there’s still time to do so, and any amount is appreciated – please visit http://www.justgiving.com/teams/GAlondoncharitywalk and donate anything you can. THANK YOU.




24 Mar

17 of met outside the Royal Court theatre in Sloane Square yesterday to walk 14.34 miles to Crouch End taking in locations related to Gillian Anderson along the way.

The weather was absolutely terrible with driving sleet/snow and freezing cold temperatures for the time of year. Not what we had intended.

This did not stop any of us and we powered on through to the end, finally finishing just after 7pm and raising over £2,400 for the charity SA-Yes that Gillian co-founded.

It was a brilliant day despite the weather and we all had so much fun raising money for such a great cause and catching up with old friends and adding new ones.

To add to our excitement from the day we had another amazing message from Gillian but this time on her official website:



Thanks to all of the walkers that took part and to everyone that donated. Your efforts were appreciated by everyone.

Here’s to the next one.

Details for Saturday

21 Mar

For those that maybe aren’t on Facebook or want to see where we are going here are the details:

We will all be meeting at the Royal Court Theatre by Sloane Square tube at 10am or just after to aim to leave at 10.15am.

The locations we will be visiting in order are:
Royal Court
Portobello Road
William Vintage
Comedy Theatre (now called Harold Pinter Theatre)
The Ivy
Donmar Warehouse
Dickens Museum
Crouch End

We’ll also be adding in some places that Gillian gave us to visit too.

We envisage the walk will end about 5pm but we can’t guarantee that for sure.

For Walkers

The weather does not look like it will be on our side with a maximum of two degrees and possible sleet showers so make sure you wrap up warm and bring plenty to drink too.

Also Crouch End is outside of Central London so make sure you have enough money on your oyster card or travel card to get back into town.

Make sure you wear comfy shoes and bring plasters just in case :).

We aim to have lunch in Leicester Square where there are plenty of fast food outlets to shelter from the cold for an hour or you can bring your own.

We’ll also be walking past many cafes and pubs along the way should anyone need a bathroom break.

Charge up your cameras and phones as we want plenty of tweets and photos from the day. Cathy has made up a hash tag for twitter which I now can’t remember so she can tell you that :).

You are welcome to leave the walk at any time but just let Cathy or me know so we don’t think we’ve lost anyone.


And that’s it …… a big thanks to Julie Baron and Cathy O’Donnell for their support and help so far and all the fabulous people that have donated to SA-Yes.

If you are following along with us on Saturday so tweet us and let us know @galondoncharitywalk.