Volunteer's Tandem Challenge

Tuesday, 26th April 2016

Volunteer's Tandem Challenge - Glenys saddles up for bell appeal.

Glenys saddles up for bell appeal.

It’s quite obviously a recipe for fundraising success: a tandem, a pair of Glenyses, a long-distance bike ride, two Richmonds and a week of bell ringing.

Glenys Jones, a volunteer at The Station, is cycling from Richmond in Surrey back to Richmond, North Yorkshire to raise money for St Mary’s Church bell restoration fund.  Her friend, Glenys Rogers will accompany her on the tandem, along with a further six cyclists, all hoping to complete the 355 mile journey within the seven day target they’ve set themselves.

As if this isn’t enough, the team, who are all bell-ringers, will be stopping off at churches, including Waltham Abbey and Lincoln Cathedral, along the route to ring the bells each day.

It’s all part of a huge fundraising effort which aims to raise £160,000 to replace the ringing frame and eight bells currently hanging in the tower at St Mary’s in Richmond.

“It’s a big total, so we thought we needed to do something big to try and raise as much money as possible,” explains Glenys, who has been ringing the bells at St Mary’s since 2010 and volunteering at The Station for two years.

The pair, who are new to tandem riding, sought help on using the bike safely, and how to achieve the perfect technique from JD Tandems in Gargrave.  They bought the cycle from Richmond’s Caygill Cycles who have also been on hand to provide support and advice.  “It’s going to be a big challenge but we have been really pleased by the support so far, so really we just want to raise as much awareness as possible about the appeal, and encourage people to donate.  The sound of the bells ringing out across the town is such an integral part of all our lives; we need to ensure it continues for generations to come.”

The group will set off from Richmond in Surrey on 23 May, and plan to arrive back in Richmond, North Yorkshire on Sunday 29 May.The final day’s route involves cycling from York to Kirklington where they will ring the church bells, meet up with cyclists from Swaledale Outdoor Club, and ride back to Richmond.  They will be pausing at The Station before tackling the final ascent into the market place to finish at the Town Hall.

An illustrated lecture about the bell restoration project will form part of the new series of Station Talks, currently being finalised, to be held in the autumn.