Letchworth author and adventurer ranked 12th in Happy List following Everest trip

PUBLISHED: 17:03 05 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:10 05 September 2019

The team pictured entering Turkey. Picture: Courtesy of Richard Barr

The team pictured entering Turkey. Picture: Courtesy of Richard Barr

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A Letchworth adventurer has been ranked number 12 on the Independent's Happy List 2019, which celebrates 50 of the most inspirational people across the UK.

Richard's son Tom Barr sadly passed away at Great Ormond Street Hospital in 2004. Picture: Courtesy of Richard BarrRichard's son Tom Barr sadly passed away at Great Ormond Street Hospital in 2004. Picture: Courtesy of Richard Barr

Richard 'Dicky' Barr has been listed in the top 20 of the newspaper's annual list for his continuous fundraising efforts since the death of his son at the age of seven in 2004.

Richard has taken inspiration from Tom - who had Down syndrome - to raise thousands of pounds for the Down's Syndrome Association and Woolgrove School, Special Needs Academy in Letchworth, where his son attended.

Richard Barr and Tom Mouse reach their destination of Mount Everest after motorcycling for three and a half months. Picture: Courtesy of Richard BarrRichard Barr and Tom Mouse reach their destination of Mount Everest after motorcycling for three and a half months. Picture: Courtesy of Richard Barr

The Comet caught up with Richard - who has also penned children's books following the adventures of Tom Mouse in aid of the two causes - upon his return from his latest fundraising effort to motorcycle to Mount Everest.

Richard and his fellow motorcyclists set off from Ace Café in London on the morning of April 20, which was Tom's birthday.

You Can Do It Tom Mouse was inspired by Richard Barr's son Tom, who sadly died aged seven. Picture: Richard BarrYou Can Do It Tom Mouse was inspired by Richard Barr's son Tom, who sadly died aged seven. Picture: Richard Barr

"The trip was absolutely amazing, it was a real privilege to have been able to do what we did," he said.

"I was away for over three and a half months, travelled into 19 countries and 10,000 miles.

Tom Mouse at the final destination of Everest. Picture: Richard BarrTom Mouse at the final destination of Everest. Picture: Richard Barr

"It was definitely a challenge, but there was a good group of us supporting one another.

"We travelled through France, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, across the Caspian Sea - by ferry - to Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and into China - arriving at Mount Everest base camp in Tibet.

Richard Barr outside Ace Café in London ready to set off on his latest adventures. Picture: Courtesy of Richard BarrRichard Barr outside Ace Café in London ready to set off on his latest adventures. Picture: Courtesy of Richard Barr

"Highlights included riding the Silk Road, crossing the Karakum Desert, riding the Pamir Highway through mountainous Tajikistan, travelling the spectacular Wakhan Valley bordering Afghanistan, the numerous snow covered high passes in the Himalayas - many over 5,000m - and the spectacular winding road through the mountains leading up to Mount Everest base camp in Tibet."

"Despite seeing so many different places, cultures and people, I found it heartening that we've all got more in common than we do that's different."

Motorcyclists travelled for three and a half months across 19 countries to reach Mount Everest. Picture: Courtesy of Richard BarrMotorcyclists travelled for three and a half months across 19 countries to reach Mount Everest. Picture: Courtesy of Richard Barr

When asked about being ranked number 12 on the Independent's Happy List 2019, he said: "It was a real surprise, I'm very humbled and proud."

To read more about Richard's adventure and for more pictures, go to challengepictures.co.uk.

Richard Barr has written a children's book with proceeds going to the Down's Syndrome Association and Woolgrove School in Letchworth. Picture: Emily BarrRichard Barr has written a children's book with proceeds going to the Down's Syndrome Association and Woolgrove School in Letchworth. Picture: Emily Barr

To find out more about the Tom Mouse books, go to tommouse.co.uk.

'Globebusters' team ready to depart the Ace Café in London in April. Picture: Courtesy of Richard Barr'Globebusters' team ready to depart the Ace Café in London in April. Picture: Courtesy of Richard Barr

Richard and Tom Mouse overlooking the city of Tbilisi, capital of Georgia. Picture: Courtesy of Richard BarrRichard and Tom Mouse overlooking the city of Tbilisi, capital of Georgia. Picture: Courtesy of Richard Barr

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