Woman first to circumnavigate Norfolk by bus

Marian Jackson

They said it could never be done – but 81-year-old Marian Jackson has become the first person to circumnavigate Norfolk by bus.

The thrill-seeking pensioner has climbed Himalayan mountains in the past, but this year she swapped K2 for the number 42 as she left herself at the mercy of public transport.

“I knew that travelling by bus in Norfolk was difficult, but I never realised it was this hard,” said Marian as she was met at the finish in Attleborough by a crowd of journalists and well-wishers.

“Until you’ve experienced it yourself, you can never understand the extraordinary mental and physical effort it takes to get from Diss to Cromer on a Sunday.

“Climbing six thousand metres at high altitude is nothing compared with trying to figure out the timetable for the number 312.”

Marian’s epic trip took her on a treacherous circular route around the edge of the county, taking in the likes of Kings Lynn, Wells-next-the-Sea, Great Yarmouth and Wroxham, before finally returning to her home town of Attleborough on Saturday.

In total, the journey took 63 days, during which time she consumed 72 flasks of tea, 253 cheese sandwiches and 20 packets of peppermint creams.

“I had to deal with a lot – loneliness, isolation, body odour. There were some dark times,” Marian admitted.

“Anybody who takes a bus in Norfolk and tells you they haven’t thought about suicide is lying.”

Her epic voyage has proved an inspiration to the people of her home town, as Attleborough resident Ruth Tyler, 44, admitted. “She’s a great role model. Young people in Norfolk will look up to Marian and realise that, one day, if they work hard and are prepared to make sacrifices, they can take a bus journey, too.”

But fellow resident John Mortimer, 62, was less enthusiastic. “I don’t agree with taxpayers’ money being wasted on free bus trips for adventurers. What if she had become stranded and had to be rescued?”

The story also made headlines in Suffolk, where reports claim Marian’s journey has finally proved that Suffolk is round.

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