A 71 YEAR old from Cracoe - who appeared alongside Julie Walters as an extra in the film about the Calendar Girls - is preparing to cycle the 174 mile Hadrian’s Cycleway to raise money for Bloodwise.

It will be the second year running Robert Milner has undertaken a cycling challenge for the charity - last year he completed the Way of the Roses, raising more than £3,000 for the charity, which is dedicated to research into Leukaemia and Lymphoma.

Robert took up cycling just four years ago after his doctor advised a change in lifestyle because of an ongoing heart condition that required him to have four stents fitted.

He also survived prostate cancer, diagnosed in 2006, and just two years ago was himself diagnosed with chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia .

The Hadrian’s Cycleway stretches from Ravenglass in Cumbria to South Shields on Tyneside . It starts at the Glannaventa Roman Bath House at Ravenglass, then north along the coast and after Carlisle it follows roughly the line of Hadrians Wall to Arbeia Roman Fort at South Shields.

Robert will be cycling on his own, but with back-up support from his wife, Joyce, and hopes to do about 90 miles a day, completing it in three days.

“I try to cycle up to 60 or 100 miles a week and have also had some great trips cycling in the French Alps and Pyrenees. In 2018 I cycled up to 7000 feet on Col du Tourmalet - not quite as quick as the Tour de France but still I made it,” he said.

“Unfortunately, in 2017, I was found to have Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia . This condition is incurable, but new methods of managing it are being developed all the time, with the help of Bloodwise so I am cycling again to raise money to help them.”

Robert is friends with the original Calendar Girls, who 20 years ago produced their semi-naked Rylstone calendar for 2000 in aid of leukaemia research. Last year, several of them joined him in Cracoe at the start of his War of the Roses cycle ride.

He helped put copies of the calendar into envelopes to send all over the world, from Angela Baker’s kitchen, and even appeared as an extra in the Calendar Girls film, starring Julie Walters and Helen Mirren.

To sponsor Richard go to the JustGiving website: justgiving.com/RobertMilner19