South Pole record-breaker talks to Holywell Primary School pupils

PUPILS at a Huntingdonshire school got the chance to meet the man behind a record-breaking journey to the South Pole on Friday.

Children at Holywell Primary School turned up in woolly hats and gloves to greet Alan Lock, the first visually-impaired explorer to have 600km from the coast of Antarctic to the South Pole.

Mr Lock, aged 31 and from London, suffers from macular degeneration, which has left him with no central vision. He was joined on the journey by fully-sighted companions Andrew Jensen and Richard Smith.

He spoke to the pupils about the trip which saw the trio battle against temperatures of -45 degrees. It took the team 45 days to reach the South Pole, where they unfurled a flag signed by all the pupils of Holywell Primary School.

They also took time out during their epic journey, which ended on January 3, to speak to the pupils via satellite phone and answer questions.

Speaking to the Hunts Post, Mr Lock said: “I remember when I was a kid somebody came back who had been to the North Pole. It stayed with me.

“It was hard dealing with certain elements of the cold. In some ways, the weather we had was particularly lucky. At least half the time we had clear skies.

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“My message today is there will be obstacles in your way in life, but nothing should stop you.”

Deputy headteacher Claire MacDonald said the pupils were so inspired by Alan’s talk they have made him their Holywell Hero.

She said: “The message was very much follow your dreams and aim high. There are obstacles in everybody’s life but you can get over them and achieve your dreams.

“We would like to keep in touch with him and learn about any future adventures.”