Terry keen to embark on 1400 mile bike ride

Berwick was the starting point for a pensioner's 1,400-mile cycle ride around England today.

Monday, 14th March 2016, 12:18 pm
Updated Monday, 14th March 2016, 12:23 pm
Residents of King James Court under the party bunting to wave off 69-year-old cyclist Terry Keen on his 1,400-mile journey to deliver a birthday card to the Queen

Terry Keen, 69, is collecting signatures from elderly residents for a 90th birthday card to the Queen.

He began his journey at King James Court on West Street where residents enjoyed a Big Breakfast with a red, white and blue dress code.

Leading the send off was Bella Wilkinson, 90, who said everyone wanted to attend the send-off party for Terry as it was an impressive challenge he was undertaking.

Bella, who was married the same year as the Queen and whose first child was born the same year as Prince Charles, said: “It’s really something that Terry is travelling around the whole of England to bring this birthday card for us to sign.

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“It means so much to us because we all think very highly of her Majesty.”

He also popped into The Granary in Love Lane where residents signed the card.

As well as collecting more than an estimated 3,000 signatures on the specially-designed birthday card, charity cyclist Terry is asking people to make donations to charity Grandparent Plus.

The charity has revealed there are 1,020 children in Northumberland being raised by grandparents and other family members because their parents are unable to do so, often as a result of difficult family circumstances.

Terry is visiting 90 properties run by Anchor, including Alnwick, Newcastle, Birmingham, London before reaching Helston in Cornwall on May 9. He will then travel to London to hand in the card to Buckingham Palace.

Terry, whose wife, Jacquie, remains at home in Surrey while he completes this tour, said he had been looking forward to visiting Berwick for the first time in his life.

Terry said: “It will be very tiring cycling all this way and I have many miles ahead but knowing it’s for a good cause will really spur me on.

“I admire the Queen for all her hard work and for being such a wonderful ambassador for the country. I wanted to give something special to her on her 90th birthday so thought why not a birthday card signed by older people from across the country.

“The Queen and I are both grandparents so it seemed relevant to raise money for Grandparents Plus which is such a worthwhile charity.

“The card is also a good way for older people across the country to feel part of this national celebration – not many other people will have signed a birthday card that has travelled around England and will be read by the Queen!”

Lucy Peake, chief executive of Grandparents Plus, said: “It’s heart-warming that Terry is supporting our work.

“Grandparents and other family members who step in to raise children, in often very difficult circumstances, are repeatedly forgotten within society and by the government. The money that Terry and all the Anchor events, taking place across the country, raise will enable us to reach more grandparent and family carers and ensure they receive the support they need.”

To donate go to www.anchor.org.uk/Terry or follow him on Twitter #TourDeTerry.