Mountain to climb for retired Hartlepool businessman Sir Ron, 80

Sir Ron Norman with Paul Thompson.

Sir Ron Norman with Paul Thompson.

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Octogenarian Sir Ron Norman will tomorrow embark on scaling Ben Nevis in aid of a Hartlepool charity.

Sir Ron last climbed Britain’s highest peak, in the Highlands of Scotland 30 years ago.

But has set himself the challenge to support Hartlepool Families First and its £30,000 fundraising appeal to help give carers a much-needed break.

Sir Ron, of Dalton Piercy, who pioneered plans for the Hartlepool marina development, said: “I climbed Ben Nevis for my 50th birthday 30 years ago.

“There was a snowstorm on the top and me and another guy carried an unconscious climber down.

“Between the age of 50 and 75 I have done 200 to 300 Munros (Scottish mountains over 3,000 feet high).

“Now I’m going back to do Ben Nevis, I suspect for the last time.”

Sir Ron, who was also chairman of the Teesside Development Corporation, has been practicing with gentler climbs of the Apennines in Italy.”I found it very hard and was stopping a lot,” he said. I’m going to have to work my way up Ben Nevis slowly but I will get there.”

He was inspired after seeing the work of Hartlepool Families First with some of the town’s most disadvantaged children and young people.

Charity manager Paul Thompson said: “It’s an amazing achievement for anybody to climb Ben Nevis, never mind at the ripe old age of 80. We are extremely grateful, it is the kickstart for an amazing project to help us raise money so we can provide short breaks to families who really need them.”

People can sponsor Sir Ron at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sirronnorman