When 88-year-old Malcolm Metcalf set off on an adventurous European train trip to raise funds for a Norwich hospice appeal he was sure donations would flood in.

However the Gorleston fundraising champion never imagined it would lead to a reunion with a former Norwich nurse who cared for him while he had tuberculosis in 1953.

Last month Mr Metcalf returned from an epic journey across Europe which saw him take 36 trains across nine countries in 22 days to raise funds for the Norwich-based Priscilla Bacon Hospice appeal.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Malcolm Metcalf at Great Yarmouth train station at the end of his epic journeyMalcolm Metcalf at Great Yarmouth train station at the end of his epic journey (Image: Archant)

His quest attracted media attention and when he returned home he was stunned to find a letter from a former Norwich nurse who had cared for him in 1953 while he had tuberculosis in his spine.

Hilda Burton had been a student nurse aged 19 in 1953 at the former Norfolk and Norwich Hospital site.

Her letter said: "You might remember me! I nursed you on the orthopedic block all those years ago.

"I do so admire you so much when I think of you on that plaster bed for so many months.

"It does not seem possible you made such a wonderful recovery."

Mrs Burton's letter, which included a donation to the hospice appeal, led to Mr Metcalf fondly remembering her caring nature and organising a reunion at her Taverham home.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Malcolm Metcalf is welcomed back after his fundraising train challengeMalcolm Metcalf is welcomed back after his fundraising train challenge (Image: Archant)

Mr Metcalf said: "I contacted Hilda and arranged to meet her. I was given a warm welcome.

"We had plenty to talk about after 70 years. One of her jobs was to give me many of the 180 streptomycin injections I had.

"I remember her for her lovely smile, her dedication, encouragement and kind words."

After their catch-up, Mrs Burton treated her former patient to dinner at the Wensum Valley Hotel.

Mrs Burton was a nurse for 37 years across Norfolk.

Mr Metcalf has been called the "Michael Palin of Gorleston" due to his love of traveling.

The former postman and catering worker is a veteran of long-distance voyages and has raised thousands of pounds for charity over the years, by giving talks about his travels and taking donations.