“Cranleigh’s Captain Tom” – John Menlove’s Charity Sponsored Walk

Ninety-year-old John Menlove, a Member of Cranleigh Rotary Club for many years, completed his charity sponsored walk around Cranleigh Common Cricket Ground on Friday, 31st July. John’s trek had started on 20th July, when he set out to complete one circuit a day for 10 days.

By 1st August, John had raised £3,825 on behalf of Cranleigh Rotary Club for the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice.

The hospice provides support and end of life care to adult patients and their families in West Surrey and part of North East Hampshire who are living with an advanced or terminal illness. Every day it supports over 250 patients, carers and relatives, either at the hospice, out in the community or in patients’ own homes.

John’s brilliant achievement was supported each day by Cranleigh Rotarians and members of his family, and watched by local residents. On his final circuit around The Common a “socially distanced” group of onlookers gathered to cheer him home.

At the end of the walk John was presented with a medal by Charli Quay-Barnham, a member of the Phyllis Tuckwell staff.

If walking around The Green was not enough, John celebrated his achievement by doing a “high speed” lap of honour around The Common on his mobility scooter.

At the end of his sponsored walk, John thanked everyone who had supported him and said he was, “Inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore’s achievement because he had set an example for people like him to follow.”

John added, “In no way am I a captain – I’m just John Menlove, aged 90 and I walk with two sticks and I have needed to practise a circuit or two during lockdown.”

John’s sponsored walk attracted well deserved publicity, including interviews on BBC Radio Surrey and Sussex, and on Eagle Radio.

The “Quote of the Walk” was made by a young boy watching John walk around the Cricket Green during the first week. When told by the leader of the Cricket Summer School what John was doing and that he was 90 years of age, the boy commented: “Is he really 90? My grandfather has just had his 70th birthday and he could not walk half way round!”

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