Vincents victorious for RNLI

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John Newson hands over the cheque for the money he raised

It could be a pub quiz question: what links Ness Point, Dunnett Head, West Ardnamurchan and Land’s End?

The answer, on this occasion, is intrepid local vintage motorbike enthusiast “Gypsy” John Newson who recently completed a fund-raising ride in support of the RNLI, going as far east, north, west and south as he could on the UK mainland. His target was to raise £1,000 but in the end he managed four times that amount.

The trip certainly had its moments – a tyre blow-out 20 miles north of Fort William in Scotland, for one. Then on the journey south back into England an engine rattle on John’s Vincent Rapide became engine failure requiring a top-end rebuild. Not fazed, he quickly returned home to Stone-in-Oxney, picked up his other Vincent, a Black Shadow, returned to the spot where his first bike had failed and continued on his quest.

“It was,” said John, “a wonderful experience not short of heart-stopping moments and adventures. I set out on a Vincent and I returned on a Vincent – but not necessarily the same one!

“At times – in the Highlands of Scotland, for example, it could be lonely, just me, the bike and the road from nine in the morning to six at night, but I met some great, generous people who completely understood why I was out there raising funds for the charity that saves lives at sea.”

Paul Bolton, Lifeboat Operations Manager at the station commented: “Well done, John and a big thank you from RNLI Rye Harbour: it is because of people like you and your dedication that the RNLI thrives today.”

Image Credits: Martin Bruce .

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