Bikers' full throttle for charity rally

THOUSANDS of bikers made their way across Essex yesterday in one of the most popular events on the charity calendar.

James Hore

THOUSANDS of bikers made their way across Essex yesterday in one of the most popular events on the charity calendar.

The ninth annual Essex Air Ambulance Motorcycle Run raised £35,000 last year and organisers of this year's spectacular are hoping for a similar success.

Bikers left the Ford Dunton Technical Centre in south Essex at 11am for the 60-mile trip to Harwich, with the Honda Goldwings leading the procession.


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From the early afternoon the motorbikes began arriving on the coast as the engine roars and smell of petrol fumes filled the seaside town.

Hundreds of onlookers enjoyed the spectacle, with young and old chatting to the bikers and not even the wet weather managed to spoil the day.

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Entertainment included live music and there was food and refreshments while the Harwich Green area was closed off to cars to allow for all the motorbikes.

Eastenders stars June Brown and John Bardon, who are patrons of the charity, spent time chatting to fans and signing autographs and there were flyovers by the air ambulance and the Essex Police helicopter.

Pam Withrington, PR and communications officer, said more than 3,000 bikers had braved the weather to support the cause.

She said: “It has been a fantastic day despite the weather, although that has not been as bad as we thought it would have been.

“There were a few short, sharp showers, but it has not stopped people from enjoying themselves.

“The green was packed with people - it is too early to say how much has been raised, but we should know this coming week.

“So many people have turned out despite what could have been a really, really poor day and there were all the hungry bikers enjoying their food on the green, chilling out and enjoying the music.”

David Williams, chief executive of GEM Motoring Assist, which sponsored the event, said: “As a road safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist is dedicated to supporting schemes that reduce accidents on our roads.

“Sadly, crashes involving motorcycles remain at an unacceptable level and we hope that by working alongside the Essex Air Ambulance and supporting the motorcycle run we can help reduce the number of bikers involved in such incidents.”

n For more details about the air ambulance go to www.essexairambulance.co.uk

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