A CHARITABLE chimney sweep is back in the bosom of his family after an epic 400-mile journey using nothing but his bus pass.
Madcap Bob Waite, 61, had the time of his life after he set himself the challenge of getting from Folkestone, in Kent, back home to Blackhall without any money.
He said he was overwhelmed by the generosity of strangers’ who provided him with food and shelter during the four-day journey that saw him travel on 29 buses through 23 towns.
Bob hopes to have raised around £900 to get his local church bell chiming again.
But it was not all smooth running as one night Bob had to sleep in a bus shelter with the rain lashing down.
And he was unable to take a wash until he got home.
Bob said: “The whole experience was one not to be missed, but also not to be repeated.
“I estimate I travelled over 400 miles.
“The gratitude of people through sponsorship has been phenomenal and the enthusiasm and interest I got off the people when I had to cadge my food was out of this world.
“Everybody was out to help.”
The dad of two, of Arnold Avenue, Blackhall, set off early on Saturday morning and arrived home to be greeted by wife Denise on Tuesday.
Bob praised the generosity of the bus drivers who provided him with food during the tiring journey.
During an unexpected detour in Stamford, Lincolnshire, he was also given a warm welcome in a pub where he was showered with free drinks.
He also spent nights in a railway station and a 24-hour supermarket.
Bob, dad to Gayle Waite, 35, and Tracey Coverdale, 37, added: “People were quite intrigued with what I was doing and said ‘well done lad’.
“The generosity of people has been marvellous.
“I would like to say a big thank you to everybody who has sponsored me and looked after me and to my wife and kids for worrying about me.
“It really was a great experience and I would recommend it to anyone.
“It shows that if you have got a bit of gumption you can get by.
“The one low point was when I slept in a bus shelter when it was chucking it down.
All the money raised by Bob will go to St Andrew’s Church, in Blackhall, to fix its bell which has been out of action since 1990.