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Retired journalist completes Land's End to John O'Groats trek

Former Press Association northern editor Peter Beal has completed his 1,150 mile trek from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

The journalist swapped his laptop for walking boots after retiring from the agency earlier this year, and reached his target 87 days after beginning a walk of the length of the country.

In doing so he has also raised £7,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, the charity he chose in memory of his friend and former colleague, Derek Smith, who lost his two-year battle with the illness last October.

During the trip Peter wrote a blog about his adventures with the help of family and friends, which recounted tales of the many people he met along the way, his battle with the elements and his various pub detours.

To mark his achievement he enjoyed a champagne reception at John O’Groats, and was expected to return home today.

Peter began his career in journalism on the Skyrack Express, then part of the Wakefield Express series, in his home town of Leeds and joined the Burton Daily Mail before moving to the Coventry Evening Telegraph where he was crime reporter.

He joined PA’s reporting staff in London in 1976 before moving to Scotland and then to Manchester as chief northern correspondent.

For the past four years he had been based in PA’s operations centre in Howden, East Yorkshire, from where he was responsible for the agency’s regional reporters in England and Wales and was involved in the development of PA’s growing multimedia operations.