Getting on their bikes in memory of pub landlord

Bill Kerridges daughters Gemma (left) and Christina with family friend David Rawlinson.
Bill Kerridges daughters Gemma (left) and Christina with family friend David Rawlinson.

A community is getting on their bikes to raise funds in memory of a popular pub landlord.

A group of 17 people are taking on the 185-mile Coast to Coast cycle ride to raise funds for Diabetes UK in memory of Bill Kerridge.

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

Bill, who had lived with type 1 diabetes for more than 20 years, was 58 when he passed away last July.

The group – which includes Bill’s daughter Gemma, family friend David Rawlinson, a number of pub regulars and friends – will start their journey in Whitehaven tomorrow and finish at the Cannon Inn on Sunday, which marks the beginning on National Diabetes Week.

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.”

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 I 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.”

Gemma, 29, Bill’s eldest daughter, added: “I think Dad would be impressed that we are all coming together to do the Coast to Coast, he loved cycling and enjoyed getting people involved in the challenges.

“I don’t think he would ever believe that I am going to do it, although I know he would joke about how hard it is going to be for me, since I haven’t been on a bike since I was about 14, I know he really would have had 100 per cent confidence that I could do it.

“Now I have been training, I’m growing to love it, it’s sad I won’t be able to complete one with him.”

Louise Simonian, regional fund-raiser for Diabetes UK, said: “The effort David, Gemma and all the team have put into preparing for 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.”

To support the teams fund-raising effort visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/coast2cannon-cycle-ride