Today I met Brian the Snail. This was a very exciting day.

I was a bit young for The Magic Roundabout but the bright colours and weird and wonderful characters featured can be appreciated without even seeing much of the French and English programme that ran from 1965 to 1977. So when I saw this article on The Greenwich Phantom’s site I got very excited.

Lloyd Scott is the man behind Brian the Snail, and he has become known for ‘running’ the London Marathon in a number of odd ways over the past ten years. After surviving leukemia when he was younger he has gone on to raise large sums of money for various charities, Wikipedia has a rundown of the novel ways in which Scott has raised money since 1993.

The London Marathon route often goes through Greenwich, and as a relative newbie to the area I was very excited to see that the route went along Trafalgar Road, a stone’s throw from my house. After dragging myself out of bed at the unheard hour of 9.30am on a Sunday I watched the Men’s Elite and the amateur runners pass by mile marker six. But who would have known that six days later on Good Friday one last entrant would be pulling himself, face down, along Trafalgar Road, managing a literal snail’s pace.

However, to my eternal shame I mis-read The Phantom’s article and got my dates confused. I was the other side of London on Friday when Brian was travelling from East Greenwich Fire Station to mile marker six. I also managed to miss his Saturday journey along Trafalgar Road past the National Maritime Museum. Oops. Drat.

I finally ‘caught’ Brian in Greenwich today. Mile eight had already been completed and Brian had reached the Surrey Quays area after passing through Deptford. Handily for me, the kind folk at the Wetherspoons by Cutty Sark DLR played host to some Easter Sunday fundraising for Brian and his chosen charity Action for Kids.

After depositing some money into Dougal the money box (so cool) I had a quick chat with Lloyd Scott. He looks very tired but very enthusiastic about what he is doing. His partner, two sons and a school friend are all involved in the fundraising and in looking after Brian and Lloyd. Action for Kids are also about and are writing a daily blog as well as tweeting about Brian’s activities. Also helping with sponsorship and promotion are Give As You Live and Magic FM. If you see Zebedee, Dylan and Florence about that’s Lloyd’s children and friend helping to raise money.

The costumes are amazing and of brilliant quality, and the characters look stunning, even without Ermintrude the cow (“too hard” to figure out according to Scott). All the children in Wetherspoons loved seeing these tall and amazing creations, Rainbow Productions are geniuses. Brian is also fitted with a snail-cam so Scott can see where he is going too – phew!

Zebedee, Brian, Dylan and Florence plus an Easter Bunny from Action for Kids and Lloyd Scott

Brian and co are only eight days into their marathon, so donate if you can and keep your eye out for a big snail until May 13th when Brian finally crawls past the finish line at The Mall. I plan to see Brian along the route where I can, come too!

P.S. The 853 blog took a photo of Brian out in Charlton on the 21st of April as well.