Video and photo gallery: Ex-soldier’s charity trek on mobility scooter reaches King’s Lynn
PUBLISHED: 09:29 07 February 2014 | UPDATED: 09:29 07 February 2014
Archant © 2014
A former soldier who is riding a mobility scooter around the UK’s coastline for charity has stormed into Norfolk.
Former army tank commander Mark Newton set off on his mammoth trek in Scotland in April last year – and he’s being accompanied on his trip by his two cats, Missie and Smudge, who sleep with him in his trailer.
Altogether, Mr Newton, 47, from Swansea, plans to be on the road for 475 days and cover more than 7,000 miles, at an average speed of about 6mph.
He has already raised more than £17,500 for the RNLI , SSAFA Forces Help, Help For Heroes, Royal British Legion and 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards Regimental Association.
He arrived in King’s Lynn from Holbeach on Wednesday and stayed overnight at the Gatehouse pub.
He parked his scooter outside Caffe Nero in Norfolk Street yesterday, where his cats were fed by shoppers. They were “spoilt rotten” every time he arrived at a new place, he said.
Yesterday afternoon he travelled to Sandringham where he stayed overnight at a caravan park, before heading to the RNLI station in Hunstanton today, before riding on to Wells-next-the-sea, Sheringham and Cromer.
He said: “This is my 305th day today, but I still have a couple of hundred days left.
“There are days when I feel shattered. It was hard work riding to King’s Lynn from Holbeach because of the strong winds and rain.
“But I had a few beers last night and felt better.
“I’ve had a great reception in Lynn, but it’s the same everywhere – there are no bad spots. Everyone thinks I’m bonkers, anyway.”
The father-of-two set off from Lochgilphead, Scotland, on April 7 last year, and expects to complete his scooter odyssey in the autumn.
He had to retire from the army in 1991 after he injured his leg while on duty with the United Nations in Cyprus.
He said: “I look back on my time in the army with incredible fondness. Military charities have helped me a lot so I am doing it mainly for them.”
He funds his trips from money he has left from his war pension and the generosity of the British people and businesses.
Are you planning a charity ride from or to west Norfolk? Email firstname.lastname@example.org