A 77-YEAR-OLD man put The Proclaimers to shame as he finished his 1000th mile in the pool at the Activity Zone in Malmesbury earlier this week.

Roger Vincent-Silk completed his 1,000th mile at the Activity Zone on Monday morning and to celebrate staff at the centre threw the Corston man a surprise party complete with a cake to honour his achievement.

“When he walked in, it was incredible,” Krista Davies, swimming co-ordinator at the Activity Zone, said. “He was completely blown away and he picked me up and swung me around in a circle and said how pleased he was that everyone had turned up for him and how he hopes to inspire everyone to do what he does.

“He gets so much from swimming and he wants everyone to do something that they enjoy. Everyone here knows him because he doesn’t have a set time so he comes into contact with a lot of people.” One lady has even written a poem about him!”

After rediscovering his love for swimming at the age of 50, Mr Vincent-Silk, who runs Compendia Limited, a leading developer of bespoke home owner and tenant manuals, began keeping a spreadsheet of his mileage following a 20-mile sponsored swim.

“In 2005 the club at Clifton College did a swim for Aspire and they wanted us to do 20 miles – the equivalent of the English Channel – in six to eight weeks, which I completed.

“Since then I have kept a spreadsheet going and it has kept me motivated as I realised I had swam the distance to London and Edinburgh and then the 1,000 miles was on the horizon.

“It helps because I need to swim due to my ageing problems in order to keep me fluid and it is better than WD40!”

The 77-year-old said he couldn’t believe his eyes when he arrived first thing on Monday morning to a sea of cheering staff who were waiting to encourage him to finish his final 20 lengths.

“I was quite touched by the gesture,” he added.

“It was a lovely day and a lovely surprise. The leisure centre management and staff do a great job and I would like to thank them for all their encouragement.”