Deputy Mayor of Grantham meets hundreds of bikers on toy run

Bikers' toy run at The Meres Leisure Centre. 869D
Bikers' toy run at The Meres Leisure Centre. 869D
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Hundreds of bikers roared through Grantham on Sunday for the Christmas toy run, delivering gifts to children from deprived backgrounds.

A remarkable 360 motorcyclists riding a wide variety of machines set off from the Red Lion at Bottesford laden with presents they had provided themselves.

They rode to The Meres Leisure Centre in Grantham to drop off the gifts. Members of the town’s Seventh-Day Adventist Church, based in Dudley Road, will deliver the presents, having taken over responsibility from the Salvation Army.

John Bartlett, who has organised the Christmas ride for 24 years, said: “There were 360 bikers taking part this year, which was a great turnout.

“It used to be a lot more fun when the police helped us by allowing us through the junctions.

“They didn’t have the resources to do it this year which meant we got split up whenever we went through traffic lights.”

The Deputy Mayor of Grantham, Ian Selby, and a band of helpers greeted the bikers as they arrived at the leisure centre, providing them with hot drinks and cakes.

Mr Bartlett added: “The bikers provided loads of toys this year so it was a really great effort to help children in the Grantham area.”

Jennifer Macbeth was ready and waiting with her camera for the bikers’ arrival. She said: “As a spectator, the sight was wonderful and one which should be encouraged in the future.

“I ended up driving in my car to the leisure centre, meeting the mayor and having a cup of tea with the lovely bikers. What a good cause and what a great way to spend an otherwise bleak Sunday afternoon.

“It should be this, the generous community spirit, which signifies the coming of Christmas in Grantham, not the Coca-Cola TV advert!”

The bikers also take part in an Easter egg run every year, where chocolate eggs are delivered to needy children and elderly people in Grantham. And they additionally ride from Bottesford to Skegness every summer to raise money for the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance.