Train punter gives half win to charity

Roland Orchard (front) flanked by, from left: Ken and Ann Atmore (Starlight Children's Foundation), Tony Burchell (chairman East Sussex Branch MNDA) and Brenda Burchell (MNDA), Andy Armitage (works planning manager) and Jeanette Smith.
Roland Orchard (front) flanked by, from left: Ken and Ann Atmore (Starlight Children's Foundation), Tony Burchell (chairman East Sussex Branch MNDA) and Brenda Burchell (MNDA), Andy Armitage (works planning manager) and Jeanette Smith.
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A PUNTER who won a bizarre bet has donated more than half of his winnings to charity.

Roland Orchard, of Helsman Rise, St Leonards, scooped £5,050 in December after waging £50 at odds of 100-1 that a 50-year-old train he had chartered would run late as a result of bad weather.

He booked the 1957 Olympia Express to ferry a group of horse enthusiasts to the Olympia Horse Show in Kensington.

Because no insurance firm would offer him a deal to safeguard against delays Mr Orchard turned to the bookies.

The train arrived eight minutes early into Olympia but there were severe delays on the way back to Hastings so betting firm William Hill stumped up the cash.

Mr Orchard donated £1,000 to the Starlight Children’s Foundation, a charity that grants wishes to seriously ill youngsters, and another £1,000 to the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA).

He also intends to hand over £500 to Help for Heroes, which looks after injured British troops in present-day conflicts.