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Wednesday, 01 July 2015

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Injured storyteller Gary battles on

THE Vagabonds have continued their mammoth walking tour of South Cumbria with the help of a friend who stepped in to push their cart after one half of the entertainment duo suffered an injury.

The storytelling duo stopped off at the Lake District Visitor Centre at Brockhole on Monday on the latest leg of their adventure.

Their tour began on May 3 and is due to end in Barrow on Sunday.

Gary “Gacko” Bridgens tore his calf muscle while pushing Dolly the cart in Windermere on Saturday and has been forced to travel by car.

But in stepped Damian Rose, of Barrow, who did a shift to help Gacko’s sidekick Phill Gregg push Dolly – which carries all the equipment and transforms into a puppet theatre – around the, at times, demanding route.

Mr Rose, 22, said: “I just swapped some shifts and I was able to get up here to help. It’s been good.

“My arms are killing already and I’ve only done something like 2.4 miles.

“I’ve been to see a couple of the shows in Bardsea and Grange, but it changes every time. It’s excellent. Today’s the first time I’ve seen the Magic Porridge show, which is a really nice little touch. There’s some really nice energy to it.”

Mr Rose was due to step down from his duties last night as Gacko should soon be capable of walking again.

The trip has been years in the making and has been inspired by the travels of Walter Wilkinson, a famous showman and puppeteer, who toured the British Isles and the US during the 1920s and 1930s.

Gacko said: “I would have been truly devastated if I couldn’t walk (for the remainder of the journey). I always said, if need be I would just sit and do the show. The show would go on.

“But to think we have spent so long starting it up, I’ve spent 15 years dreaming of it – to miss it because of a stupid accident would have been awful, but I’m going to be all right. I’m going to start pushing again as of Broughton and hopefully return triumphant to Barrow bandstand on Sunday.”

Have you seen the guys perform? Are you looking forward to them coming to your town? Have your say with the comment box below

Have your say

Just seen the Vagabonds at Kirkby-In-Furness tonight. They were superb. Setting was perfect, performing in a corner of the cricket field in front of St Cuthbert's Church on a sunny (if cold) evening, to an audience of more than 50 locals, including a group of Brownies. The Vagabonds deserve a medal for their three-week walking journey through Furness and South Cumbria. Great advert for the area with their local stories, songs and humour. Askam and Dalton performances on Saturday before their homecoming on Sunday. Come on Barrow, let's give them a fitting homecoming to Barrow Park.

Posted by jon on 20 May 2011 at 20:02

Fantastic-went to watch them at Broughton tonight, their enthusiasm and talent shone through, my 10 year old really enjoyed it and all the stories and songs were excellent. Hope they have a dry journey home and that lots of people welcome them back to Barrow.

Posted by Rachel Sheard on 19 May 2011 at 21:33

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