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Earsdon community’s Coast-to-Coast bike ride in memory of Bill raises over £4,000 for Diabetes UK

Earsdon community’s Coast-to-Coast bike ride in memory of Bill raises over £4,000 for Diabetes UK. 

A group of 17 people from North Tyneside have taken on the Coast-to-Coast cycle ride to raise funds for Diabetes UK in memory of local pub landlord and ‘pied-piper of pubs’ Bill Kerridge.

The group, which included Bill’s daughter Gemma, family friend David Rawlinson, a number of pub regulars and friends from the close knit community, started their journey in Whitehaven on 9th June and finished the ‘Coast-to-Cannon’ ride at the Cannon Inn on 11th June, which also marked the beginning of National Diabetes Week.

Bill, who had lived with Type 1 diabetes for over 20 years, was 58 when he passed away in July 2016 and the community have so far raised £4,747 in his memory.

David, 52, who knew Bill for nearly 30 years and came up with the idea said: “Bill’s death came as a shock and many of us wanted to do something to remember him as he gave so much to the local community. Bill loved cycling and had completed the Coast-to Coast many times, so this seemed the perfect way to raise awareness of diabetes, support Diabetes UK and remember Bill.” 

The 17 cyclists followed the ‘Hadrian’s Route’ which saw them ride from Whitehaven to Carlisle then through to Haltwistle, Tynemouth and then finishing at the Cannon in Earsdon, cycling 185 miles in total.

Bill’s daughter Christina, who also has Type 1 diabetes said: “My dad wasn’t a man of many words, but he always lent a listening ear which a think meant a lot to people. He always had a smile on his face and was a father figure not just to me and my sister but also to many others because he knew how to inspire the best in people.” 

Bill and his wife Sheena had previously ran the Shiremoor House Farm pub in North Shields for 27 years before moving to The Cannon in Earsdon in 2014.

Gemma, 29, Bill’s eldest daughter added: “Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the route with no major injuries or bike failures. It was a lovely sociable 3 days and Saturday's rain did not dampen the enthusiasm.  We are looking forward to getting together and challenging ourselves to another in the future.”

Louise Simonian, Regional Fundraiser for Diabetes UK said: “The effort David, Gemma and all the team have put into this challenge and raising awareness of diabetes is amazing and a true reflection of community spirit. We are incredibly grateful for their support and the money they raise will help us achieve a world where diabetes can do no harm.”

The team are still continuing to fundraise. To support their efforts visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/coast2cannon-cycle-ride

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