QCP Walking Group Member Martin Booth Supporting Marie Curie

6th June 2017

Bradford nurse Martin Booth hopes to scale Mount Kilimanjaro for Marie Curie hospice

Kathie Griffiths    T&A Reporter

Martin Booth (R), looked after John Tempest’s wife at Sherrington House nursing care home in Bradford.  The photo they are holding was taken by John Tempest (L) himself at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in 1961.  Martin is doing the charity mountain to raise funds for Marie Curie

A NURSE about to climb Africa’s highest mountain for charity has been taking tips from an 84-year-old who conquered the peak back in 1961.

Martin Booth, who has already been on previous treks through Peru and Sri Lanka in aid of Marie Curie’s Maudsley Street hospice, flies out for the start of his latest adventure on July 7.

His mum, Josephine, was looked after by Marie Curie nurses before she died in 2014.

Mr Booth, 56, who works at Sherrington and Lister House Care Homes in Heaton Road, hopes to raise £4,000.

He is being helped on his way by Heaton man John Tempest, whose artist wife Mary was cared for by Mr Booth before she died.

As well as sponsoring Mr Booth £25 – the cost of his own expedition up Kilimanjaro in the 1960s – and donating an extra £25 on behalf of Mary, the pensioner has been giving advice on how to tackle the mountain.

When he was 29 and on a roadtrip from Cape Town to Cairo in a battered Morris 1000 with his wife and daughter Kathryn, Mr Tempest took just three and a half days to get to the summit and back down, instead of the recommended five days.

Mr Tempest, who had been working in gold mines before the road trip on their way back to live in the UK, said: “I did Kilimanjaro because it was just there.

“It’s there all by itself. I think God put it there for charity so fundraisers could climb it!

“While Mary and Kathryn were comfy in a hotel there I was slogging it out, up and down the mountainside. I was vastly relieved to get to the top.

“It cost £5 a day for a guide, a cook and four barefoot porters. It should have taken five days but I did it in less only because I’d been told the guide would stop for a rest when I needed to stop but African nights are very black and all I could see in the darkness was his pair of boots in front of me disappearing up the hillside.

“I didn’t dare stop so he didn’t stop either!

“It was intensely cold. I had to wear everything I had with me, including my pyjamas.

“I shouldn’t have broken into a trot towards the end but it was just the euphoria – I’ve told Martin not to rush it! I wish him every success and luck.

“It was still dark at the summit when we made it all those years ago so we had to wait for sunrise to enjoy the view. It was exhilarating.”

“I’m delighted Mary and I have been able to help him on his quest and help Marie Curie.”

To sponsor Mr Booth, go to   www.justgiving.com/martin-booth14

In November Mr Booth will be joining another trek this time in Costa Rica, discovering the country’s volcanic craters and rainforests.

He will take six days to complete the trek also in aid of the Marie Curie hospice and will attempt the summit of Cerro Chato, a dormant volcano standing at 1,140m as well as passing through Poás Volcano National Park and taking on a circuit of Las Chorreras waterfalls to support the work of Marie Curie Nurses.