Bikers’ boost for RNLI

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AN ALL day barbecue for bikers in Queensferry raised a ‘whopper’ amount of cash for the town’s lifeboat station.

Up to 400 bikers from clubs across Scotland converged on Queensferry on Sunday for the event at the Biker’s Cove opposite the Hawes Pier.

They travelled from as far afield as Aberdeen, Stranraer and even the north of England to be part of the fundraising event.

At the end of a long day, from noon to 8pm, a total of £2000 was handed over to the RNLI thanks to the barbecue, raffles, auctions and home baking.

The bikers are always keen to fundraise and this is not the first time they have raised cash for the local station. Several of them dressed up in kilts as ‘‘Bravehearts’’ for a visit by a cruise ship and charged tourists to get their photographs taken with them. That stunt raised £450 for the RNLI.

Organiser of Sunday’s event was Edinburgh biker Kevin Meldrum.

He said: “I could not believe the response we got when we said we were going to stage the barbecue.

‘‘We held a barbecue two weeks ago and around 200 people turned up so we thought ‘let’s do it again’ and this time raise money for charity.

‘‘As the RNLI station is across the road from where we are based, they were the ideal candidates, especially now as they have a new lifeboat station that will probably need more equipment and furnishings.”

Kevin said: “We posted our barbecue on Facebook and various bike group sites and, when the figures started to rise, I thought ‘we will need a lot of burgers’.

‘‘Thankfully, one of the bikers has a butcher’s shop in Kelty and supplied 600 burgers and 400 sausages.

‘‘Another biker was also able to supply rolls from a bakery at discounted prices while two others brought along barbecues.

‘‘We had a rock band, various stalls and even the fire brigade brought an engine down to the promenade.”

Kevin added that, sometimes, the bikers who come down to Queensferry get bad publicity but he wants to show those who cause problems are in the minority, adding: “We love coming down to Queensferry and it’s our aim to stage more events over the coming year and we will be looking to raise cash for other local charities.”

Our photograph shows Kevin and his fellow bikers handing over the cash to lifeboat crew members Iain Leil, Michael Garfitt and Ross Denver at the Biker’s Cove.

Tom Robertson, operations manager at Queensferry RNLI, said: “We want to thank Kevin and his friends for their very generous donation.

‘‘While the RNLI give us the basics to get the station operational, we have to fit out the rest of the building.

‘‘Now that we have the space, we will be looking to get a washing machine and tumble drier and possibly 
additional chairs and a projector for group visits.”