Miles of smiles after West Norfolk trio's driving achievement
Three West Norfolk men are reflecting on a memorable achievement after driving between Britain's most easterly and westerly points in the daylight of one day.
Father and son Bob and Tom Hindry and their friend Charles Muff covered 676 miles between Ness Point in Lowestoft and Corrachadh Mòr in the Scottish Highlands.
They chose June 21 to tackle the challenge - the longest day of the year. Having set off at 4.15am, they reached their destination with 45 minutes to go until the sunset time of 10.21pm.
The trio walked the final stretch and were able to toast the achievement with a miniature whisky while drinking in the atmosphere of the glorious view.
"The sun was like a golden orb," said Bob, 69. "Just as it hit the horizon some cloud cover came over so we didn't actually see it go down but we achieved what we set out to do."
The East2West Challenge, as the trio named it, was an idea South Wootton resident Bob came up with during lockdown to mark his 70th year.
He had been reflecting on all the lives lost during 2020, including that of his 98-year-old uncle, Tom Twite - a war veteran who died in April last year.
The driving venture turned into a fundraiser. The Armed Forces charity SSAFA, Meningitis Research Foundation, The Greyhound Trust and King’s Lynn Trinity Rotary Charities will all benefit from the expected £1,750 raised.
Preparations for the day were disrupted a little when Bob suffered a leg muscle injury and had to leave the driving of the Nissan X-Trail to Tom and Charles.
The route was drawn up to take in several notable landmarks such as the lowest point in England - Holme Fen in Peterborough, Coton in the Elms in Derbyshire, which is the farthest place from coastal waters, and famous Scottish village Gretna Green.
Bob said: "We lost half an hour going round Glasgow somehow but then drove through The Trossochs, which was lovely. The final 50 miles took us about two-and-a-half hours because the roads were so windy.
"The last part of the journey was certainly spectacular for scenery."
He added: "As far as we know we were the first people to do it in a day but unfortunately the Guinness Book of Records would not acknowledge it.
"We were lucky to not come across any accidents and only have a 20-minute hold-up on the M6 or we might not have managed it."
Bob, Charles, 71, of Gayton, and Tom, 31, from Watlington, spent about £900 of their own money on the venture and enjoyed a more leisurely return trip.
A JustGiving page (search East2West) will remain open for donations until the end of July.
Meanwhile, Bob is considering Land's End to John O'Groats for the next driving challenge.