Hassan’s cycle trek is thanks to rescuers
ACYCLIST rode the length of Ireland to raise £3,000 to thank a mountain rescue team which came to his aid on a treacherous hike.
Hassan Pillai, 69, from Macclesfield, has been part of a 600 mile cycle from Mizen Head in the south to Malin Head in the north of Ireland.
He was raising money for the Buxton Mountain Rescue Team. The Mizen to Malin route is the Irish equivalent of Land’s End to John O’Groats, but following the west coast of Ireland.
Hassan wanted to give back to the mountain rescue team who helped him in 2014 when he and a friend got lost in the mist while walking on Kinder Scout.
Hassan and his friend were found between Kinder Low and Edale Rocks and escorted off the moor by the team.
Hassan, who is retired from Barclays Bank and married to Anne, said: “What a fantastic experience it has been. I really recommend the route and Ireland’s wild Atlantic coastline. We covered 651 miles over the 12 days and I tell you Irish roads, even the out-of-the-way tracks, are wonderful.
“So, with an average of around 55 miles per day, we climbed some very steep hills and mountains, had a puncture, had a swim in the cold Atlantic and took lots of pictures. The weather was changeable, including some pretty extreme stuff, get- ting fitter by the day once I warmed up.
“I am very pleased to say that the Buxton Mountain Rescue Team will benefit with over £3,000. I wanted to do something for the team because they helped me and my friend when we got into trouble on a walk. The team was fabulous. This is my way of saying thanks.”
Hassan has visited the team at its Dove Holes base to give his donation.
Richard Doran, team chairman, presented Hassan with a framed certificate in recognition of his hard work. Following the presentation, Hassan told some of the stories from his trip.
Richard said: “Hassan first became connected to the team following a mis- adventure on Kinder Scout in March 2014 and always wanted to do something to repay for calling the team out on a foggy night.
“He has certainly done that and his magnificent £3,000 sponsorship money will be put aside ready to help finance the purchase of new radios later in the year when a forced change of frequency will involve a big expenditure.”
Buxton mountain rescue team chairman, Richard Doran, presents Hassan Pillai with a framed Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of his hard work
‘Leek United’s branch manager Veronica McNeil (fourth from left) welcomes the relay team to the town. From left are: Gemma Callear, Simon Round, Peter Excell, Will Roberts, Louise Poole, Jo Cordall and Kevin Wilson.