A MAGISTRATE has completed a USA travel odyssey which has taken 26 years and seen him in prisons and on Death Row.

Barry dad-of-three John Viney ticked off the final state in his mission to visit all 50 by visiting Alaska recently.

Mr Viney, 66, of Harvey Street, Cadoxton, and wife Mary, 66, began travelling in 1992.

Mr Viney said: “The Hoover company made what is now their famous marketing blunder costing £50 million offering two free flights to New York if you bought a washing machine or vacuum.

“I ran a cleaning company. I bought two vacuums to get four free tickets to New York. That started it when my father and my two daughters came with me to New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. I was hooked. Every year I would plan a road trip taking in several states.”

The couple drove Route 66 – crossing off nine states and unusual highlights included the Mcdonalds museum in Santa Barbara and holding half a million dollars in Little Rock, Arkansas

Mr Viney said: “I have an interest in American prisons, and have been lucky enough to get in and thankfully out of about 15.

“Memorable was Folsom, San Quentin and Pelican Bay in California.

“In one I had to wear a stab vest going around and at the start, sign a disclaimer that if taken captive, I would not be negotiated for. In New York State, the 200-year-old Auburn Prison is the oldest in the USA.

“In Huntsville, Texas, the oldest prison in the South, they still execute prisoners and I had a full day tour of all the facilities there, including the death row facilities.

“About eight years ago, after realising I had done about thirty-five States, I decided to see if I could get to them all.

“The Nebraska Tourist Board said to me in amazement, ‘Why have you come to Nebraska?’

“I am constantly reflecting on the memories and happy times and count myself lucky to have done so much, most on a shoestring.”