THESE scooter fans braved appalling weather conditions to raise cash for the Tom Prince Cancer Trust.
A team of seven determined fundraisers from Portsmouth got together to ride 50cc Honda Vision scooters from John O’Groats to Land’s End and raise nearly £4,000 for the charity – which when added to proceeds from a football tournament made a £28,000 donation in total.
Brothers Raymond and David Ogilvie were joined by Kevin Sparks, Ash Miller, Luke Layton, Mark Broughton and Nathan Quick for the mammoth effort.
Mark Robinson and Christopher Ging joined as support crew as the group clocked up 873 miles on 20-year-old bikes. They suffered breakdowns and problems along the way but crossed the finish line in an impressive seven days.
Earlier this year, Raymond held a football tournament through his Football for Cancer charity in aid of the trust, which brought their fundraising efforts to £28,000.
Raymond’s charity aims to build a community of football players, sponsors and supporters, to take part a yearly tournament and boost local charities and hospices.
He said: ‘It was hard – the hardest thing we have ever done in our lives.
‘Luke came up to me with the idea of riding a Honda Vision scooter around the country. I bought one and five others agreed to do it.
‘Within a month, everyone had a moped.’
Raymond had to take a training course at First Castle Motor School in Airport Service Road, which then donated £1,500 of equipment after hearing about the challenge.
He added: ‘Because I’m 30 I was embarrassed about the lesson.
‘I told them this was the reason I was doing it and they supplied us with the gear.’
The group endured torrential rain along the route, but Raymond said he was overwhelmed by the generosity of people they encountered during the challenge.
He said: ‘On the last night the weather was so bad that we stayed in a hotel in Taunton.
‘The staff there took all our wet clothes and dried them for us, and gave us breakfast. I have never experienced kindness like that.
‘It’s only when you are on those bikes that long that it’s the little things that you appreciate.’
Tom Prince’s dad Clinton said the family were amazed by their efforts.
They were handed a cheque at a presentation at the Eastfield Hotel in Southsea.
He said: ‘When we went to the football final they gave us a make-believe cheque for £23,000 – my jaw hit the floor then. It’s something that Tom (pictured) would have loved to have been involved with.
‘Our spare time was taken up with going to football matches and tournaments.
‘It’s a great effort and they did it for someone they didn’t know – but they have the passion and belief in what we are doing.
‘The money is fantastic but it’s also the awareness they raised too.’