London to Dunwich night riders raise £10k for farm charities

Fram Farmers boss Richard Anscombe, third from right, with others who completed a 115-mile charity c

Fram Farmers boss Richard Anscombe, third from right, with others who completed a 115-mile charity cycle ride, on the beach at Dunwich Picture: FRAM FARMERS - Credit: Archant

The event was organised by Fram Farmers chief executive Richard Anscombe, who is also a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Farmers.

He was joined by 24 hardy souls over July 13-14 as part of the Dunwich Dynamo, an annual cycling event attracting 3,000 to 4,000 cyclists.

Richard's team, which was riding to raise funds for the Worshipful Company of Farmers' charities which support education in the agricultural sector, rode 115 miles to complete its 'Sleepless in the Saddle' cycling marathon.

MORE - Is there life after Brexit for farmers?Wearing cycling shirts provided by main sponsor Corteva, together with Fram Farmers, Payne Crop Nutrition, ProCam and RED Design, participants were given a meal and briefed by Richard, before being seen off from the Farmers' and Fletchers' Hall in the City of London at 7pm by Master Rosie Carne.

The group passed through Hackney, the Lea Valley and Epping Forest before making their way into the Essex countryside as night fell.

From there they made their way north, and after 61 miles arrived at the first of two 'private' food stops, hosted by Fram Farmers members and sponsored by Bayer Crop Science UK, with food cooked by volunteers from The Farmers Livery Company, Fram Farmers and Bayer.

The first of these was at Gestingthorpe in Essex, courtesy of JR & EH Nott, where riders were provided with hot bacon baps and drinks. The second, at the 100-mile mark, was hosted by Glenn Buckingham of Helmingham Hall Farms at Framsden, near Debenham. When the 'Sleepless in the Saddle' riders arrived at Dunwich, breakfast awaited them at the Ship Inn.

It was a "magical" experience, said Richard. "Seeing 25 of us all in our unique shirts riding through London was the starting point, then watching the sunset and darkness set in, with a stream of red lights stretching as far as you could see looking like hundreds of red glow-worms.

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"Hours later, we saw the first glimpses of dawn breaking through the darkness as we entered Suffolk, then the morning sun rising as we arrived on the beach at Dunwich. The camaraderie was fabulous, and I am very grateful to our team of very willing, able volunteers, which included members of Fram Farmers, together with staff Tim Styles and Lauren Moran."

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