Castle trip keeps it in the family in Tunbridge Wells

The Mead School in Tunbridge Wells gave a professional level performance in the  ISA drama contests

A FATHER and daughter from Tunbridge Wells raised over £1,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society by cycling 500 miles from Tonbridge Castle to Edinburgh Castle.

Jim and Rebecca Wood split the journey into six stages and completed it in five and a half days, averaging 91 miles a day. The longest leg was 117 miles from Sunderland to Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Jim celebrated his 58th birthday during the trip, which was part of his plan to keep fit after losing a lot of weight three years ago – he also completed the London marathon last year.

He said: ‘I knew what I was letting myself in for as I’ve driven up to Edinburgh many times before, so I could appreciate just how far away it was.

‘Up until recently I had been focused on running. My only real experience of cycling was from spinning classes in the gym.

‘I had planned to do the ride by myself as I didn’t think anyone else would be mad enough to do it. But having just finished university, my daughter Rebecca, who is a keen cyclist, volunteered to join me.’

Jim, who is an Aftersales Manager at Inchcape UK in Tunbridge Wells, added: ‘I chose the Alzheimer’s Society because it was Inchcape’s chosen charity, and I wanted to join colleagues in helping to raise funds and meet the company’s overall target of £50k in the first year of the charity partnership.

‘We both wore Alzheimer’s T-shirts on the journey and were surprised by how many people spotted them and wanted to add donations along the way.

‘So many people have been affected by dementia and were really keen to support us. It really opened my eyes as to the help this charity provides and gave us extra motivation to complete the challenge and raise as much money as possible.’

PICTURE: STARTING GATE: Rebecca and Jim prepare to leave Tonbridge Castle

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