Honour for long distance walker

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A PENDLE ex-soldier who has raised loads of money for the Veterans’ Association UK by walking from Land’s End to John o’Groats with his two dogs has been honoured by the military charity.

Barnoldswick man Mr Martin Fletcher made the journey this summer, walking around 1,200 miles with pets Jess and Tara, two twin Rhodesian Ridgebacks.

And as a result, he has raised at least £1,600 for VAUK but it is expected to grown even higher - possibly as much as £1,800.

Thanks to his great efforts, he was invited to an event at the Golden Ball pub on Burnley Road, Colne, where he was presented with a plaque. And Jess and Tara were included on it, too!

He has also been given a VAUK medallion and has been made a lifetime member of the organisation.

The Veterans’ Association was set up in Pendle and was based in Kelbrook, but has now moved to a new office in Burnley.

Chief executive Mr Tony Hayes said: “Martin volunteered for us - he’s one of a very small band of people who do it. But with the walk he’s done a great job. We’re over the moon and made up with it.”

When the event took place at the Golden Ball, there was a live band playing - and it included Mr Hayes as the lead guitarist. He proved a very capable player. The lead singer was Mark Whitley.

Mr Fletcher (41), who lives in Coates Avenue, Barnoldswick, said: “I’ve recovered fully from the trip - it’s been a slow recovery! And the dogs are also recovered. But I think they are missing the adventure.”

He thanked the pet food firm CSJ who supported his walk with sponsorship and dog food, and Tony and the VAUK team for their support. He said: “It was the local charity which kept me going on on the long, long walk. And I am really pleased - and overwhelmed - with the plaque and medallion the Veterans’ Association has given me.”