Fittleworth daredevil completes his Arch to Arc challenge


Daredevil Neil Melville-Rae has successfully completed his whacky fund raising challenge of setting a new penny-farthing distance record and raising money for the autism Jigsaw School charity at the same time.

Neil, from Little Bognor, near Fittleworth, completed the 251.1 miles from Marble Arch to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris in a total time of 21 hours four minutes on the bike.

His average speed was 11.6 mph with his fastest clocked at an astonishing 34.3 mph.

But not content with undertaking the gruelling penny-farthing trek, Neil has also saddled himself with the arduous task of crossing the world’s busiest shipping route, The English Channel, by kayak as part of the challenge.

He managed to achieve this in just five hours and 33 minutes.

Neil, who only started learning to ride the bike a year ago said: “I just thought it would be quite a fun thing to do.

“I don’t think anybody’s ever done it before, so I knew it would attract some attention to raise much needed funds for the Jigsaw School, an independent day school for children and young people with an autism spectrum disorder.”

Donations can be made to Neil on his Just Giving site Just Giving

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at

2) Like our Facebook page at

3) Follow us on Twitter @mid_pet_obs

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Midhurst and Petworth Observer - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.