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Blind Alec goes the distance for Uppingham’s Hopper

Alec Crombie on his sponsored walk Photo: Lee Hellwing
Alec Crombie on his sponsored walk Photo: Lee Hellwing

Uppingham’s mayor Alec Crombie is celebrating after completing a charity walk around the town.

Alec, 75, who is completely blind, undertook his challenge to raise money for the town’s Hopper bus.

The walk took place on Sunday and Alec was cheered on by scores of people as he completed three circuits of the town, covering some 9.6-miles.

He said: “The walk went well. I had a nice crowd of people wishing we well and there was a lot of interest from passers-by.

“I had help from Coun Claire Crowley And four or five others who acted as guides, and I managed to cross the line after two-and-half hours.

Alec is still counting donations, but has raised more than £300 so far.

He said: “The great thing about living in Uppingham is that you know always know you can rely on the help of half a dozen people to act as guides. It’s very reassuring.”

The money will go towards Uppingham’s Hopper community bus service.

Alec said: “The bus is a really great cause and it’s nice to know that the money will go towards something that will benefit the community.”

The Hopper bus is being funded by Uppingham First and is due to enter service next week.

Uppingham First initially began running its own Hopper service as part of a six-month pilot scheme, and its figure-of-eight route will connect the High Street to the doctor’s surgery and the town’s schools.

The service quickly became a lifeline for many resident, but despite this, the trial failed to secure permanent backing from Rutland County Council, so Uppingham First began fund-raising to buy and run a bus of its own.

Uppingham First raised £20,000 for the bus and has taken a £25,000 interest free loan from Rutland County Council to fund its conversion to make it suitable to take fare paying passengers in its new role as the town’s Hopper.

Donations to support Alec’s cause can still be made by handing cheques into the Falcon Hotel.


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