Ilfracombe hosts around Britain RNLI charity walker

PUBLISHED: 14:28 27 January 2015 | UPDATED: 14:28 27 January 2015

Walker Alex Ellis-Roswell on board the Ilfracombe all-weather lifeboat.

Walker Alex Ellis-Roswell on board the Ilfracombe all-weather lifeboat.

Archant

Clovelly, Appledore and Ilfracombe lifeboat stations welcome fundraiser Alex Ellis-Roswell during his 6,500 mile journey...

Alex pictured with some of the crew and volunteers at Ilfracombe. Picture: RNLI/Ilfracombe Alex pictured with some of the crew and volunteers at Ilfracombe. Picture: RNLI/Ilfracombe

An intrepid walker who is visiting every RNLI lifeboat station in the UK made his way through North Devon this week.

Alex Ellis-Roswell, 21, is walking all 6,500 miles of the British coastline in an epic fundraising challenge for the charity which is expected to take about two years.

He set off from Margate on August 3 and arrived in North Devon after some 1,200 miles, calling in at Clovelly, Appledore and Ilfracombe lifeboat stations.

The North Devon Gazette caught up with him in Ilfracombe, where volunteers had put him up overnight before he continued his journey to the next station at Minehead.

“People here have been the kindest in terms of putting me up,” said the young man from Canterbury.

“I have met hundreds of volunteers now and they are pretty much the bravest people you will ever meet, putting themselves on the line in the toughest environments.”

Usually Alex sleeps in a tent supplied to him by Vango and said he had endured several bad storms during his journey.

Highlights have been meeting so many RNLI volunteers, but on one not-so-memorable occasion he was shut inside a church for 12 hours with no phone signal after someone locked up without realising he was still inside.

On day three, an elderly lady told him he ‘would be fine’ as long as he didn’t shave his beard for the entire trip – so the beard is staying until 2016.

Ilfracombe lifeboat mechanic Leigh Hanks added: “It has been an absolute pleasure to host Alex and we are in total admiration of the dedication he is showing to the RNLI.

“Without the effort of people like him we could not do what we do.”

Alex is hoping to raise £10,000 on his journey and has notched up almost £1,800 so far.

If you would like to make a donation, go to mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/longwalkround or visit Alexander Ellis-Roswell on Facebook.

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