Jarrow pensioner’s 300-mile march against hearing loss

Andy Griffin.
Andy Griffin.
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A Jarrow-born charity champion has walked the length of England to raise awareness of a hearing loss charity.

Andy Griffin, 72, trekked nearly 300 miles over two weeks, from South Tynesdide to Marble Arch as part of the Jarrow March.

Andy Griffin.

Andy Griffin.

Despite his severe hearing loss, two hip replacements and angina, he took on the 298-mile route to raise awareness of the work of Action on Hearing Loss.

Starting in Jarrow, on August 1, at Andy averaged 22 miles a day, taking in the sights of major cities, staying overnight in his motorhome.

He finally arrived at Marble Arch in London on August 16, to be welcomed by friends.

Former primary school teacher Andy, who now lives in Shilbottle, near Alnwick, said: “I suppose a 72-year-old with two hip replacements, severe hearing loss and angina walking 300 miles is unusual, but I just love sustained walking to different places and I wanted to take on a challenge for my physical shortcomings.

I suppose a 72-year-old with two hip replacements, severe hearing loss and angina walking 300 miles is unusual

Andy Griffin

“I did six hours a day on my feet and although I had blisters on my blisters, it was no real hardship.

“The highlight was probably walking in sunshine at 6am when very few were about, walking 10 miles before most people had surfaced from their beds.”

Andy’s interest in the Jarrow March stemmed from his connection to the town where he grew up and he was keen to follow in the footsteps of the hunger marchers who did the same route 80 years ago in October.

Andy added: “The final 21 miles from St Albans was very emotional. It was definitely an arduous challenge but there was quiet satisfaction in the achievement and I felt the spirit of the march was in the air.”