Trekking pensioner clocks up 6,500 miles in North Devon

Intrepid walker Andy Peddle (centre) with Vincent Hall and well wishers at Barnstaple Salvation Army hall on Monday. Intrepid walker Andy Peddle (centre) with Vincent Hall and well wishers at Barnstaple Salvation Army hall on Monday.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013
2:21 PM

Charity walker Andy Peddle stops off in the region during epic sponsored walk around Britain.

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A top-hatted pensioner on a mammoth 7,900 mile trek around the British Isles stepped smartly into Barnstaple yesterday (Monday).

Andy Peddle called in at the Salvation Army hall in Oakleigh Road after completing 6,447 miles of his epic journey, all at the ‘tender age’ of 70.

Dressed in the distinctive top hat and tails that have become the hallmark of his walk, Andy aims to raise £100,000 for the charity’s work with the homeless and victims of human trafficking.

He began his journey in May of last year on the Shetland Islands and since then has travelled across Scotland, Ireland, Wales and finally England.

Along the way he has visited most Salvation Army Corps (churches), Lifehouses and charity shops in the country, including the 47 in the South West.

His North Devon route has taken him to Corps in Bideford, Barnstaple and Ilfracombe, before he heads across Exmoor to Somerset.

“We’ve just walked along the Tarka Trail, which was brilliant,” he told the Gazette on Monday.

“We’ve had a great response from people enroute and from the various centres and churches we have been to.”

Andy completed an 8,000 mile walk 20 years ago to raise money for starving people in Africa and he attends his local Salvation Army in High Wycombe.

“I want people over the age of 65 to realise that life does go on, you can volunteer and get involved,” he said.

People are invited to support him by staging their own mini sponsored walks in their area, track his progress via ‘Andy Peddle’s walkathon’ on Facebook or donate at www.justgiving.com/andy-peddle.

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