Monday 6 April 2009

Reading Toy Run History

What is the Toy Run?
The Reading Toy Run is an annual charity motorcycle ride in Reading - held just before Christmas. It has continued over two decades to attract hundreds of bikers from all aspects of the biking fraternity to join together, mid winter, in bringing gifts of toys to a major childrens charity. These toys are then distributed by Barnardo's, over the Christmas period to children in many of their centres around the UK. in recent years, the ride has attracted over 2000 participants.

Where did the run originate

The first Reading Toy Run was held in 1985 and was organised by the then Reading Branch of the Christian Motorcyclists Association (CMA). A total of 18 motorcyclists took part, mainly consisting of the club members and a few friends, meeting up at the Pheasant Pub in Winnersh and taking gifts to children at the Battle Hospital.

The next Run wasn't until 1987, when we went to a childrens centre in Caversham and returned to the YMCA for refreshments, a raffle and a Christmas talk from Sean. The run continued every year since then - using different meeting points: Prospect Park, Palmer Park, Arborfield, Grazeley and Spencers Wood Village Halls and in more recents years Shire Hall/Foster Wheeler.

Who are Reading Christian Bikers?

When the Reading Branch of the CMA closed, due to most members moving out of the area, in the early 90's, the Toy Run however continued and is run under the name of Reading Christian Bikers. They are a gathering of Christian Biking mates, not a club, who rely very heavily on yet more mates, not necessarily sharing the faith but have a strong desire to be involved, in pulling off the event each year. Of the original CMA group, several are still involved - the principal visionary; Ben Spiller and his wife Jane, God's Squad's Sean Stillman and TVAM's Peter Allen, (Chief Marshall). Then there's a whole bunch of other folk who have given of their energy and supported over many years - Nij & Trish, Baldrick, Jim and Lyn, Reading MAG, Grub, John & Leigh (PA), Tony K. . . . . . . and many many more . . . . we thank you.

As well as catching up with friends and getting cold participants at the Toy Run can be assured some warm soup, a short christmas message presented by Sean and a chance to win some prizes donated by local motorcycle outlets. (See the Good guys list for a list of sponsors and links). Go on, turn up, you know you want to!!