Blind Burnley pensioner David Herbert climbs Pendle Hill on 83rd birthday

A blind Burnley pensioner has vowed to carry on walking up Pendle Hill on his birthday – for as long as he can – after celebrating his latest milestone at the summit.

David Herbert, who turned 83 in July, actually made the pledge upon climbing the 557m Lancashire landmark for his 80th birthday.

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But, with Covid restrictions scuppering his next two attempts, the resolute walker had to wait until turning 83 before getting his incredible birthday challenge back on track.

David Herbert celebrating his 83rd birthday with eldest son, Neil, at the top of Pendle Hill

David, who is registered blind and has no sight, said: “I first climbed to the top of Old Pendle in 1945 with my grandad who was a great lover of the Pendle countryside and since then have made many visits to the hill.

"I’m pleased that members of my family have continued the walks even if I haven’t been as often as I would have liked. So it just seemed appropriate to mark my 80th birthday with the walk and, accompanied by members of my family, we achieved the goal."

David, though, didn’t want to stop there.

"Having completed the climb successfully I then decided that on every birthday for as long as possible I would try to repeat the walk, “ he said. “However, little did we know that Covid was lurking in the background and as a result of restrictions and isolation the walks in 2020 and 2021 never materialised."

David was accompanied on his latest walk by eldest son, Neil, who acted as his sighted guide. And he’s already looking forward to taking on the

"The weather was kind to us," David said, "Neil described the scenes as we progressed pointing out the reservoirs, the hills of Cumbria and across to the West Coast. It was a bit windy as we walked across the top of Pendle and reached the trig point. As we took in the grandeur surrounding us I thought of the words from the song ‘Old Pendle’ …’ Th'art dearest and grandest old hill in the world’.

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"A good outing and, God willing, I will be back at the end of July 2023 to celebrate Pendle Hill Birthday Walk 84."