ROYAL Wootton Bassett provided a welcome break for Esmor Davies who stopped off in the town as part of his John O’Groats to Land’s End journey.

The 68-year-old Welshman set off on the gruelling 2,500 mile journey in a JCB digger last month to raise money to build a sensory garden for blind war veterans.

His overnight stay in the town brought back fond memories for the fundraiser, who spoke warmly of the hospitality he had received.

He said: “I stayed overnight at the Marsh Farm Hotel.

“It’s the third time I’ve stayed there and they are just such warm and friendly and hospitable people.

“It really was a big help for us to be able to stay overnight in a hotel and I just want to say a big thank you to them for all their support.”

Esmor and his team arrived in Wootton Basett on the evening of August 19, and spent the morning in the High Street before resuming their journey at 11am on August 20.

He said: “I had to take a massive detour to come to Wootton Bassett but it was somewhere I really wanted to come back to.

“I have sung in the church here on a number of occasions for charity and they have always been such warm, friendly and generous people.

“They also have so much respect for war veterans and were inspiring when the repatriations came through the town.”

Despite already raising £12,000 in funds during his journey, Esmor is still some way off his £500,000 target.

He said: “I would’ve expected to have raised more by now but as I keep saying, every little helps.

“A couple of people who have sight problems have come up to me and said the main thing is that they’re being thought about.”

Esmor said he had decided to take on the “Esmor JCB John O’Groats to Land’s End Marathon” after being inspired after a visit to the Blind War Veterans centre at Llandudno.

The builder has been joined by a team of volunteers on the trip including his daughter Christine, and hopes to complete the journey by September 2.

l Anyone wanting to sponsor Esmor should call 07877 292394 or email