Former soldier and his cats travel through region on mobility scooter tour of the country

The Northern Echo: Mark Newton and one of his cats, Smudge, outside Scarborough lifeboathouse on Saturday afternoon with members of the British Legion riders' branch. Picture by Dave Barry. Mark Newton and one of his cats, Smudge, outside Scarborough lifeboathouse on Saturday afternoon with members of the British Legion riders' branch. Picture by Dave Barry.

A FORMER soldier, who is circumnavigating the country with his two cats on an 8mph electric scooter, has visited the East coast.

Mark Newton’s epic low speed journey has already taken him more than 20,000 miles, after he set off from Loch Gilphead in Scotland on April 7 last year, and raised more than £16,000 for army charities including Help for Heroes and the SSAFA and the RNLI.

Mr Newton, from Swansea, injured his leg while on duty with the UN in Cyprus and had to retire from the army in 1991.

On Saturday the former tank driver drove his modified mobility scooter into the RNLI Lifeboat station at Scarborough. Part of his mission is to visit every RNLI life boathouse in the country.

He is completing his trek with just a small trailer pulled by his modified mobility scooter, where he sleeps and transports his two cats.

Mr Newton and his cats, who are happy to be walked on a lead when he stops, was met at Scarborough Lifeboat station by about 75 member of the Royal British Legion riders’ branch, who were in the town for an annual meeting.

He will continue driving south to Bridlington, via Filey on Wednesday. He intends to finish his journey on August 24.

John Senior, lifeboat operations manager at Scarborough, said: “"We were delighted to be able to welcome Mark, his cat and unique Mobiscooter-caracomobo and we all thank him for his unique fundraising efforts on behalf of the RNLI and his other chosen charities.

“The Scarborough lifeboat crew wish Mark and his feline friends Missy and Smudge god speed and safe journey as they continue on their around-Britain challenge".

Details of Mr Newton’s trip can be found on his website: www.aroundbritain.org.uk

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