Father Willy Slavin from St Simon’s Roman Catholic Church, third from right; Rev Derek Corner, minister at Hamilton URC, second from right; and pilgrims at the start of last year’s walk.
A band of walkers today made the journey – for the eleventh year in a row – from St Simon’s Church in Partick along the Clyde Walkway to the David Livingstone Centre in Blantyre.
The connection between the two places is that in his autobiography Livingstone credited a local priest, Daniel Gallagher, with helping him learn the Latin which he needed to get into Glasgow University, where he wanted to study medicine.
Fr Gallagher later opened the first Catholic Church in Glasgow’s West End which he named St Peter’s – later renamed St Simon’s after a bigger St Peter’s was built nearby.
To save a penny on the cart, Livingstone walked to Glasgow on a Monday and stayed with a relative till the Friday when he walked back.
The route along the Clyde Walkway is about 14 miles. It is a stunning walk along the Broomielaw through Glasgow Green, round the Cunningar Loop, past the athletes’ village for the 2014 Commonwealth Games and under the new M74 bridge.
The path is only obscure where the Rotten (South) Calder flows into the Clyde at Newton Farm. After Uddingston it is a lovely route past Bothwell Castle to the Centre.
This year’s walk was part of the Livingstone 200th anniversary programme and there were enquiries from far and wide to join it.
The event is usually held on the first Saturday in May. All interested in pilgrimage are welcome to join in next year.