Midlothian walkers on top of the world

Friends including singers Barbara Dickson and Ian McCalman, undertake a walk of the Pentland Hills in aid of Sport Relief.

Friends including singers Barbara Dickson and Ian McCalman, undertake a walk of the Pentland Hills in aid of Sport Relief.

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The Pentland Hills were alive with the sound of music when singers Barbara Dickson and Ian McCalman took part in a Sport Relief sponsored walk.

The duo were members of the Pentland Pensioners, a team of around 20 friends who tackled three different walks last month.

Walk organiser Ian of the folk singing trio The McCalmans fame, has been delighted with the support shown for the charity effort.

The original £500 target has been surpassed with the total currently sitting at £3900.

“It’s staggering, isn’t it? They’ve said it was one of the most private amounts raised,” said Ian, who lives in Lasswade.

The walkers, a mix of pensioners and younger friends cheekily called “carers”, had a choice of three routes depending on ability. The toughest challenge was a 14-mile walk to the north of the hills, taking in the reservoirs and Turnhouse.

“It was a glorious walk. You get some fantastic views to the west, east and north. It was a good enough day. It was snowing a bit and some was lying,” added Ian.

He explained he decided to raise money for Sport Relief as it involved some effort. “This involves some exercise and I think that is what puts Sport Relief apart from the other fundraising.

“It involves people making an actual effort. I’m just short of 70 and by no means getting on too much but it is easy to get into a pattern in life that isn’t the fittest.”

At the end of the walk the team retired to the Flotterstone Inn. “It was great crack in the pub. There was that sense of achievement that everyone had done it,” added Ian.

Barbara Dickson said: “The Pentlands walk was a great success, and, apart from the money involved, it got me walking over the hills for 14 miles. I was completely shattered at the finish, but I was delighted to share the pain with Ian McCalman and the others. Six of us did the ‘long’ route and all completed it.”

To donate go to http://my.sportrelief.com/sponsor/teampentlands