A FLINTSHIRE pensioner has completed an epic 2,000 plus mile marathon across the country in a digger raising more than £10,000 for charity along the way.
Buckley man Esmor Davies and his crew completed the fundraising drive from John O’Groats to Land’s End in a custom-built JCB digger at 10am on Saturday.
Speaking after he completed the challenge, the 69-year-old said it has been the journey of his lifetime.
Esmor told the Leader: “I can’t believe I’ve done it. We were on time as well.
“There was a great welcome in Land’s End and they played the Welsh national anthem for us.
“The journey went very well indeed and we haven’t had any trouble with the JCB at all.
“We have met some lovely people on the trip.
“We had an 87-year-old lady jump into the cab. In Cardiff we had 12 or 13 ladies who were on a hen night who all got in.”
He added: “We were the first JCB to cross over the Severn Bridge and we even did 12 miles on the M4.
“In Exeter we were late getting there but the people all stayed out to welcome us and we have had great welcomes everywhere we have been.
“It has been totally worth it, an experience for me and the team. We are very grateful to everyone who has helped us, all the hotels and everyone.
“I will never forget this, it’s truly been the journey of my lifetime.”
Esmor has been on the road since July 26.
Along the way, Esmor and his crew stopped off at a number of care homes, schools and colleges, and boasted of having comedian Ken Dodd in his cab during one part of the drive.
Esmor said along the way the journey had been tough with the crew driving early in the morning and late at night to allow for collections at busy sites in each town, but said it has been extremely worthwhile as the funds raised will go to charities across the UK helping those with visual impairment. The total sum raised has surpassed £10,000 through bucket collections alone, Esmor said yesterday.
He said: “I feel honoured to support the blind, the sum we’ve raised is just fantastic.
“Myself and the team have succeeded and I want to say a big thank you to them.
“I’m so grateful to them and also to JCB, who have been behind us all the way, and to Ivor Williams Trailers.
“It really has been quite a journey.”