The Flea roadshow marches on. Shetland South councillor Allison Duncan, who recently walked the length of the isles pushing a wheelbarrow in aid of the CLAN 1,2,3 cancer charity, is to enhance his efforts by popular request with appearances in Burra and Bressay.
Councillor Duncan, known as the Flea, started his walk in Whalsay at the end of May, wearing a high visibility jacket and accompanied by former librarian John Hunter, in line with police recommendations. With his yellow barrow, the receptacle for donations, he continued through Fetlar, Unst and Yell, before tackling the length of Shetland Mainland, starting at North Roe. He promises to be in Burra and Bressay “very soon”.
Mr Duncan said the hospitality he and Mr Hunter received on the journey was “unbelievable”, with people waving out of windows or from the peat hill, cars hooting their horns and drivers turning back to give donations.
They were offered snacks and a “small libation” at times, and were touched that a young couple from Mid Yell waited for them at the junction to give them tea and sandwiches.
“It was mission accomplished,” he said, after completing 127 miles. The new section of the walk will be done with the barrow at the end of next month.
“I am extremely thankful to have health – when people stay in hospital [with cancer] and their loved ones have to stay in CLAN [accommodation for family of cancer patients] it must be very concerning.
“This illness touches all ages, from infants to senior citizens. The sooner they find the cure with modern technology the better. What John and I have done is just a miniscule part in this – if I could do more I would.
“The more we can raise for CLAN the better so that they don’t have to worry where the next penny is coming from.”
The Fleathon culminated in a triumphant arrival at the Town Hall on Saturday night, with councillor Gussie Angus in full regalia met Messrs Duncan and Hunter, plus barrow, in South Hillhead and piped them into the Town Hall.
The money raised from the walk, £2,500, included £489 gathered that night from a foray round the pubs and clubs of Lerwick. “People’s generosity was unbelievable. They respected what we’d done,” said the Flea. Part of the money will go to the Sound Dance Club for their CLAN appeal – the money will end up in the same place but will enable the club, which has already raised £24,000, to have a room bearing its name in the new cancer centre.
The night continued with musical support from his two fellow South Mainland councillors Jim Budge and Rick Nickerson, who played lead guitar and bass guitar respectively, and with whom the Flea sang Nobody’s Child on stage (attracting comments that at last the three were in harmony).
Mr Duncan said: “We are very proud to have achieved what we set out to do. We meant what we said and our commitment was fulfilled.”