Some of you may already know of the sad death of John, who died peacefully in his sleep from a heart attack on the night of the 22nd April.
We have naturally been in touch with his family during the weeks that have followed. They felt at the time that they needed space to grieve in private. As a result we did not report the sad event on the website. These decisions are always difficult and both John's family and we feel the time has come to let you know about it.
John had done all the right things in advance of the Folk Trail. He was a regular long distance walker, and he received a clean bill of health from his doctor before embarking on the walk. There were no prior symptoms or indications of ill health and John told us how well & happy he felt to be carrying out his ambition to walk to John O'Groats.
John's family were adamant that he would have wanted the Folk Trail to continue and from our brief knowledge of him we felt the same.
We didn't know John before he joined us on the trail but we soon became friends. His constant good humour, willingness to participate in all the chores and decisions endeared him to all of us and we are all carrying fond memories of him - like the time he caramelised some bananas as a treat and caramelised the cooker as well! He told us he was having the time of his life and it showed. He talked a lot about his family with fondness and pride.
Most of all John, we remember you for your broad smile.
We are carrying his bodhran with us along the route and the walkers plan a private tribute to John when we reach John O'Groats. This will surely include one of his favourite songs - 'Walk On'.
The Folk Trail Team