Musician hitches 
to Orkney

Busker Jeff Butterfield
Busker Jeff Butterfield

A FUNDRAISING musician has hitch-hiked and busked around 450 miles from Hartlepool to Orkney in memory of his mum.

Town guitarist Jeff Butterfield, 60, lost his mum Muriel, who was known as Lou, in June last year after a four-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

After dad-of-two Jeff witnessed the devastation of the disease so closely, he decided to raise money in support of a day centre which helps Alzheimer’s sufferers by taking part in the fundraiser.

Jeff, who has spent the majority of his life gigging, hitchhiked and busked all his way to Orkneys Blues Festival which got underway last night.

He started his journey on Monday and it saw him travelling from Hartlepool and taking in Edinburgh, Inverness and Dingwall, before travelling to Scrabster on the north coast of Scotland getting a ferry to Stromness in Orkney.

Jeff, who lives in Seaton Carew with his partner, Rosemary Sinden, 52, a care worker, said: “There are a lot of people who have given me free rides on buses to get me to vantage points to hitchhike.

“It has been good, people have been very helpful.

“People have been very supportive towards me and there are a lot of people who have given me free lifts,m meals and other donations.

“I even got a free hotel stay and the ferry over to Orkney was donated as well.”

Jeff was not due to perform on stage at the blues festival, but he is planning to busk and stage impromptu gigs to raise cash.

Before he left Hartlepool he played a fundraising concert combining the money from that and what he has raised by busking during his journey he is hoping to raise around £500.

Jeff, a dad of Ashley, 30, and Alex, 28, is handing all of the money he raises to Hartlepool Day Centre, in Gretton Court.