John and Noelene Gillatt, 23 Fourth Avenue, Heaton, Bolton, Lancs BL1 4LU, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1204 843429, us @,, Skype: john.noelene

Support act!onaid Wot, Still No Christmas Cards?

Nope! For several years we’ve supported the education of a young girl in a very poor part of South Africa and in that time we’ve come to realise just how lucky we are. We have somewhere to live, food, clothing, medical care, education and all the other essentials (and many inessentials!) of life when so many millions in the world, especially young children and the elderly, have absolutely nothing and are in dire straits. So we’ve committed ourselves to helping those who need our help most of all and we hope you will too, especially this Christmas, by gifts via act!onaid (

Why we support Action Aid

I saw these mothers and children working as labourers in India and this is just one of the reasons why we support the work of act!onaid.


Although Dawn is the runner in the family these days, with maybe a comeback by the old guy on the cards next year (see below), it’s grandson Jack who is most likely to be the family sports personality of the year in 2012.

Having done his first sponsored swim, or rather Splashon, in 2011 he’s now in serious training for next year’s under three Olympic sprint. And no-one can catch him, especially Claire!

I can walk! 2024 Olympics?
I Can Walk I Can RUN!

Massive Erection at The 4th Estate!

NOT a Shed!

It was going to be just a small shed behind the existing Wendy House in the back garden. But, nine months later, we’ve ended up with a rather splendid three bedroom, double en-suite, kitchen, diner pavilion. Well maybe not quite, but it is ideal for those summer parties that we like so much!

And, in the Spring, down will come the old studio as Noelene, our very own Felicity Kendal, expands her veggie plot, installs the chicken house, pigsty and brings in a couple of sheep to keep the lawn trim!

It Seemed a Good Idea At The Time!

I’d intended doing a rather “industrial” long walk this year—about 200 miles between the end of the Pennine Way and the start of the West Highland Way, through some of the not so scenic parts of Edinburgh and Glasgow but, since I wanted Sherpa Noelene with me, I decided on the Timeless Way — 230 miles from the north to the south of the Outer Hebrides, taking in all 10 inhabited islands.

In 14 days during June we saw some incredible sights, I got rather wet feet, a loathing for sphagnum moss but also that “I’m not sure I want this to end” feeling as the finish drew close.

My Sherpa has a somewhat jaded view of these wonderful islands, especially since absolutely everything closes on Sundays. But we agree that they’re really spectacular with unbelievable beaches, excellent food and great places to stay.

Get there if you can or read all about it at

The Boss

Celebrating in style

Made it!
Celebrating in style!. The Timeless Way, Outer Hebrides

As The Cuts Bite!

Cameron OUT!

Protesting must be fun!

The Family Business!

On, on...

It seems that running is in the genes. Here’s Dawn and the old fella at a run early this year. Later she completed her first 10k in Manchester and John came first (in his age group!) in the One Bolton 5k. And on 20th May we’ll be doing the Manchester 10k together. That’s my girl! On, on....

We were off to London in March for the huge TUC anti-cuts march. But we all know that Cameron and Clegg won’t listen and will continue attacking the poor whilst benefitting their wealthy friends. Bitter? Us?

So Where Have You Been!

Out and about, as they say. For the first time we went to Prague and Vienna but also to some more familiar and closer destinations. As usual, work took John all over the place and Noelene to Chorley!
At Crinan, New Year Up the canal!
With the Titters, Goughie and Julie, Crinan, New Year On the Kennet and Avon Canal with Jimmy and Gill
Prague in the Spring
Prague in the Spring Harrogate in November There's a Concert Hall in Vienna
Playing Harry Lime? The Real Harry Lime
Playing Harry Lime on the Wiener Riesenrad? The Real Harry Lime
Come on England! Bakewell
With Titters and Goughie at Old Trafford Bakewell with Goughie and Julie
Waiting for the Hairy Bikers Cheers at Christmas!
Waiting for the Hairy Bikers Cheers from both of us at Christmas

Magical Musical Year

It was one of those years when so many good sounds came along — almost like the no. 575 bus! In no particular order we saw:
  • The Saw Doctors
  • Eric Clapton/Steve Winwood
  • Rogers Waters — “The Wall”
  • Bob Dylan/Mark Knopfler
  • Billy Bragg John Mayall/Oli Brown
  • Abdullah Ibrahim
For us the stars of the year were Messrs Waters, Mayall and Ibrahim. Oh, and we’ve already booked to see John Baez (Joan’s Bro!) next year — rock on 2012!
Saw Doctors Just Bricks in the Wall
The Saw Doctors at Bolton Town Hall Roger Waters' "The Wall" at the MEN Arena
Eric Clapton/Steve Winwood Bob Dylan
Steve Winwood/Eric Clapton - Royal Albert Hall Bob Dylan at the MEN Arena John Mayall at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
Billy Bragg
Billy Bragg at the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street Commemoration, London Abdullah Ibrahim at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester

Get Ready You Jaapies - We're Heading South

Come on you Jaapies!

After the peaceful quiet of the Outer Hebrides this year (maybe a little too peaceful and quiet), we’re off to somewhere just a little more vibrant and a lot further south in 2012 and hopefully dragging a few others along with us.

So we've both booked a month off work, used a zillion Airmiles and will be trekking around the veldt from mid October to mid November.

Therefore, get ready you jaapies and let’s see a traditional welcome for us representatives of the world’s no. 1 test match country (for a short while, at least)!!


A very special thanks for all the good things that have happened to us in 2011 and especially to our friends and families for their love throughout the year. A very Happy Christmas to all our loyal readers and a peaceful 2012.

Our love and best wishes,