Explorer finds his way to Fylde coast

Sir Ranulph meets Kirkham Grammar School pupil Ranulph Parkinson
Sir Ranulph meets Kirkham Grammar School pupil Ranulph Parkinson
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HUNDREDS packed a school hall to hear one of the world’s greatest adventurers share his stories.

In what was described as a “coup” for the town, Sir Ranulph Fiennes spent an evening at Kirkham Grammar School entertaining a spell-bound crowd.

Book store SilverDell organised the event, which saw the intrepid 67-year-old take the 500-strong audience through his new book – My Heroes – as well as share some of his own tales of adventure.

Sir Ranulph, the oldest Briton to climb Mount Everest, said: “I’m really impressed that so many people have come.

“It means whoever organised the event is really good at their job and it makes it worthwhile.”

On stage, Sir Ranulph shared his latest book with the audience, describing each of the 11 heroes it features.

From polar survivor to a knifed and beaten policeman, from a woman missionary to a special forces soldier, Fiennes has cast his net far and wide.

One of his earliest heroes is the vicar of Eyam, the Derbyshire village which famously isolated itself to protect its neighbours when the Black Death plague struck in 1665.

He said: “If your village pond freezes over and you happen to be passing when a child falls in and jumped into save them that would be spontaneous.

“It’s not nearly as courageous and not nearly the same calibre of bravery as someone who managed to be brave over a long period of time.

“To try and find a hero look for a site of human hell, out of which real heroes come.”

Elaine Silverwood, who co-owns SilverDell, on Poulton Street, said: “It’s an incredible coup, I feel very proud to have brought Sir Ranulph here.”

And fans who travelled from across the Fylde Coast to hear Sir Ranulph speak were delighted with the event.

Drew Thompson, 33, and Howard Palmer, 38, both from Lytham, queued up to have their books personally signed by Sir Ranulph and Mr Thompson said: “I thought it was great.

“He’s an amazing guy and you would think you’d have to go to at least Manchester to see someone like him speak.”

Kirkham resident Maurice Barnett, 65, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

And Andy Gough, 40, from Ansdell, added: “I’ve read his autobiography and I thought it was an absolutely brilliant, really interesting speech.”