Slideshow: Onlookers cheer along bikers on the 25th annual toy run to Grantham

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Tinsel, baubles and Santa hats adorned motorcyclists and their machines taking part in the 25th annual toy run.

In total, 431 motorcycles joined the ride, delivering over 1,000 presents for disadvantaged children supported by charity Home-Start.

As usual, the bikers gathered at the Red Lion Pub in Bottesford and travelled to The Meres Leisure Centre. This year, they were helped by Lincolnshire Police, which reinstated the support taken away prior to the bikers’ Easter egg run last year due to resources and legislation changes.

As a result, this year’s run went smoothly, said event organiser John Bartlett.

He added: “It was brilliant, and so much nicer to have the police back on board, it really made a difference.

“It would be lovely if they helped us every year from now on. It’s only twice a year, and it’s a real community thing. It brings a lot of happinessto people, not just the recipients of the presents but also the general public.”

John, a member of Nottingham Triumph Owners motorcycle club, led the parade, with Mayor of Grantham Ian Selby riding pillion. John said: “Ian was welling up at one point. He was elated.”

Coun Selby admitted he was “bursting with civic pride”. He said: “What an amazing occasion. I was bursting with civic pride with the fabulous turnout and the way the town appreciated what the bikers were doing for children who are less fortunate than others.

“A big thank you to the police for doing a terriffic job for a wonderful community event. Thanks to everyone connected with the event, including the 47F RAF Cadets who are always at hand to help out.”

More than 70 people gathered in Bottesford to wave them off, while in St Peter’s Hill, shoppers and visitors to the Christmas on the Green event flocked to the roadside to wave at the parade of bikers.

As is tradition for mayors of Grantham, Coun Selby arranged a reception to greet the bikers, serving mince pies donated by Sainsbury’s.

Presents donated by the bikers will be delivered by members of Grantham’s Seventh-day Adventist Church to Home-Start bases in Grantham and Melton Mowbray.

The date has been set for next year’s Easter egg run – March 29.

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