Charity cycle raises £5,000 in memory of Earsdon pub landlord

The team of 17 cyclists outside The Cannon Inn in Earsdon, which marked the finishing line of the cycle route.
The team of 17 cyclists outside The Cannon Inn in Earsdon, which marked the finishing line of the cycle route.

A North Tyneside community has raised nearly £5,000 for charity with a coast-to-coast bike ride in memory of a pub landlord who died last year.

A group of 17 people from Earsdon took on the challenge last month to raise funds for Diabetes UK following the death of landlord and ‘pied piper of pubs’, Bill Kerridge.

Bill had lived with Type 1 diabetes for more than 20 years before passing away in July 2016, aged 58.

So far, the community has raised £4,747 in his memory.

The team included Bill’s eldest daughter Gemma, family friend David Rawlinson and a number of pub regulars and friends from the close-knit community.

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.

“He loved cycling and had completed the Coast-to Coast many times, so this seemed the perfect way to raise awareness of diabetes and remember him.”

The cyclists set off in Whitehaven on June 9 and followed Hadrian’s route, which took them to Carlisle through Haltwistle before finishing at Bill’s pub, The Cannon Inn, on June 11, cycling a total of 185 miles over three days.

Twenty-nine-year-old Gemma, whose sister Christina also has Type 1 diabetes, said the team hopes to continue fund-raising for the charity.

She added: “Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the route with no major injuries or bike failures. It was a lovely sociable three 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 fund-raiser for Diabetes UK, said: “The effort David, Emma 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.”