Major Mick completes fundraising ‘Tintanic’ rowing challenge for hospice

An 80-year-old retired Army major has raised more than £30,000 as he completes his challenge to row 100 miles in his homemade boat, the “Tintanic”.

“Major Mick” Michael Stanley, who served in The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards for 35 years, was welcomed at Chichester Basin by his 10-year-old grandson Toby Liddiard with a rendition of Drunken Sailor on the trumpet.

During the challenge, which Mr Stanley has been carrying out at a speed of 2mph twice a week for three months, the veteran celebrated his 80th birthday and his 50th wedding anniversary.

He told the PA news agency: “I am very pleased to have done it but I shall miss the chitchat, the laughter and the banter I have had with the people on the towpath.

“But I won’t be so sorry to miss the weather which has been a bit wet and cold.”

Michael Stanley, celebrates at Chichester Basin (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Michael Stanley, celebrates at Chichester Basin (Andrew Matthews/PA)

He said the trips had been perfect for remaining sociable during Covid-19 restrictions.

He said: “I will miss not meeting people, nothing could be better for talking to people that keeping a distance from the boat, there’s no way they can get near you.”

He added: “The boat has done very well, it still leaks a bit but with the flexibility of the corrugated iron and wood, I am unable to completely eradicate that.

“As for me, I am doing pretty well, I have a bit of stiffness in my fingers, whether this is a normal old age thing or to do with the rowing, I do not know, but no blisters.”

Major Mick celebrates with his wife Sally (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Major Mick celebrates with his wife Sally (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Mr Stanley said he had actually completed 105 miles and had calculated he would have carried out 105,000 strokes during the challenge and added: “That’s pretty awesome.”

As of Friday, Mr Stanley had received a total of £33,671 in sponsorship in aid of St Wilfrid’s Hospice in Bosham which will be selling the Tintanic, complete with bailing bucket, through an eBay auction.

For details visit www.ebay.co.uk/str/St-Wilfrids-Hospice-Chichester; and https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/majormicktintanic100challenge

Read Full Story Click here to comment

FROM OUR PARTNERS