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Two men cycle from Lands End to John O’Groats in honour of loved ones

PUBLISHED: 09:23 10 September 2020 | UPDATED: 09:23 10 September 2020

George Fox and Fred Hanson Smith cycled from Lands End to John O'Groats. Photo: George Fox

George Fox and Fred Hanson Smith cycled from Lands End to John O'Groats. Photo: George Fox

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Two men have cycled the length of the county in tribute to their lost loved ones, raising thousands for charity.

George Fox and Fred Hanson Smith cycled from Lands End to John O'Groats. Photo: George FoxGeorge Fox and Fred Hanson Smith cycled from Lands End to John O'Groats. Photo: George Fox

George Fox from King’s Lynn and Fred Hanson Smith from Wells-next-the-Sea cycled more than 1,000 miles, setting off from Lands End on August 20 and arriving at John O’Groats on August 28. They have so far raised around £15,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK and Target Ovarian Cancer.

Mr Fox was inspired to take up the challenge by his grandfather Bill Fox, a farmer in East Rudham during the 1960s, who died in April following a long battle with Alzheimer’s.

Mr Hanson Smith took on the cycle ride in honour of his grandmother Lone Newbury, who died in 2004 after a battle with ovarian cancer.

Mr Fox said: “It was pretty brutal, we had horrific weather so it was a lot harder than I had expected, but so far I’ve raised around £11,000 for my charity and he’s raised about £4,000 but he started later than me.

George Fox and Fred Hanson Smith cycled from Lands End to John O'Groats. Photo: George FoxGeorge Fox and Fred Hanson Smith cycled from Lands End to John O'Groats. Photo: George Fox

“The reason I took it on is because my grandfather died in April after a long and arduous battle with the disease, and since he was a Norfolk farmer from the 1960s it’s a proper East Anglian tale.

“We had to do a couple of months training and planning the route we wanted to take because we wanted a quickish route so we aimed for one which was about 990 miles but we actually ended up doing quite a lot more as we had to ride from Penzance to Lands End to start the ride, and off we went from there.”

Along with honouring his grandfather, Mr Fox wanted to thank carers at Ambley Hall who looked after Bill while he was battling the condition. He said: “They were just fantastic and lovely and I’d really like to thank them.”

James Warren, regional fundraising officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “We’re so grateful to George for supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK.

George Fox and Fred Hanson Smith cycled from Lands End to John O'Groats. Photo: George FoxGeorge Fox and Fred Hanson Smith cycled from Lands End to John O'Groats. Photo: George Fox

“Dementia affects a significant proportion of the population – one in three people over 65 in the UK will die with some form of the condition. Fantastic fundraising efforts like this will help us to make life-changing research breakthroughs for people with dementia.”

The pair are still accepting donations on their Just Giving page.


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