Walk in aid of Charles Dickens statue begins

TRIP Gerald, left and Ian Dickens on Portsdown Hill
TRIP Gerald, left and Ian Dickens on Portsdown Hill

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A STATUE of one of the world’s greatest authors, Charles Dickens, is some big steps closer now his great-great-grandchildren have set off on a walk to raise funds.

Ian Charles Dickens and brother Gerald are walking from London to Portsmouth following in the steps of Nicholas and Smike, characters from Nicholas Nickleby, the only one of Charles Dickens’ novels to feature the city he was born in.

The pair’s journey began in Golden Square yesterday and they will even be wearing Victorian top hats.

Money from the 75-mile walk will be split between the National Literacy Trust and Charles Dickens Statue Fund for a statue in the Guildhall Square.

Ian, from Portsmouth and Gerald, from Abingdon, will be stopping at pubs on the way and aim to be at the Robin Hood, in Rowlands Castle, on Wednesday.

On their arrival in Portsmouth, they will pass the Charles Dickens Birthplace Museum, through Old Portsmouth to Guildhall Square and the spot where the UK’s first Dickens statue is set to be unveiled in 2013.

It has been delayed by a year as another £50,000 is needed. They hope to raise at least £10,000.

They hope to reach Portsmouth at the start of the annual Dickens Fellowship Conference on Thursday.

To donate go to justgiving.com/Dickenswalk.