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Bikers prepare for Land’s End charity trip

Joe Gray snr during his journey across the length of Britain in the 1930s. Photo: Courtesy of ZMCC

A GROUP of 16 motorcyclists are set to take part in a 1,160 mile trip from the tip of Unst to mainland Britain’s most southerly point next month to raise money for charity.

Zetland Motorcycle Club aims to raise £5,000 for MacMillan Cancer Support Shetland and the Armed Forces Bikers (AFB) charity by completing the trek, which should take around five days.

The travelling party will consist of 13 bikes – mainly local riders but three from Durham. They will leave from Skaw, the most northerly house in the UK, on 6 August.

The bikers will take the ferry to the Scottish mainland and visit John O’Groat before heading to Land’s End, in Cornwall.

The journey across the length of the British mainland was previously completed by ZMCC founding member Joe Gray Snr back in the 1930s, with current chairman Colin Nicholson still holding his papers and pendant from the trip.

The 2017 effort has been dubbed the ‘road tax run’ after the ZMCC saw the tax disc Gray held when he completed his John O’Groats-Land’s End route.

Club member Dwayne Davies said the crew would allow themselves downtime on the trip to explore the country.

“We’ve decided to split the run up into manageable and enjoyable sections to spread the distance,” he said.

“It’s looking like we’ll cover on average 250-300 miles per day. More so to see some parts of the country instead of just motorways and to have stopping point to take photos and stretch our legs.

“It will also be nice to arrive at each destination on the way down during daylight hours so we can go out and about to see what each place has to offer.”

The club asked Guinness World Records six months ago whether it could set a record for the ‘largest group of motorcycles to ride the full length of Britain’.

However, the organisation said it would only accept entries covering the well-travelled route of John O’Groats to Land’s End on the British mainland.

“I pleaded that Shetland was part of the UK, but it didn’t seem to be enough to sway their minds,” Davies said.

“All they could offer was to hand it over to the underwriters to look into, which personally I thought was a pretty poor excuse.”

To donate, visit the online fundraising page here.