Letchworth author and adventurer ranked 12th in Happy List following Everest trip
PUBLISHED: 17:03 05 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:10 05 September 2019
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 '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.
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.
"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.
"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.
"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."
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.
To find out more about the Tom Mouse books, go to tommouse.co.uk.