A pensioner’s dream came true when friends helped him retrace old steps and memories and climb to the top of his favourite peak to mark his 90th birthday.
Jack Thompson, of Dronfield, was helped to the top of Kinder Scout in the Peak District by fellow walkers and rangers from the National Trust to celebrate the special occasion.
Known by his friends as ‘Kinder Jack’, he was once a regular rambler with St John’s Church Dronfield walking group until health problems, age and limited mobility meant he had to stop.
Jack asked his friends to arrange the walk before he reached his 90th birthday next February.
He said it was an emotional day out at Kinder.
“It was wonderful, so emotional – at one stage I could hardly speak. It was so great to get back up there and see all the familiar things, the tracks I’ve walked. To look up at the sky, see the clouds and not know if it was going to rain or not.”
Fellow rambler Cynthia Ramsden, of Holmesfield, carried a birthday cake for Jack to enjoy at the peak of the walk among the rocks – but no wishes could be made as the windy weather stopped them from lighting the candles.
“Me and Cynthia used to do our stamina training at Kinder Scout before we took on Mont Blanc aged 75 – it was lovely to do the walk alongside her.”
Despite a few wobbles, Jack made it safely to Kinder Low with the help of National Trust Rangers for Kinder and Edale Mark Leah and Myles Brazil.
Also joining Jack on the special occasion were Christine and Brian Sleath and David Grainger, members of the St John’s Church walking group.
He said: “It was wonderful to have National Trust there to help me achieve this.”
Jack encourages everyone to grab their walking boots and take to the peaks.
“It’s the finest exercise you can have – but you can’t just stroll. You need to walk to get somewhere, challenge yourself.”
As a young boy Jack would walk in the countryside with his father.
Kinder Scout stands at around 600 metres above sea level and is the largest of the great upland areas of the so-called Dark Peak’
Although Jack can not do as much as he would like he still makes the effort to walk around the playing fields of Dronfield.