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Farm Farmers farming co-op boss completes charity cycling adventure from Land’s End to John o’ Groats

PUBLISHED: 15:42 27 September 2017

Richard Anscombe, Gordon Brock, Paul Goulding and Richard Pither. Picture: HELEN LOWE

Richard Anscombe, Gordon Brock, Paul Goulding and Richard Pither. Picture: HELEN LOWE

Helen Lowe

The boss of a Suffolk farming co-op is celebrating after completing a gruelling charity cycle ride from Land’s End to John o’ Groats.

Richard Anscombe, chief executive of Framlingham-based Fram Farmers, described his 15-day challenge as “a really enjoyable adventure”.

He and fellow cyclists Gordon Brock, Paul Goulding and Richard Pither, with mobile support from Helen Lowe, set off on their 1060 mile ride, starting in Land’s End on September 5, and climbed more than 63,000ft in the course of the journey.

Thanks to business contacts, friends, work colleagues and strangers they met along the way, they raised more than £11,000 in total for their chosen charities - Bowel Cancer UK, Prostate Cancer UK, Dementia UK and Village Water.

The fundraising was “a huge motivator”, especially as they slogged up steep climbs, said Richard.

“We were straight in at the deep end with the short sharp Cornish hills meaning you spent the day either grinding up at 5mph or hurtling down hill at 30mph plus. We heard that the very long climb on day two through Dartmoor could be very tough, but with glorious sunshine and a slight tail wind, it was one of the highlights of the whole trip,” he said. “Going over the Severn Bridge then following the River Wye from Chepstow past Tintern Abbey to Monmouth was superbly scenic, as was the glorious Forest of Bowland in Lancashire.”

During the challenge, which was sparked by a conversation between Richard Anscombe and Richard Pither at a Diss CTC Sunday morning cycle ride, they met “some great people”, he said.

“I will always remember our 86 mile long day cycling through beautiful, but endless wilderness from Dingwall to the top of Scotland at Bettyhill, and rounding a corner to see the Atlantic surf rolling onto a sandy beach - a very special and welcome sight. The last day from Bettyhill, tracking the North coast of the UK to John O Groats was spectacular. Knowing that we only had a 50 mile day made it more of a celebration ride in rather than another testing day. With superb views across to The Orkney Isles it really was a magical place to be and a great end to the adventure.”

He added: “My advice to any keen cyclist thinking about LeJog is absolutely go and do it, like us, you won’t regret it.”

A number of schools have already announced plans to close across Suffolk and north Essex this morning after snowy weather hit the region.

Snow lovers will be delighted to hear that Suffolk and Essex could be getting a second flurry of the white stuff later today.

The parents of a six-year-old boy, who died from Meningitis B, are campaigning for a vaccination programme to be rolled out to all children.

Motorists are being warned of disruption on the region’s roads this morning as snow turns into ice following a weekend wintry blast.

Kesgrave High School will be closed today after a major power failure.

Multi-platinum selling artist Craig David has been announced as the first act for next year’s Newmarket Nights.

Residents will be asked for their views on a potential merger between the district councils of Babergh and Mid Suffolk.

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