Charities share in proceeds from Calne bike meet

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Calne Mayor Mercy Baggs tries out biking at the cheque presentation by bike meet chairman Greg Widger Calne Mayor Mercy Baggs tries out biking at the cheque presentation by bike meet chairman Greg Widger

Five charities will receive £3,200 from the Calne bike meet committee at a celebratory evening to mark the success of this year’s event in attracting thousands of bikers to the town.

The annual bike meet, during which the town centre is filled with a variety of Harley-Davidsons, Triumph Motorcycles and vintage bikes, is the biggest free event in the country.

This year’s event was rescued by the Calne bike meet committee, a group of bikers and residents who organised the day for the first time.

They have decided to donate £1,000 to the Teenage Cancer Trust, £600 to the Freewheelers blood bikers, and £500 to Blesma, the British Limbless Ex-Service Men’s Association.

Calne’s Mayor Mercy Baggs has received £600 for the Calne Youth Trust and Royal Wootton Bassett Mayor Linda Frost will receive £500 for Macmillan Cancer Care.

The bike meet committee has also put aside £5,000 to help fund next year’s event.

Town councillor Greg Widger, a member of the committee, said several of the charities helped out on the day itself, with Teenage Cancer Trust providing a band to play.

He said: “It’s nice to be able to put something back to the people who helped us.

“Royal Wootton Bassett allowed us to stop at the war memorial and clog up their High Street.

“We would just like to say a big thank you to everyone who gave money. We really appreciated it and it made a huge difference. The businesses in town really stepped up and really helped.

“I think for the first time we’ve done very well. We’ve saved some money so we have a head start on next year. It’s better than having to start from zero. It takes the pressure off a little bit.”

The four other charities will receive their money from the committee at a presentation today to include an evening of entertainment from AC/DC tribute band Hells Bells.

Work for next year’s bike meet has already begun, and next year the committee plans to donate to three different charities – one national, one local and one related to biking.

Town councillor Robert MacNaughton is also a member of the committee.

He said: “I was involved in making a video of the event.

“I went round interviewing members of the committee of the day and everyone was surprised and happy that it all took place so smoothly.

“There’s a real sense of delight at what we have done.”

This evening's presentation begins at 7pm at The Liberal Club in Oxford Road and the public are welcome to attend. For more details, call (01249) 812129 or visit www.calnebikemeet.com

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