A fundraiser who is walking 7,500 miles around the coast of mainland Great Britain is set to visit Burnham-On-Sea this week.
Jim Morton set off on April 12th last year on what he describes as the “walk of a lifetime that has been in the making since 1967.”
He is averaging more than 20 miles a day – with some rest days in between – and hopes to see every lighthouse in the country.
“I am walking the entire coast of mainland UK – a distance of 7,500 miles for the Gurkha Welfare Trust,” he says.
Jim says he has been dreaming of this journey since Christmas Day in 1967 when his father received the AA Readers Digest book of the road as a present.
“The book very quickly made it to my bedroom I still have it now.”
“I had seen a programme on TV about lighthouses and became fascinated by them. The summer of 1968 brought my first visit to a lighthouse at Flamborough and from then on I decided I must see them all so decided the best way to do this would be to walk around the coast.”
Jim joined the Royal Navy at the age of 16 and had planned to leave aged 21 to achieve his lifelong ambition.
“By 1978 my plans had taken shape I was going to start at Booth ferry bridge and walk clockwise around the coast, I had no idea how long it would take, I bought the rucksack, the maps, the boots, and other bits and bobs and was as lean has a butcher’s dog.”
“During the summer of 1978, I was at home in Sheffield when the reporter on BBC Radio Sheffield said we now have John Merrill on the phone to share his coastal walk experience with us. I was mortified my ambition to be the first person was gone. I lost interest in the project and stayed in the Navy beyond the five years I had planned.”
He has already received local support in advance of his visit this Friday, from Warren Farm Holiday Park in Brean, Ray’s Cafe in Burnham, and Burnham’s tourist information centre.
Jim has raised over £24,000 so far and his fundraising page is at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/richard-morton11