Charity bike vandalised

PUBLISHED: 13:30 28 July 2011

Archant

A 100-YEAR-OLD bicycle which has helped to raise thousands of pounds for an armed forces charity has been vandalised in Weston Village.

The unique red bike has helped raise £5,000 for Help for Heroes, but fell foul of vandals when it was targeted at a roundabout in Somerset Avenue.

The three-wheeled bike was placed on the top of the roundabout and is believed to have been pushed off, causing the back wheel to buckle and other damage to its frame.

It has been touring Somerset collecting money in places including Shipham, Burnham, Long Ashton, Clevedon, Yatton and Taunton among many other places in the past 15 months.

John Shaw, a national fundraiser for the charity, has taken the bike to Cheddar to be fixed.

He said: “I have no idea why it was vandalised.

“It had the charity’s sign on it and also a Union Jack which has been taken, so most people would be pretty miffed with it.

“A lot of people come off the motorway to come into Weston, and they can see the Union Jack which is not doing any harm.

“It reminds people of what the soldiers are doing and we will put it in a place where people will see it.

“It helps to attract people to donate money and support the charity and the boys.”

Vandals have tried to attack the bike before at a garden centre when a donation box was chained onto it.

John, who has done many long distance bike rides to raise money for the charity, has two daughters who are both married to soldiers.

He said: “When their husbands are away, they both have tainted smiles.

“This money helps the soldiers when they get wounded.”

John plans to repair the bike and continue to use it for fundraising in Mells near Frome.

Anyone with information about the damage to the bike should call Weston police on 0845 4567000.

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