Another Echo exclusive….fantastic local news stories from a Bridlington-based newspaper.
Two sprightly Bridlington pensioners have proved age is no object to keeping fit and active.
Linda Belt, 72, and May Carmichael, 83 have walked 2000 miles between them during the lockdown.
The daily exercise has been hugely beneficial for the two single neighbours who have made many friends during their jaunts around the streets of Bridlington.
“The walks have done us the world of good both for physical reasons and for the sake of our mental health. It’s very lonely living alone as there’s nobody to talk to unless the phone rings. I have health problems but without the walk I suffer worse. I have COPD and if I don’t get my daily walk I’m up all night coughing, I can’t catch my breath. The walk seems to help it somehow. I also have degenerative osteoarthritis of the neck and upper spine.” said Linda.
The pair are a regular sight and have become well-known as they’ve walked around the town and always have time to say hello and have a quick chat and wave to passers-by.
“It’s a release and it has stopped us going crazy. One week, when I had to isolate due to an hospital appointment for a cataract operation, I was ready to pull my hair out. I really missed going for our daily walk. When I got back outside walking I knew about it. I could tell I’d not been physical as my shins hurt and it took longer to walk there and back but I persevered.” added May.
But the hot-footed duo, who have formed their own support bubble, still have time for a cup of coffee and cake as a reward when they get back home.
Linda continued: “We get honked at loads and people in cars wave and shout hello and when they walk by us on the railway bridge (Bessingby Road), they always say hello.
We’ve got to know so many faces and people over this past year – it’s done us the world of good. When the weather was gorgeous last summer we’d spend time down by the beach, not on the beach as we’re too old, but we’d sit on our walkers and have a coffee and watch the world go by. It was absolutely gorgeous. Once we stayed there until early evening, not realising how time had flown by.”
But they both have a message for those who are missing Bridlington.
“We know we are very lucky to live in Bridlington and yes, we feel sorry for people who don’t have the beach on their doorstep, but it’ll all soon be over and they can visit Bridlington once again.
“We do stick to the lockdown rules. We don’t shop for much, only for essentials – we are in and out of the shops and back home. It’s not what we’d call shopping really, but we feel it is important to stay safe.”
Widow May added: “We knew each other before the lockdown to say hello to but since we started walking we’ve become close friends. Walking and talking together is just the tonic we needed, it beats looking at four walls and we will carry on when the lockdown is lifted. It’s done us the world of good in so many ways and it gives us something to look forward to each and every day.”
Divorcee Linda has lived in Bridlington for 14 years. May was born in Bridlington and spent time in Stoke-on-Trent before returning to Bridlington for the last 31 years.
The pair calculate they’ve walked around 1000 miles each over the last year…an average of three miles per day.