A MAN has arrived in Cumbria as part of a challenge to visit as many towns and villages with rude names as possible.

Paul Taylor is raising money for the Institute of Cancer Research, having lost his friend Alexis to the disease. He has challenged himself to travel up and down the country on a 49CC moped, with one of his final stops being Cockermouth.

When asked why he took up the challenge, Paul said: “I wanted to do a tribute to Alexis and this idea came to my head. There are places around where we both lived that have some silly names and we thought travelling to all these different places would be a funny thing to do.”

Paul spoke of their friendship: “He used to restore old Volkswagen cars 20-miles away from where I lived and that’s how I first met him. My first car was a Beetle and when I took it to Alexis he mentioned that it needed a lot of work on it. I continued to keep going to buy parts for the car but would always stay to chat and that’s how we became friends. He had a lot of friends, and was an unusually good person – one of life’s good souls.”

As he completes his challenge, he is currently 1095% over his initial target, nearly reaching £20,000. Sharing his joy at the generosity from others, Paul said: “It feels absolutely awesome. I had to put a figure down when I created the page so thought a pound a mile was suitable so decided on £1,800. The funny thing is that a day or two after setting up the page I had a dream that I could make £20,000 and now I might actually achieve it. People have been kind in all sorts of ways and it has reaffirmed my faith in humans, especially after all the recent negativity. It has been a rewarding experience.”

Starting in Shitterton, Dorset and heading up to Twatt in the Orkney Islands before completing his mission in Bell End, Worcestershire, Paul has experienced both the highs and the lows of the challenge.

He said: “It has been quite gruelling at times, and I am absolutely exhausted. I have really enjoyed it though as I do like a challenge and don’t really like normality.”

Wondering if he had the appetite to do more, Paul stated: “I’ve got a couple of things in mind after this. I could maybe do another one, but I would love to help out in any way, even if it’s just promoting or fundraising for them.”

You can still donate to Paul’s “Moronic Moped Marathon” JustGiving page online.