One man and his cats scooting around Britain

14:47 21 July 2014

Mark Newton, pictured with one of his cats Smudge, was met in Combe Martin on Sunday by Lydia Cross from Braunton, who is a patron for Help for Heroes.

Mark Newton, pictured with one of his cats Smudge, was met in Combe Martin on Sunday by Lydia Cross from Braunton, who is a patron for Help for Heroes.


Former soldier and his feline friends pass through North Devon during their charity challenge onboard and electric mobility scooter.

Mark Newton's scooter and trailer together with cats Missy and Smudge.Mark Newton's scooter and trailer together with cats Missy and Smudge.

NORTH Devon was the latest stop for one man and his two cats making charity tour around Britain’s coast on a mobility scooter.

Ex-squaddie Mark Newton, Missy and Smudge crossed the border just over a week ago and have since called in at communities around the region.

So far Mark, 48, his electric three-wheel scooter and the cats have covered around 9,000 miles, with more than £30,000 raised the RNLI, SSAFA, Help for Heroes, 1 The Queens Dragoon Guards and The Royal British Legion.

He set off from Lochgilphead in Scotland in April 2013, having already completed a tour around Wales and is now on the ‘home stretch’ with just Wales and the north west to go!

Cats Missy and Smudge in their trailer.Cats Missy and Smudge in their trailer.

Yesterday (Sunday) he was in Combe Martin, where he met teenage Help for Heroes patron Lydia Cross and her family from Braunton.

The Swansea man suffered a leg injury in 1991 while serving with the United Nations as a tank crew member in Cyprus, which in recent years left him unable to walk any great distance.

He is spending today (Monday) at Lynton and Lynmouth before going on to Somerset and said he enjoyed his time on the road.

“There is the freedom of it all, but I love the countryside and the wildlife,” he said.

“It’s certainly different – it’s nice some days, okay sometimes and then you get the horrible days when it’s wet and windy and I only get a pound in my bucket.

“The cats are fine – they stay in the back and while I get wet and cold, they stay warm and dry.”

Tucked away in their trailer with food and water, Missy, aged two-and-a-half and Smudge, 10, happily enjoy the attention – as long as no foolish dogs think to take advantage.

“They are my pride and joy,” added Mark, “but Smudge is like an Exocet missile – he will fly out and attack anybody or anything if I raised my voice. He will attack a dog quite happily and he will leave a mess.”

To follow Mark’s adventures, offer accommodation for his future route or to make a donation, go to


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other North Devon Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by North Devon Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique North Devon Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other News Stories

30 minutes ago

Coroner believes Edward Ireland may have had family in Devon.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:17

Fire fighters called out to North Street in Northam last night (Friday).

Read more
Yesterday, 09:51
Screwfix Barnstaple store manager Steve Henderson and Rebecca Harris of Freedom Community Alliance.

Screwfix Foundation awards grant to Freedom Community Alliance

Read more
Yesterday, 08:56
Sian is our Dog of the Week

... with Dogs Trust Ilfracombe

Read more
Yesterday, 08:30
Volunteers clean up Westward Ho! beach.

Volunteers rolled up their sleeves and helped clean up Westward Ho! beach.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:00
RNLI cheque presentation

Rock Park Bowling Club donates towards RNLI’s tractor appeal.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:51
Ilfracombe community connector Miriam Turner.

One Ilfracombe says its Community Connector service has been well received in the town and is off to a good start.

Read more
Fri, 16:52

Police urge residents to report any scam letters or emails they receive

Read more
Fri, 16:44
The dramatic display. Picture: Conrad Lees

‘UK first’ aerial display as 22 Squadron bid North Devon goodbye

Read more
Fri, 12:06
The new signs in Rock Park

Signs include maps and history of Barnstaple park

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 12°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Search for a job in Devon

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications