Alistair covers 600 miles in grandad’s footsteps

Charity hiker Alistair McIntyre walked 600 miles in his grandfather Jimmy's footsteps
Charity hiker Alistair McIntyre walked 600 miles in his grandfather Jimmy's footsteps

A Galashiels grandad has raised thousands of pounds for charity, completing a 600-mile walk and bike ride in the footsteps of his own grandfather.

Alistair McIntyre, 53, hiked and cycled from Fife to Kent last month for his six-year-old granddaughter, Belle, who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, an aggressive childhood cancer, when she was four.

He said: “It was a great experience and something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and I feel lucky and privileged to have been able to do it.”

He set up In Jimmy’s Footsteps appeal to raise funds for Cancer Research UK through the walk and bike ride and other events. And so far he has raised more than £30,000, over three times his initial target of £10,000.

“I’m flabbergasted. The support we have had from friends and family and for the events is amazing,” he said.

That sum is set to be boosted as Alistair – head of catering for Scottish Borders Council, and supporters – hope to sell 3,000 cup cakes at ‘Jimmy’s Cup Cake Stall’ at this weekend’s Border Union Show in Kelso.

Alistair followed the route from Lochore to Deal taken by his grandfather Jimmy McIntyre, a miner, who left his pregnant wife and son at home in Fife, to set off on foot and bicycle in search of work in Kent in 1933.

Highlights of Alistair’s efforts were, he said:“Seeing so much of the country, all the people I met along the way, supporters, my family and, especially, having Belle walk the last half-mile with me through Deal.”