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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

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Supermen – and women – pay tribute to a real hero

THE local biking community has taken to the road in memory of Egremont PC Bill Barker.

By Andrew Clarke

Hazel Barker says that Saturday’s fifth annual Bill Barker Memorial Ride was a resounding success, with more than 50 bikers paying tribute to her late husband.

“It went brilliantly; we can’t thank people enough,” said Hazel, whose family, along with the biking community, has tirelessly raised funds for the Pride of Cumbria Air Ambulance since bike enthusiast Bill’s death in 2009.

“We had more bikers than last year from all sorts of different clubs. Some were in fancy dress – many in Superman outfits. The biking community has always been our superheroes since we lost Bill. The weather was kind too – the sun shone as we left Egremont, although we did get a bit of rain and even some lightening on the way to Scarborough.”

Proceeds from the event are still being calculated, but are set to add thousands to the £18,000 already raised from the four previous memorial rides.

“We learn something new each year on how to improve for the next one, which is already booked for the same weekend next May, so the organising starts now!”

Hazel, her mother Josephine and three of her children – Simon, Melissa, and Emma – accompanied the bikers to Scarborough by car, while her son Daniel rode on the back of one of the motorcycles. The bikers were also joined by Jim Bear, the air ambulance’s mascot.

“I’d like to thank everyone who took part, particularly the event organisers Ken Stephenson, Derek Ellwood and Steve Oakes, and to supermarkets Morrisons (Whitehaven and Workington) and Asda (Dunmail Park) for their kind donations of refreshments.”

The Barker family’s next fundraiser for the Pride of Cumbria Air Ambulance is a bucket collection and merchandise sale at Asda, Moss Bay, Workington, on May 31 and June 1, followed by a rock night in Workington on October 26.

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